Burnett qualifies for state in cross-country
New Franklin senior cross-country runner Mallori Burnett knew it was now over never Saturday while competing in the Class 1 District 4 Meet at Linn High School.
While facing a strong field of runners, Burnett beat the odds in more ways than one by finishing 12th out of 34 runners in a time of 25:27.10 to qualify for state.
Riley Bryan of Smithton had the fastest time in the girl’s race in a time of 19:27.60.
Harrisburg girls won the team title with 23 points while Smithton finished second with 38 points and Calvary Lutheran third with 52.
As for the New Franklin boys cross-country team, which consisted of only two runners, Douglass Creason finished in 23rd place out of 36 runners in a time of 22:33.30 while Logan Pierce placed 35th overall in a time of 29:16.40.
New Franklin coach Adam Quest said two of the three runners this year are seniors.
“From them, the district meet at Linn could have been their final race wearing the New Franklin uniform,” Quest said. “Going back to middle school, both had competed for six straight years, and to see it come to an end would have been bittersweet, Luckily, Mallori Burnett came to the meet determined to qualify for state and earn the right to compete one more time. Mallori ran a very strong race from start to finish, and ended up finishing in 12th place, which was enough to move on to state meet next week. Mallori has undergone several health issues over the last few years, and I was excited to see her make it to state again her senior year. It was a great moment to see her cross that finish line and know that all of the struggles she’s had over the years paid off once again. There were times that I wasn’t sure she would be able to compete this long, so to see her not only get to compete, but to succeed really was special. Unfortunately, her classmate Logan Pierce raced his final race at Linn. I would like to thank him for all of his hard work over the years.”
Quentin Hermann of Columbia Independent had the winning time for the boys in 18:08.20.
Calvary Lutheran boys captured the team title with 23 points while Vienna finished second with 62, Smithton third with 70 and Green Ridge fourth with 73.