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Platteville senior Austin Jentz accepts Division 1 track scholarship from Drake University
Austin Jentz (front middle) is surrounded by family and coaches whiles he signs his National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field at Division 1 Drake University last Friday morning at Platteville High School. Pictured are (front, from left) Natalie Jentz, Ron Jentz, Austin Jentz, Austin Jentz, Diane Jentz, Courtney Jentz, (back) PHS track and field coaches Joe Schambow, Rob Serres and Brian Molle.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.

Austin Jentz, Sr., Platteville boys track and field

PLATTEVILLE — Senior Austin Jentz became the second Platteville High School student–athlete to accept a Division 1 scholarship offer in as many months.

Jentz was honored at a small assembly in the PHS gymnasium Friday morning where he signed his National Letter of Intent to compete in Division 1 track and field for Drake University beginning in the fall of 2002.

Platteville track and field has a strong recent history of athletes competing at the Division III collegiate level, but Jentz is the first to earn a D1 track and field scholarship since Blair Runde, who competed at the University of Northern Iowa as a sprinter and long jumper from 2004–08.

“This was well-deserved and earned by Austin,” said Platteville track and field head coach Rob Serres. “I have seen few athletes over the years with as much passion and drive as Austin Jentz. He is and has been a great ambassador for Platteville High School and the City of Platteville.”

Jentz earned first-team All-State honors in June as a junior when he capped an undefeated season by winning the WIAA Division 2 boys discus state championship with a throw of 168’1”, more than 11 feet further than his nearest competitor. 

Jentz scaled the medal stand a second time placing sixth in the D2 boys shot put a day earlier with a throw of 49’10.75”.

Jentz won a pair of Southwest Wisconsin Conference titles two weeks before the state meet, winning the discus with a throw of 172’5” — which is second-best in school history — and the shot put with a toss of (50’10.25”) to help the Platteville boys win a fourth straight SWC title.

Jentz chose Drake University, located in Des Moines, Iowa, over another D1 offer from Wisconsin because Drake offered a much better overall package and showed more interest overall.

Jentz is the son of Ron and Diane Jentz and has two sisters, Courtney and Natalie.

Bradley is a private university in Des Moines. that enrolls 3,164 undergraduates and 2,057 postgraduates. Drake is also the host of the prestigious Drake Relays, a four-day mega meet held every April, that includes both college and high school competition for teams from around the country. The first Drake Relays was held in 1910.