Published Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 9:43 pm / Updated at 9:46 pm
track and field
Thrower gets past latest setback
Nebraska Track and Field
When: 11:30 a.m. Friday, NWU Invitational; Noon Saturday, Adidas Classic
Where: Devaney Center, Lincoln

LINCOLN — In her three years on campus, Nebraska thrower Carlie Pinkelman has battled a series of injuries and ailments. She broke her thumb. She contracted mono. She had a bout of appendicitis. Last year, before the Big Ten Conference meet, she twisted her ankle.

“It’s always been something,” she said Wednesday — four days after she won the shot put competition at the Holiday Inn Invitational in Lincoln.

None of those setbacks was quite as puzzling — or scary — as the one she faced at a late October supper, while she listened to friend and fellow Husker thrower, Annie Jackson, tell a story.

Jackson thought Pinkelman was laughing, which was strange, because the story wasn’t supposed to be funny. But Pinkelman wasn’t laughing. She was having a seizure. She blacked out and started to fall backward. Jackson caught her.

“Like I just dozed off,” said Pinkelman, who can’t remember the seizure, but manages a smile at how strange it must have seemed. “But when I woke up, I had the worst headache.”

The roommates called Dr. Lonnie Albers — NU’s associate athletic director of athletic medicine. Because she’d never had a seizure, Pinkelman tried, in that moment, to shrug it off. I’m fine, she told Albers.

Pinkelman remembers Albers telling her: Either you go to the hospital with Annie, or you’ll go there in an ambulance. Pinkelman chose the first option.

Nearly three months later, Pinkelman hasn’t had a second seizure. She’s on medicine and sees a neurologist. She’s won her first title of the year with a throw of 49 feet, 14 inches. She’ll look to win her second in Saturday’s Adidas Classic. And NU coach Carrie Lane said Pinkelman had a kind of training this winter that can set her up for more wins.

“She’s been more consistent in her training,” Lane said. “Even with the seizure. Her technique has been more consistent. She’s going to start to see a payoff.”

This despite the sophomore from Cozad taking a week off after the seizure, then slowly returning to her workout regimen as she acclimated to seizure medication. Because she couldn’t initially drive after the seizure, teammates had to help Pinkelman get to and from practice.

It helps, Lane said, that the Husker women throwers have clicked so well in the last year in practice. Besides Pinkelman and Jackson, Veronica Grizzle, Tristen Sharp and outdoor discus All-American Morgan Wilken have created an atmosphere where “they’re starting to work off of each other,” she said.

“They’re different personalities and different technique, but as a group, they’re focused on one agenda,” Lane said. “And when you have that, stuff starts really happening.”

Pinkelman also has a personal coach — her older brother Luke, a three-time All-American and two-time conference champion who graduated from Nebraska last year. Like Carlie, Luke spins as he throws the shot — others use a glide step — so the siblings can watch and critique each other’s form. Carlie said she and Luke worked together over break at Cozad High School. Luke Pinkelman, competing as an individual, also won the Holiday Inn crown last Saturday.

“I’m never going to fill his shoes, what he’s done here,” Carlie Pinkelman said. “He’s a legend thrower here. He’s made his name here. I’m just grateful I got a chance to come here.”

And grateful she’s back throwing — and winning.

“It was a sense of relief,” she said. “I had more adversity — but I was strong enough to get through it.”

ĽNotes: Other teams competing Saturday in the Adidas Classic are Air Force, Iowa, Oral Roberts and Wichita State. The meet starts at noon. ... Some Huskers will also compete in the Nebraska Wesleyan University Invitational Friday, which begins at 11:30 a.m. ... Nebraska has just three athletes currently ranked in the top 10 of their events nationally, all on the men’s side: James White (first in high jump), Janis Leitis (fourth in long jump) and Tommy Brinn (eighth in the 800 meters). White and Leitis are recent transfers.

Contact the writer:

402-202-9766, sam.mckewon@owh.com, twitter.com/swmckewonOWH

Contact the writer: Sam McKewon

sam.mckewon@owh.com    |   402-219-3790    |  

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him. Follow him on Twitter. Call him.

PHOTO GALLERY AND VIDEO »

 

< >
SPOTLIGHT »
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Omaha.com? Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.
Omaha.com's Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from Omaha.com and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Schweser's
$25 for a $50 gift card to use at Schweser's!
Buy Now
BRT ON TWITTER »
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT »
< >