Although former Burgin track coach Chris Beckerson has stepped into more of an assistant role this year, new coach Kim Hatfield is hoping to maintain the same level of success that Beckerson did during his time as the leader of the program.
“We are excited for track season this year and look forward to continue progressing on what Coach Beckerson has built here at Burgin,” said Hatfield.
Along with Hatfield and Beckerson, Burgin has two other assistants. Bryan Vandiviere and Heather Thomas have been on staff for a few seasons already, and have made a positive impact on the kids during their time on staff.
“Our coaching staff has been together for the past few seasons,” said Hatfield. “And we are fortunate to have each one working with the kids again.”
The boy’s 4×800 relay team last year for Burgin made history. The team of Wesley Qualls, Hunter Preston, Trevar Lay and Drew Hatfield became the first Burgin relay team to medal at state with a time of 8:39.31, placing sixth. With Qualls graduating and taking his talents to Georgetown College, the remaining three members will be a part of this year’s relay team. The fourth member is still a work in progress, Hatfield said. It will be either Daylan Hodges or Ethan Kestler in the fourth and final spot for the 4×800 relay.
There are three returning seniors for the boys team and one returning senior for the girls squad for Burgin. Preston, Lay and Cade Shearer are the seniors on the boy’s team and Cassie Hunter is the lone senior girl.
Shearer is looking to return to the state meet as well. He threw shot put at the state meet in 2017, placing 18th overall, and is looking to return in the same event, as well as the discus throw.
“We expect our seniors to lead by example in practice and throughout the season,” said Hatfield. “And we might only have one senior on our girl’s team, but we have a young group of girls that have already shown a lot of potential in several areas.”
With a team of only 31 high schoolers, we listed them below according to the events they will be participating in.
Hunter, Shearer, junior Stephen McCowan, sophomore Tyler Robinson and eighth graders Lily Essex and Brantley McKinney will be competing in throwing competitions for Burgin this season.
Lay, Preston, Hatfield and Hodges, along with eighth graders John Boursaw, Avery Harmon and Kenzie Humber will be competing in the long distance events.
Hodges will also be competing in the pole vault event.
Juniors Shelbi Beasley, Ethan Kestler and Jeyden Watkins, along with sophomore Skylar Logan are the older members on the team that will be running in mid-distance.
Eighth graders Rocky Chambers, Abby Church, Ellie Jenkins, Keira Propes and Travis Stewart, along with seventh graders Brendan Stanley and Anderson Taylor will also be running mid-distance events.
Junior Nyle Essex, Logan, and Robinson are the older members that will run in the sprinting events.
Eighth graders Rebecca Biggs, Chelsea Caudill, Darren Reeves, Stewart, along with seventh graders Colton Marek, Jacob Qualls and Hunter Reed round out the sprinters for Burgin.
Kestler and Jenkins will be the two hurdlers for Burgin in 2018.
“We hope to make a return appearance at state with the boys 4×800 relay and other distance events,” said Hatfield. “We also expect Cade (Shearer) to return to state in the throwing events.”
Burgin’s next meet will be on Tuesday, April 10, when they travel to Danville for the Danville All-Comers meet at Admiral Stadium.
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.