July 10, 2008

Webber’s Incredible 1992 Track Performance; Was It The Best Ever?

by Sam Berkowitz

Over the years, lots of terrific athletes have donned the blue and white uniform of the Scotland County Tigers, but who was the best?

For those who witnessed Nicki Webber’s incredible performance at the 1992 State Track Meet at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, that amazing day was enough proof. For all those who saw Webber running and jumping that day, they’ll insist that was the best they have ever seen.

Webber concluded her Scotland County track career by taking home three first places at the class 2A Track meet in 1992, earning gold medals in the 800 meter run, the high jump, and the 400 meter dash. Her 56.1 second time in the 400 not only smoked the field, but set a then new 2A girls record in that event. Her high jump of 5 feet, 6 inches at that state meet was the best jump ever for a Scotland County lady athlete. At the state meet, she didn’t miss a jump until after she reached the winning height.

She also earned a fourth place finish in the 200-meter dash, giving Scotland County 36 team points, good enough to place fourth in the state. That year Webber was the only lady Tiger to qualify for the state meet. Her 36 points for Scotland County outdistanced many other schools who qualified more than a dozen athletes for the meet.

Nicki Webber, the youngest daughter of U.S. District Court Judge E. Richard Webber and his wife, Peggy, has an older sister, Erin, who was an outstanding track athlete in her own right, placing high in the 3200 meter run at several state meets. At the time of Nicki’s unbelievable day in 1992, all the Webbers resided in Memphis. Judge Webber was then a Circuit Court Judge.

Webber graduated from the University of Missouri was a standout there in track. While at M.U., Nicki was a member of the U.S. track team, performing at the PanAm games. She earned a Ph.D in psychology and currently works at the University of Oklahoma.

Some say Nicki’s best event was the 800 meter run because she lost only once in that event in four years in high school and won that race at the state meet four consecutive years. Others will argue that the 400 meter dash was her best, having set a then state record in that race. One thing is certain. Nicki Webber, on that fantastic day in 1992, was the best high school track athlete in Missouri.

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