Jelmini wins big at NACAC track meet. Next stop: ASU

Here’s a young lady about to make a name for herself in college athletics.

It’s a name worth remembering… Anastasia Dalma Jelmini.  But her friends just call her Anna.

Anna Jelmini will be a redshirt freshman at Arizona State during the 2011 season.  While she is waiting for her college career to get started, she filled her time by representing the United States at the NACAC Under-23 Track and Field Championships over the weekend.

The athlete from Shafter High School in California won a gold medal in the discus and finished second in the shot put.  She competed in both throwing events on the same day, first winning the discus with a throw of 56.70m and then coming back to narrowly miss the gold in the shot.  Her toss of 16.58 was right behind fellow American, Karen Shump, who won it with a mark of 17.43m.

The Championships are held every two years by the North America, Central America, and Caribbean (NACAC) Athletic Associations.  ASU has done well at the event in recent years.  Three Sun Devils throwers have competed at the last two meets and have combined to win four golds and two silvers.

Jelmini is the ninth different Sun Devil to compete in the event since 2004.  Her gold medal in the discus is the eighth won by an ASU thrower.  The win gives ASU a sweep of three weight events after Sarah Stevens won the shot put and hammer and Ryan Whiting won the shot put and took second in the discuss, both in 2008.

The 20-year-old is the high school record-holder in the discus, with a mark of 190’03” and is ranked by Track & Field News as the No. 7 women’s discus thrower in the country, for all age groups.  She was the California state champion in both the discus and shot during her junior and senior years, making her the only woman in California history to sweep both throws in back-to-back years.

She was the 2009 USATF Girls High School Athlete of the Year and that same year was named the Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year.  In addition to her national record in the discus, Jelmini is third in the world and No. 2 all-time in the high school shot put, with a heave of 54’04.75″.

Her wins in the throws helped Team USA win a record total of 74 medals at the Championships, held at the Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar, Fla.

The men’s and women’s 4×400 relay teams ran away with their events, as the men set a meet record of 2:58.83 and the woman won over second-place Jamaica by almost eight seconds.  Charles Jock won the 800m by almost two seconds; Jeshua Anderson dominated the men’s 400m hurdles, winning in 49.33; Christian Taylor won his second gold medal in the men’s triple jump; and Kurt Roberts crushed the field in the men’s shot put, winning with a throw of 61’0.25″.

But it was Jelmini’s performances that has ASU coaches eager to get the youngster into a maroon and gold uniform.

Even if it comes with a red shirt the first year.

(Photo: ASU Athletics/Kirby Lee)