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LV’s Jonas is new Cornhuskers coach

LV’s Jonas is new Cornhuskers coach
NEBRASKA COMMUNICATIONS / Dusty Jonas clears the bar in the high jump event while a student at the University of Nebraska. The former La Vernia star athlete went on to join the 2008 Olympic Team and medal in several U.S. and world competitions.

World-class high jumper and La Vernia High School alumnus Dusty Jonas is in the news again, after accepting an assistant coach position at his other alma mater, the University of Nebraska.

He will be overseeing the university’s high jump team, as well as men’s sprints, hurdles, and relays. Jonas is the first former male Olympian track and field coach for the Cornhuskers, joining discus and shot put Olympian Carol Frost, who served as second head coach from 1977 to 1980.

Jonas has served as a volunteer assistant for the high jump program for the past eight years, ushering through several All-Americans and one Olympian, Marusa Cernjul, in 2016.

Jonas’ own track career started in La Vernia, where, under the tutelage of coaches Danny Gonzales and Richard Hinojosa, he was the 2003 and 2004 AAU National Junior Olympics Games high jump champion and triple jump runner-up, as well as runner-up at the 2004 Texas Relays.

As a Husker, his accomplishments only grew, starting with one of the finest seasons by a freshman athlete in the school’s history, winning the U.S. junior high jump championship and the Pan American Junior Championships.

The All-American athlete continued improving, rising to No. 4 among all U.S. collegiate track athletes as a sophomore, after winning the high jump title at the Kansas Relays the first Husker to do so since 1968.

After six National Collegiate Athletic Association All-American seasons, the senior earned his first National title and Big 12 championship in 2008, setting school and conference records, and holding the top outdoor mark in the world for a collegian from May 18 to July 13 of 7 feet, 8 3/4 inches, which now stands in the No. 2 spot. He holds the school record for the indoor high jump, as well, at 7 feet, 7 inches.

This was also the year Jonas signed a professional contract with Nike and joined the 2008 USA Olympic Team, beginning his professional career. He gathered several medals to his name at U.S. and world championship competitions in the following years, including a gold at the 2013 USA Indoor Championships. In 2010, Jonas was ranked No. 9 in the world.

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