Archive for Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Recent sports performances some of best in BHS history

May 29, 2002

I have been fortunate enough to have witnessed some great moments in Baldwin High School history. I watched Darrin Kurtz's best javelin throw in the nation in '94, the girl's state basketball championship in '96, and the football state championship game against Scott City at Memorial Stadium in '88.

Yet, as I drove home form the state track meet on Saturday I realized that I had been able to witness possibly the greatest collective performance in BHS history. In the past four years the class of 2002 has been a part of six state championships. That alone almost needs a whole new wall in the basketball arena for the banners.

Ok, so maybe some people are tired of reading about how good the track and cross country teams are in Baldwin. Rumor has it that there is a sentiment going around that goes something like, "isn't there something else going on other than Matt Noonan winning races."

But I will bet my car (as a recent college graduate it about the only thing I have of any value) that there will never be four Division I caliber athletes on one team ever again at BHS.

I hope that each one of you reading this went and watched Eric Black, Eric Brown, Hugh Murphy and Matt Noonan sometime during their career.

For the sake of those who sat on their duffs because track and field is "boring" or "not a real sport," I'll give a quick preview (or should it be post-view now?) of what you missed.

You missed seeing four athletes that were respected by their coaches, teammates and competitors on and off the field. At state I can't count how many competitors were in awe of the foursome, but at the same time knew they could talk to them all they wanted.

My last four years in college I kept a goal of staying faster than Noonan and Black (keep in mind, these were high school athletes four years younger than myself). I just barely stayed ahead of Matt in the 3,200 and failed by a second in the 1,600. With Eric's final 800 he surpassed my college best.

Brown and Murphy would have both qualified for nationals in D-II and Brown may have been able to sneak into All-American honors with his seasonal best of 207-0.

Noonan is going to Missouri as part of one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. Just to mention a few, his future roommate finished fifth in the nation in cross country and there are two others who have broke 9:10 in the two mile. Needless to say, he will be among good company to keep improving.

Black will be a part of a quickly improving Kansas Jayhawk team that is slowly rebuilding to the greatness it once had in the '60s-'80s. Who knows what he'll do in the blue and pink, but his versatility is something that the Jayhawks will need.

Brown is joining the elite of the elite when it comes to college track and field. Arkansas is a perennial track power and has some of the best facilities and coaching staffs in the world.

Murphy is another in the line of big-time-bound javelin throwers from Baldwin. While the Ivy League and Brown "don't give athletic money," I'm sure that his ability as a thrower earned him a scholarship of some sort. His ACT probably wasn't too shabby either.

So there you have it. Just a short run down of what you might have missed. I'm sure glad I didn't miss it and even more proud to have had a couple of records broken by those guys (luckily Hugh just missed my shot put record).

I hope you all join me in wishing them the best.

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