Keith Harder, Ladue, Thanks a Million
The Brusca-Strobach track meet Saturday for 54 teams was really fun.
First of all, let me say thank you very much to Ladue’s track coach Keith Harder for putting on a superb meet Saturday.
Coaches like Harder never get the credit for the countless hours spent putting together something as big as this. Some 54 teams were able to showcase their talents, thanks to Harder and his expansive Ladue coaching staff. A lot of people did a lot of work.
The meet is honor of long time and retired coaches Phil Brusca and Connie Strobach. Brusca and Strobach strolled the infield and beamed with pride having an annual meet named in their honor.
It was certainly a chance to connect back to those who truly love the sport of track and field. None is more dedicated than retired veteran coach Charlie Beck, the guy who built University City into a mega powerhouse before retiring. Beck was the starter for the meet.
Brusca was my old cross country coach. He stood by this runner with a lot of heart, but little talent.
That’s why track is so special. Kids, half the size of football and basketball players can find their athletic niche.
Track is mostly for youngsters who want to put in a lot of hard work, hoping to see some results. The vast majority of the nearly 1,000 athletes at this meet probably did not find their name in the scoring results. Some kids just love to run.
The booth announcer encouraged the fans to cheer for the long-distance runners. “They work just as hard as the sprinters and hurdlers,” she said. Well put. There’s little glory in being a one or two miler. But, as they say, someone’s got to do it.
The weather broke Ladue’s way. It rained most of Friday and a lot on Sunday. Saturday, crisp and cool (just right for track) was a glorious sunny day.
The Ladue officials took care of everything from the donuts and pizza in the hospitality room to the official scoring down on the track. No detail was left unturned. Coaches each went home with a nifty tee shirt, marking the event.
I’m glad to see local track meets named for those who’ve made a difference in the sport. We have the Jackie Joyner Kersee relays in East St. Louis; the Charlie Beck meet at U. City; the Skippy Keefer Relays at Burroughs; the Fred Lyons meet at Parkway North, The Jim Schmuck meet at Parkway South; the Marion Freeman meet at Clayton; the Alvin Miller meet at Kirkwood and the Henle Holmes meet at Parkway Central. These are participants and coaches who blazed a trail for future competitors.
I was at the Ladue meet well over six hours, and enjoyed every second of it. For me, its like a good old fashioned runners’ reunion. There’s plenty of T&F schmoozing going on between all the races.
Ladue, Keith Harder and all your coaches and volunteers, thanks for a great meet Saturday.