The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 20, 2013

Webb City track looking for more records at state meet

By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer

— The track and field record board at Webb City High School is going to need to be updated.

Just how much work lies ahead for boys head coach Mike Smith and girls head coach Jeremy Butler depends on what happens at the MSHSAA Class 4 Track and Field Championships on Friday and Saturday in Jefferson City.

The Cardinals broke three school records Saturday in the Class 4 sectional meet at Ozark.

“We’re going to try to get another one in the 4x400,” Smith said. “Everybody around us is faster than us, so we’ll either run it right or we’ll get lapped.”

Webb City took first place in the sectional with a team of Kiante Hardin, Trey Parra, Cooper Smith and Logan Williams in 3 minutes, 26.49 seconds.

Hardin and Williams were responsible for two of the broken records. Williams, a senior, finally reached his goal by breaking the 29-year-old school record in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 39.43 seconds.

The old record of 39.44 was set in 1984 by Teddy Harre.

“I was trying to get it since my freshman year,” said Williams, a Missouri Western football recruit. “They kept saying, ‘You’re the one to get it.’”

His previous best time was 39.77 at the Central Ozark Conference Large Division meet this spring. He already held the school record in the 110 hurdles of 15.15.

Hardin, a sophomore, broke the school record in the 400 with a time of 50.15. The old record of 50.19 was set by Jeremy Hansen in 2004.

“I ran 50.24 at conference, so I thought if I run a little harder I might get it,” Hardin said.

On the girls’ side, Desirea Buerge broke through in the shot put at the sectional with a throw of 37 feet, 7 inches. That bested the old mark of 37-5.5 set by Courtney Spink last year.

“This is my first year doing the shot,” said Buerge, a sophomore who will be making her first trip to the state meet. “I threw the discus in seventh and eighth grade.”

Butler had been getting updates on Buerge’s progress over the last three weeks from throwers coach Darrell Hicks.

“She has just progressively improved each week,” Hicks said. “Now we’re just waiting on having a big one at the right time.”

The same members of the 4x400 relay team also will run in the 4x200 relay at the state meet after a fourth-place showing in the sectional.

“We’re proud of those kids. They’ve really worked hard,” said Smith, whose son Cooper is a member of the 4x200 and 4x400 relays. “I’m proud of Kiante as a sophomore. Logan has been chasing that record for four years. And my son’s still running, so that’s exciting.”