Stop by sometime and see the trophy case from all the years of the Berkeley/McCluer South Berkeley High School Track & Field Program. It’s a sight to behold.

It also supported what coach Rod Staggs (MSHOF 2017) had long insisted: Track was a team sport.

“Track is the hardest sport,” Staggs said, emphasizing athletes don’t get timeouts or the advantage of halftimes or time between innings/periods to regroup. “It’s on you and you can’t fake it. You can’t date track. You have to marry it.”

Simply put, the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs have performed better than almost anyone. That is why the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is proud to induct the Berkeley/McCluer South Track & Field Program with the Class of 2019.

Known as Relay U, the guys and girls teams have combined to win 28 state championships between 1982 and 2017, with the teams winning it all in the same year on six occasions. They’ve combined for 106 state championship relay titles.

Specifically, the Bulldogs have captured 16 state team championships. Those cover the years 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2015. The boys program has produced 122 individual state champions, 59 state championship relay teams, 27 All-Americans and 101 athletes received college scholarships.

Among its notable individuals are two-time Olympian Mike Rodgers (2012, 2016) as well as Rick Stovall and Lavar Miller, with the latter two headliners of team four-peats in two different eras. Stovall (1984-1987) was a 12-time individual state champion sprinter, and Miller (1993-1996) was an eight-time state champion in jumps.

Staggs coached the program from 1972-1975 and then from 1977-2003, guiding the Bulldogs to 14 state titles – and a state-record 564 state medals. He was assisted by Keith Rhodes (1999 to 2003), who then as the head coach enjoyed success.

“I didn’t want it right. I wanted it perfect,” Staggs said.

The 1982 teams were the first to win state.

The guys clinched it thanks to the 4×400 meter relay winning one of the final events, but only after a joyous BMSB hurdler ran across the track through the finish-line camera.

“My heart was in my throat waiting for a decision to see if we were disqualified,” Staggs said.

The 1984 team won after an hour rain delay. The 1989 team won by 39 points. Mike Reece placing in the long jump in 1991 sealed that year’s title. The 2000 team captured state thanks to Andrew Brady and Charles Garner. The 2002 team won it all despite no individual champion. The 2003 team doubled the score on the field.

Meanwhile, the Lady Bulldogs have won it all 12 times — in 1982, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2017. They also had six second-place and four third-place finishes. Their coaches included Richie Hicks (1982), Denise McField (1988-1993) and Tara Dash (2009-2010).

The girls saw 94 individual state champions, 47 state championship relay teams and an All-American, with Alishea Usery (2007-2010) winning 15 state titles.

Kamira Franklin and Raheema Westfall also won four golds in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Kianna Ruff and Bianca Stokes were on four team state championships. Janelle and Rayneisha Johnson are the only sister combination to hand off to each other and medal in all four relays at state. Two of the relays won state titles.

In the 2000s, the 400 meters, 800 meters, 4×400 relay and 4×800 were strong. The 2007 4×400’s time of 3:45 has never been approached. The program’s 2006 800-meter medley relay had the best time nationally.

The women also has or has held records in the 100, 200, 400 and 800 meters as well as the 400-, 800-, 1600- and 3,200-meter relays.

The 1982 team won it all with only Cellie Watson, Joann Roberts, Keisha Wilder, Pam Watts and Lela Trotter.

A salutorian, Usery won the 100, 200 and 400 meters all four years and the 3,200 meters three years. She helped the 4×800 win a state title, despite it being a distance event.

The 1995 women doubled the point total of the second-place team. The 2002 team won it after a four-hour rain delay.

“They got to the point where the kids said, ‘We’ve got you coach,’” Dash said. “They were so confident.”

To Rhodes, the athletes were exceptional.

“I don’t think we had more athletes than other schools, but the athletes we had were dedicated and solid,” Rhodes said. “They trusted in us, and they wanted to be champions.”