Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rebuilding for Boys; Girls Hold Pair of Aces

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rebuilding for Boys; Girls Hold Pair of Aces

Article excerpt

The Duchesne High boys track and field team placed third in state Class 3A a year ago, finishing behind Berkeley and Branson.

But . . . .

"Of the guys who competed as individuals or on relays at state, no one is back," Pioneers coach Stan Westhoff said. "We have one guy who was an alternate on the 4x800 relay team and another who ran the 4x800 at different times last season. But we're definitely looking at a rebuilding situation here."

And that includes the coaching staff. Westhoff, in his seventh year of coaching track, is joined this season by second-year coach Gregg Traffas and first-year coaches Mike Kelly, Bob Biehle and Eva Gerhardt, a former Duchense standout who went on to compete at Southwest Missouri State.

"The team's young of the 70 athletes competing at Duchesne, 51 are freshmen and sophomores) and so is the coaching staff," Westhoff said. "But I think that's good. Everybody's working hard and there's a real sense of enthusiasm in the program. We're going to do everything we can to help these athletes improve this season and hopefully establish the foundation of the program for the next few years."

Senior distance runners Kevin Hussey and Tom Hurlbert figure to be the leaders for the Duchesne boys. But Westhoff has also been impressed with some of the youngsters - sophomore Jeff Borgmeyer (shot put/discus), sophomore Dan Widman (pole vault/relays), junior Eric Stevens (relays) and junior Colin York (jumps/relays).

"There's definitely some talent," he said. "But at this point, we're untested."

The Duchesne girls, who finished in a tie for seventh place at state a year ago, look to be a little more solid than the boys. Two reasons: Mary Beth Albrecht and Kristen Bruening.

Albrecht, a senior, was fifth in the 100 high hurdles while Bruening won both the 1,600 and the 3,200 as a freshman last year. Bruening also won the individual title last fall as the Lady Pioneers captured their first state cross country championship.

"Having Kristen and Mary Beth definitely gives us something to build a round," Westhoff said. "But after that, like the boys, our girls are untested at the varsity level. …

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