Dustin Miller has the goals set extremely high for his Webb City boys track and field squad this spring.
In fact, with a talented group of returning state qualifiers, Miller is confident the Cardinals have the pieces in place to compete for a state championship in Class 4.
“We were disappointed about losing last year,” Miller said. “We thought we had a good shot at a trophy if not winning a state championship. That’s what we want to do this year. We’ve got a lot of great guys on the team…a lot of good character guys. We’ve had a lot of guys step up, so I’m just excited to see how the season goes.”
Miller said there are seven or eight athletes on the squad who have the ability to reach the state podium, if not claim a state title, in their respective events.
Luke Brumit (high jump), Mekhi Garrard (long jump, triple jump), Zetthew Meister (discus), Asa Morgan (hurdles), Roman Borboa (800, 1600, 3200), Pryce Mason (pole vault) and Grayson Smith (pole vault) are athletes who Miller expects to not only score big points at every meet, but also make some noise during the postseason.
Joseph Dawson (distance) and Matt McDaniel (high jump) are other athletes who should contribute nicely.
Miller added the team’s 4×100 and 4×200 relays could be strong by the end of the season.
Several Cardinals gained valuable experience back in 2019.
In fact, Garrard was a state medalist in the triple jump, placing third.
Dawson finished 10th in the 1600 at the state track meet in 2019, while Morgan was 12th in the 300 hurdles and Mason was 12th in the pole vault.
Meister was 13th in the discus and Brumit took 14th in the high jump.
Webb City’s girls will also be led by a number of returning state qualifiers.
Haidyn Berry placed eighth in the javelin (133-6) as a sophomore, and none of the athletes who placed higher than her are still in high school.
Riley Hawkins went to state in the 1600 as a freshman, finishing 13th.
Emily Beres finished 10th in the Class 4 shot put as a sophomore.
A number of varsity newcomers, including Ripley Shanks and Kaylyn Gilbert, will also play key roles.
“We’re excited to see our girls progress and hopefully win another district title,” Miller said.