West Stanly women’s runner claims two state titles at 2A track meet

Published 2:18 pm Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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Her times for many of the distance events coming into last weekend’s state meet have already set records for her own school.

Entering this year’s 2A state meet, West Stanly freshman Kelsey Burleson had set West records for the 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters. Burleson’s time of 5:14.84 topped the previous record from Natalie Almond (5:19.87) while her time in the 3,200 (11:51.99) bested a state-championship winning runner for Almond. (Note: The previous article was edited to reflect the correct information for West Stanly’s previous record holder.)

Burleson added another school record to her high school repertoire last weekend and earned two individual state titles at the 2A meet at North Carolina A&T.

Her time of 2:23.32 in the 800-meter run at the state meet broke Almond’s previous school record of 2:23.36. Burleson won the gold in the event at states by .13 seconds over Heide Trask’s Ainsley Heath.

In the 1,600-meter run, Burleson finished in 5:22.22 to win her second state title, besting Pine Lake Prep’s Abby Pike by 4.75 seconds.

Burleson also finished fifth in the 3,200-meter run at states in 12:23 and was on the 4×800-meter relay team which placed fourth along with Makalya Morton, Danica Hann and Caroline White with a time of 10:24.56.

With the top finishes for West, the Colts finished fifth in the team standings with 29 points. Cummings High School won the 2A title with 66 points while South Granville finished second with 56.

The freshman said she believed she could compete for a state title looking at the personal records of other 2A runners on the MileSplit website.

“I didn’t know how close of a race it was going to be,” Burleson said regarding the 800-meter run.

Burleson said she was excited for the next few years of her running career at West.

“I think I can do it again the next three years,” she said, adding she wants to continue to get faster and to run at the collegiate level.

The West freshman also credited having trained since running the mini medley fun runs in elementary school as having given her experience, which “sent me to do really well this year.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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