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Track and field: Spotlight on Jasmine Burrell

March 16, 2010 |  7:21 pm

When Jasmine Burrell enters a weight room, everyone takes notice. 

She can lift a bar with 45 pound plates on each end five times in a row.

"I meet some guys, and I can lift more than them," Burrell said. "And they're football players."  

Burrell is a senior at North Torrance High, and is currently the third-ranked shot putter in the state, according to Dystatcal

Burrell was a sprinter until her club track coach told her to try shot put at age 13. 

"At first, I was like, 'Ew, there's going to be a ball touching my neck,' " Burrell said. 

She quickly overcame that fear. 

Burrell is currently throwing about 45 feet in shot put and 137 feet in discus.

But what truly makes her special, North Torrance Coach Robert Nobles said, is her devotion to the sport. 

When Nobles took the year off last year, Burrell drove to Gardena High and El Camino College and asked the shot put coaches to train her.

"They were really willing to help," Burrell said. 

Burrell has a 3.6 grade-point average and has received letters of interest from Fresno State, Louisiana State, La Verne, Texas San Antonio and the University of Miami. 

She loves feeling strong and powerful. 

"It's good to be a girl who knows how to lift weights," Burrell said.

She also enjoys the leniency that she has with food. 

Her teammates can't eat anything fatty before track meats. 

"With shot put, luckily, it's a little bit different," Burrell said. 

But there's a definite downside to being so strong, she explained. 

She can't persuade her younger brother to carry things for her. 

"I'm still a girl," Burrell said. "I don't want to carry heavy stuff." 

-- Melissa Rohlin