The moment she released the throw, Desirea Buerge knew it was a big one.
But she didn’t know it was that big.
Buerge, former prep standout at Webb City and All-American at Missouri Southern, uncorked a throw of 58.90 meters — 193 feet, 2 inches — on Saturday for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley track and field team to win the discus at the Roadrunner Invitational hosted by Texas-San Antonio.
It broke her school record by 5.33 meters, and it qualified her for the U.S. Olympic trials on June 18-27 in Eugene, Oregon. The qualifying mark for the Olympic trials is 58 meters.
“When I released it, I thought that felt good,” Buerge said in a telephone conversation. “And I watched where it landed, I was just really in awe. I knew I had hit a (personal record), got a school record. The big goal is to hit 200 (feet) by the end of the year.”
As for the distance, “I didn’t realize it was that good, but I knew it was flying,” she said. “The Olympic trials was always a goal in the back of my mind. I knew I had the potential to do it. Now to see I actually hit the qualifying mark, it’s so exciting.”
With her throw, Buerge now ranks this year:
• No. 3 in the NCAA behind Laulauga Tausaga of Iowa (60.81 meters) and Seasons Usual of Texas Tech (59.70 meters).
• No. 5 in the USA ... Valarie Allman, former seven-time All-American at Stanford and the seventh-place finisher in the 2019 World Championships, is first at 66.46 meters.
• No. 29 in the world ... Yaime Perez of Cuba is the leader at 67.73 meters.
Buerge’s performance on Saturday didn’t come out of the blue.
“I had somewhat of an idea,” she said. “Practice has been showing some pretty good numbers. To see that actually happen today was really huge.”