Boys Track: Hinsdale Central’s Hinspeter takes his shot
Hinsdale Central's Ted Owens (left) takes the baton from Ryan Somerfield on the last leg of the 3200-meter relay. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun Times Media
Updated: June 29, 2012 8:32AM
Daniel Hinspeter has given up a lot to finally settle in as a distance jumper for Hinsdale Central.
He used to play football and bowl for the Red Devils, but gave up both of those sports to pursue track and field on a full-time basis. Hinspeter runs in relay events, but had the biggest highlight of his career Friday night with a West Suburban Conference Silver Division championship in the long jump at Lyons Township’s Bennett Field in Western Springs.
When favorite Matt Harris of LT committed three fouls in his opening attempts, the door swung wide open for other competitors such as Hinspeter, who beat Oak Park-River Forest’s Jamal Baggett for the title. Hinspeter won with a new personal record of 23-feet to finish ahead of Baggett (22-1/2).
“I didn’t think I jumped this well,” Hinspeter said. “Since my sophomore year, all I really wanted to do was jump 22 (feet). Last week, I jumped 19.”
Harris, who ranks as one of the top 10 long jumpers in the state, entered the meet with a season-best 23-5.
Hinspeter, a senior, was one of three individual conference champions for the Red Devils, joining Ryan Daleen in the 110-meter hurdles (15.32) and Ryan Callen in the shot put (53-10).
Hinsdale Central also won the 3200 relay (7:57.10) and will compete in the Class 3A Lockport Sectional Thursday. The state qualifying mark for the long jump is 22-3.
The Red Devils (80 points) placed fourth in the conference meet.
Only Callen has a chance of making a repeat appearance at the state meet after qualifying for the shot put last season.
Hinspeter also competed in the triple jump, but scratched on his attempts.
After Harris fouled out, Hinspeter checked with Harris to find out if he had any more attempts left. According to Hinspeter, Harris replied, ‘No. I had a bad day.’”
Hinspeter has lived in the Chicago area for only three years after moving from Puerto Rico. He learned Spanish in three months and speaks it fluently. His father, Jim, remarried in Puerto Rico and the family moved to Chicago when his father and stepmother found jobs here. Hinspeter’s stepmother is Marisol Seda, the News Director for Univision Chicago.
In soccer- and baseball-crazy Puerto Rico, Hinspeter played American football from seventh to ninth grade. He moved to Hinsdale for his sophomore year and continued to play football until last season.
He bowled for the Red Devils during his sophomore and junior years and took up cross country for the first time in the fall as a way of preparing for track.
Track is his first love. It is the only sport he has participated in for all three years.
“I thought if I do track, I would be more successful at football,” Hinspeter said.
Among other Hinsdale Central competitors, Connor Furlong (50.67) placed second in the 400 and Nick Piker (50-4) was fourth in the shot put.