dsu athletics news
- Baseball News
- Cross Country News
- Football News
- Men's Basketball News
- Softball News
- Track News
- Volleyball News
- Women's Basketball News
dsu athletics pages
Larsen, Vlasman remember record-setting ’84 outdoor track & field season
April 27, 2012
MADISON, S.D. – Oh, what a spring outdoor track season it was for Lorin Larsen and Doug Vlasman in the jumps and relays!
From its beginning to its very end, that season was a memory-maker for Dakota State jumping and running Trojans, especially for Larsen and Vlasman.
Larsen and Vlasman, along with Mark Davison and Russ Johnson, still own a handful of Dakota State records sets that '84 season.
Now, Larsen (a Hurley High School graduate) is an advertising accounts executive for Yankton's WNAX radio station. Vlasman (a Madison High alumnus) has been an energy advisor for the Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative out of Emmetsburg, Iowa since 1989.
In the Dakota State record books, Larsen and Vlasman are 1-2 in the long jump with respective 24-foot-5 and 23-8.5 leaps, both made in '84. Larsen is at the top of the triple-jumps list at 48-1 (set in '83) and Vlasman tops the high jump list at 6-9.5, starting out DSU's record-setting spring.
Vlasman started out the '84 season with that 6-9.5 jump in the college division portion of the Dan Lennon Relays at Vermillion.
"It seems like it was a perfect day, and I couldn't miss," said Vlasman. "I had a reality check, though, the next week at the Drake Relays when I didn't have anything nearly that good."
"Doug was one of the more special and gifted athletes that I have ever coached," noted Dave Gottsleben, the Trojans' head coach and now the long-time track program head at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. "He is one of the Top Five athletes that I have ever coached."
Unfortunately for South Dakota track-and-field history, Vlasman wanted to follow his late father Duane's footsteps (the elder Vlasman had been employed at East River Electric Cooperative based in Madison).
Doug completed the '84 track season and then left Madison, going to Mitchell Vocational Technical School. He received his lineman's certification there. He then went to Buena Vista, Iowa, where he earned his business management's degree. In 1989, he became employed by the Iowa Lakes Cooperative and has been there ever since.
(Coincidentally, his and his wife Amy's two daughters – Morgan and Miranda – are being coached by former Dakota State athletes. Morgan, a freshman at Iowa Lakes Community College, is being coached in softball by Jessica VanLoy, and Miranda, a junior at Emmetsburg High School, is engaged in playing softball and coached by Jeny Garst.)
Vlasman had held Madison's top high jump mark of 6-8 set in 1982. It stood until Jeremy Geditz broke it in the high school portion of the Lennon Relays in 2005 with a 6-8.5 leap. Vlasman still holds MHS records in the 200, 400 and long jump – all set in 1982.
"Doug is probably the best all-around athlete that Madison has ever had," said Jim Cordts, the Bulldogs' head track coach back then. "His jumping talent came from our jumps coach, (the late) Norman Johnson. Doug was also an outstanding basketball and football player.
"Lorin was a talented kind in a lot of things," added Gottsleben today.
"My favorite sport was football," admitted Larsen. Arriving at Dakota State, though, Larsen felt he'd fit in better in the Trojans' track-and-field program. "Sometimes nowadays, I regret not playing football," admitted Larsen. "My college years provided me with a great experience, despite that one regret. It all was made possible by Coach Gottsleben."
"You could see that he was a real competitor," added Gottsleben. "He was and still is a great all-around guy."
The Hurley grad feels the same about "Gottsy".
"He was the finest coach I'd every competed for," smiled Larsen. "He was a competitive – but caring – coach who treated his student-athletes as his own kids. Dave was relatively new as a college coach. I just remember he went out and jumped with us, even though he wasn't a gifted jumper, but he was fun to work for."
Larsen set the school's long jump mark in midseason at the Trojan Invitational in Madison.
"That day on Trojan Field I competed against a number of quality people, making it a lot of fun. It was an intense competition. None of us wanted to lose," he added. He also set the triple jump mark of 48-1 later in the season.
Gottsleben's coaching was never more evident that in the NAIA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Charleson, W.Va. in May of 1984.
As Larsen remembers it, he didn't find out that he was going to run in the 1600-meter relays until the early stage of the trip from Madison to Charleston.
The Trojans boarded the team van, which took off without Tim Casper who was to run with Vlasman, Davison, a Clear Lake native and Johnson, who hailed from Chicago.
Larsen remembered asking Gottsleben, who was driving the van, where was Casper a number of times before reaching the Prairie Junction turn-off to get on Interstate 29.
"I could see 'Gottsy's' eyes in the rear-view mirror the whole way to the Junction. It was only then that he told us that, because Casper had a number of other things going on, he wasn't making the trip and – get this – I was running his leg of the 1600!"
Larsen completed his track-and-field career as a four-time SDIC most valuable athlete in track and field.
"We had a lot of talent on that team from Lorin, Doug and the other student-athletes," concluded Gottsleben. "That group had really good depth all over – the jumpers, throwers and runners, which is all a coach wants to have as a team. Finally, we also had a lot of good leaders on the squad, and Lorin headed that list, too."
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director