The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

May 16, 2013

Mustang coach leads several contenders to state discus, shot put

BLOOMFIELD — Kate Birchmier and Marissa Shuey could hardly continue their joy last Thursday in Eddyville.

Only halfway through their day of district competition, the Mustang teammates already knew they'd be heading to Des Moines together to compete against the best throwers in the state in the girls Class 2A shot put.

As they looked forward to prospect of competing together on the biggest stage in the state, both Birchmier and Shuey were eager to give credit to a man that helped lead that achievement.

"Do you want to talk to our coach," both Birchmier and Shuey asked as their throwing coach, Stan Huggins, walked by.

Huggins, however, immedately turned down the opportunity to hog the spotlight.

"Talk to the kids," Huggins said. "They're the ones that deserve the attention."

Perhaps. But Davis County head girls track coach Josh Husted knowns that without a coach like Huggins, special careers like the one that Birchmier is beginning to craft for herself might not even get off the ground.

"We asked him to coach the field events once Kate started coming up," Husted said. "He focuses on throwing with all of our athletes in middle school right through high school."

The concept was certainly an eye-opener to all of Davis County's discus and shot put throwers.

"I've never really had a proper throwing coach before that," Shuey said. "When my coaches told me I could talk to my throwing coach, I was like 'What? I have a throwing coach?"

That throwing coach watched his pupils make him proud last week with several tickets to the state track and field meet on the line. Birchmier and Shuey were just the start of a dominant night for the Mustangs, who also swept the two automatic berths in the boys discus as senior Zeb Black edged by sophomore teammate Conner Davidson by an inch and a half in a brilliant duel between the Davis County duo.

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