EDINBURG, TX. — One throw can make all the difference. It did for former Webb City standout and Missouri Southern All-American Desirea Buerge.
Now with the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), Buerge launched a discus toss at the Roadrunner Invitational in San Antonio this past weekend that landed her among some of the best. She recorded a mark of 58.9 meters that broke a school record — which Buerge previously set — by 5.33 meters and now ranks her third in the NCAA, fifth in the country and 29th in the world.
The biggest part of it all? It qualified her for the U.S. Olympic Trials. She needed at least a mark of 58 meters and Buerge reached it with a little extra distance.
“Honestly, I knew I could throw it out there but it was never actually a thought, like you’re going to be an Olympian, you’re going to be able to go to the trials,” Buerge said. “It was more like let’s see what happens.”
Buerge has had her sights set on nursing school with the Olympics having always been in the back of her mind, but with a few spins, a couple steps, and one throw, Buerge doesn’t need to dream anymore.
“It’s never really a true thought until it happens, and now it happened, and it’s like . . . a little shell-shocked I’m sure,” UTRGV assistant throwing coach Brad Foote laughed.
Foote knew when the discus escaped Buerge’s grip to reach a historic feat that it was a big-time throw. But Buerge is out to prove that this milestone isn’t a one time occurence.
“I do feel like I’m out to prove that it just wasn’t a one time throw,” Buerge said. “I feel like I’m out to show that I can throw farther, and to let everybody know that I am here, and I am ready to go.”
UTRGV has only had one Olympian in school history. Luke Jackson played on the 1964 Gold Medal winning men’s basketball team. There could be two this year in addition to Buerge with Yariel Matute with Honduras.
The priority for Buerge and UTRGV right is the NCAA Championships starting June 9. Then after that, the discus qualifying round of the U.S. Olympic Trials is set for June 18 with the finals the next day. All events taking place in Eugene, Ore.