For 21 years Naomi (Goshert) Meinershagen held the Southeast High School school record for the Girls 3200 Meter. In 1995, as a sophomore, she ran a 13:25.4. Several Lancers had tried to break that record, including her younger sister Hannah. On May 3, 2016, Naomi’s record was broken by freshman Jessie Jenkins with a time of 13:20.50.
Naomi grew up about five miles from Big Brutus and is now a Kindergarten teacher at Webb City. On Monday May 9 the two runners met at SHS and Naomi gave her husband, David, and their two sons a tour of the building, reminiscing about what had changed and what hadn’t.
She and her husband were immediately drawn to the SHS Track & Field School Records board that is now hanging in the foyer of the East Gym. It incorrectly says “H. Goshert” next to the Girls 3200 Meter Run.
Current SHS Cross Country Head Coach and SHS Assistant Track Coach Laney Lawson knew for a fact that Naomi was the record holder. Coach Lawson said she herself had missed the record by one second. She also said that Naomi’s younger sister, Hannah, also tried to break the record but never did so.
“But it says ‘H. Goshert’?” Naomi said while looking at the board. “That’s hilarious. You’ve got to get a picture of that (to her husband). Hannah will be like ‘I’ll take credit!'”
But Naomi said it’s not the first time a family member got credit for her record. Her older brother, Nathan, still holds the school record in the Boys Pole Vault. He used to get credit for her record as well.
“When they put mine up they put ‘N. Goshert’ and for the longest time people would say ‘oh, Nathan, set the two mile record’ because he was ‘N. Goshert’ and I actually couldn’t remember what record I set.”
Naomi had been offered a scholarship to run at Missouri Southern but chose to follower her brother to Grace University in Nebraska.
Now a Kindergarten teacher at Webb City, Naomi said she still runs, even though she despises race day.
“Now I just run a half marathon and if I finish it in under two hours I’m like ‘yeah, that’s good, I’m good,'” Naomi said. “This is how bad I run – when I was in high school I used to come home from meets and I’d have bruises on my knees because I knocked knees – people said I run horrible. So now, two coaches in our district at Webb City have come up to me and they’re like ‘we need to talk about mechanics’ and I go ‘I’m 36 – it’s probably not changing. I’m pretty set in my ways.'”
Before Jessie left for practice, Naomi gave her some words of encouragement. The Baxter Springs Relays was Jessie’s first time to run more than the 800 Meter.
“If that’s the first time you ran a two, if they train you well and all that stuff, you can smoke them!” Naomi told Jessie.
While Jessie went off to practice, Naomi and her family toured the main building, and that’s where her husband and sons found the Senior Class photos on display.
“Oh no no no no – don’t even look at those!”