Triple Threat: Derek Joiner’s Journey to Becoming a Multi-Sport State Champion

Derek Joiner has been a multiple-time all-state athlete in football and wrestling.

Now, the Grandview senior is looking to earn that accolade in his final go-round competing for the Bulldogs’ track and field team.

Joiner started off the 2024 track and field season as a defending champion in the shot put, winning the Class 4 title last year with a throw of 17.59 meters.

That was the eighth-best throw in the state of Missouri — through all classes last year — and a big jump from the year before. As a sophomore, he saw his season ended at districts by taking 12th place with a throw of 11.43 meters.

The trajectory changed last year and now, Joiner is looking to repeat as a state champion. Only three other boys have ever won back-to-back titles for Grandview and none of them are in throwing events.

“I’m pretty sure this is my last track season, I think, just the year-round grind of college football I don’t think there’s any way I can track too,” said Joiner, who signed to play at the University of Houston. “It was the same thing with wrestling too. I knew it was going be my last season so I just wanted to grind, give it my all and go out on a high note.”

Joiner capped off his wrestling career with three all-state medals and won the state championship this year in Class 3.

He was 35-1 and beat Reyce Turner of Capital City by a 3-1 decision to win the 285-pound championship. It was his third straight medal in that weight class. He beat Turner for third place in 2023 and his sophomore year, he took sixth overall falling to McDonald County’s Jayce Hitt. 

“My junior year, I was kind of nervous going to my matches,” Joiner said. “I mean, I knew I could win. I just sometimes get in my head a little bit, but this year, I just put in the work and I outworked everybody. I knew that. If I went to a match and did what I can do, nobody would get close to me. My biggest opponent this year was myself for sure.”

Joiner said he wrestled a little more freely and had more fun this year since he knew it was his last year. He relished the leadership role he had in the Bulldogs’ room. 

Grandview had its first winning season in recent memory. MSHSAA online records go back to 2015 and there hasn’t been a recorded over .500 mark for the Bulldogs.

“I think that can all be attributed to coach (Dennis) Charb(onneau),” Joiner said. “He’s just he’s been my favorite wrestling coach I’ve ever had. I like the way he works with us and his thought process of attacking practice and he’s a really cool dude. I don’t think any of this stuff I’ve done in high school would happen if I didn’t have Coach Charb. He definitely pushed me to get better.”

Joiner is trying to push himself this spring and opened the year by taking second in both the discus and shot put at the Ron Ives Invitational in Liberty. He’s aiming to throw a new school record and win another state championship.

He knows the school record is 62 feet, 8 inches and he’s hoping to just do a little bit better than last year when he threw 62-6.

Ideally, he’d love to throw 63 feet or more….

Yes, there's even more!
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Cody Thorn

Written by Cody Thorn

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