Hannah Burks earns BHS State CC championship
LAWRENCE – The Beloit Lady Trojan Cross-Country team closed out their successful season by placing fourth in the 3A State Cross Country Meet held Saturday at K.U.’s Rim Rock Farm. Hannah Burks and Hayley Burks finished their senior season by placing Runner-up and third place for the Trojans.
"This season has been filled with so many great memories that I will always cherish," said Hannah. "I have so much to be thankful for, I have truly been blessed."
Hayley and I came up with a prayer and have said it with the team throughout our high school cross country career:
"God gave us...
Legs to run,
Lungs to breathe,
And the will to win!"
Hannah has placed in the top three all four years of high school and Hayley placed all four years, in the top three spots, twice.
"This season has been such a blessing as God has given us the ability to run and great teammates to push us," said Hayley. "I'm so fortunate for the encouragement from my coaches,teammates, community, and family."
Overall team results for the competition included: 3A State Champions Norton Community with 75 scored points scored by their top five runners, Southeast of Saline 93, Kismet-Southwest 96, Beloit 110, Silver Lake 141, West Franklin 141, Rock Creek 174, Wichita Trinity 194, Hiawatha 209, Douglass 212, Anderson County 227, and Humboldt 281.
"I'm so proud of our team for getting fourth at State," Hayley said. "They have worked really hard and are such great runners and people! I'm blessed with amazing people who encourage me, push me, and believe in me. Getting third place behind my twin sister, my greatest competitor, and my best friend is unexplainable. She has pushed me to be who I am today and I couldn't be more proud of her."
“I thought the girls all ran very well on a challenging course. Four out of our top five runners came away with personal best times for the season on Saturday,” said Coach Mason.
Going into regionals, the Beloit Trojans were ranked seventh in the final coaches poll.
“I expected it to be fairly close for the second through fifth team spots based on regional results last week.," Mason said. "The Southwest-Kismet group ran very well together as a team with only a 1:37 spread between their first and fifth runner which helped them pick up that third spot.
Southeast of Saline’s Jentrie Alderson was the individual champion. Hannah Burks, Lexi Kats and Hayley Burks found themselves in position competing for the silver and bronze medals during most of the race until the last 1000 meters when Hannah broke away finishing in 19:33. Hayley Burks made her move at 600 meters getting third with her high school best time of 19:47. Other Lady Trojans included Abby Porter 34th overall in 21:49, Jenna Balluch 57th crossing the finish in 22:45, Ariana Armstrong 62nd overall in 22:54, Samantha Zimmerman 91st in 26:36 and Amanda Noller 94th in 26:51.
"I'm grateful to have been able to compete this season since I missed track last year with a hip injury," Hannah said. "I was happy with placing at State because it shows how far I have come. I was also pleased with how our team competed since we have such a young team. I think they have a bright future."›
The Trojans will look to reload after graduating the twins, leaning heavily on several younger runners next season.
“We’ve been truly blessed having Hannah and Hayley compete for us and leading the squad the past several years," said Coach Renee Mason." Their hard work, enthusiasm and positive attitude will be greatly missed."
"Hayley and I have absolutely loved having Brad and Renee as our coaches. They have always been there for us and have pushed us to be the best versions of ourselves."
"Coaches Brad and Renee have transformed my life," Hayley said. "They have shaped me to be a better runner and person. They are passionate about what they do and invest so much of themselves into our team. They inspire me and I'm beyond blessed to have them in my life."