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All-Area Girls Track: Lions junior eyes ’16 games
BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
As Javanique Burruss watches the U.S. Olympic trials for track and field this week, she has one thing on her mind.
“2016,” the Louisa High School junior said. “If I work hard and give it my all, I can make it there.”
This week, The Free Lance–Star unveils its spring All-Area high school teams.
Here is the schedule:
Here is the schedule:
Today: Track and field
Saturday: Girls soccer
Sunday: Boys soccer
Burruss is The Free Lance–Star girls track and field athlete of the year for the third straight time.
She earned the honor after the 2011 outdoor season and following the indoor season earlier this year.
But this past spring may have been Burruss’ best showing yet.
She captured Group AA state titles in the long jump, triple jump and the 100-meter hurdles.
She’s the first girl in Fredericksburg-area high school history to clear 20 feet in the long jump.
Louisa coach Jerry Cutright said her talent level and belief in her abilities make her goal of the 2016 trials obtainable.
“You’ve got to be able to see it before you can think about achieving it,” Cutright said. “With her talent level, and the level of coaching she’s going to get in college, anything can happen.”
Burruss began receiving calls from college coaches on Saturday.
She’s received 107 letters of interest from various schools.
She said Central Florida, Clemson, Kansas and Texas Christian University are at the top of her list.
She plans to take five official visits later this year before making her decision.
“They all have awesome track teams,” Burruss said.
Burruss’ specialty is the long jump, but she has developed rapidly in the 100 hurdles and the triple jump, as well.
She was one of eight qualifiers for finals in the 100 hurdles at the New Balance Nationals earlier this month, but tripped over a hurdle in the last round and didn’t earn All-America honors.
Still, she set a personal-best in the preliminaries (14.29 seconds) and she’s cleared 38 feet in the triple jump.
She stopped performing that event after breaking her heel in 2011, but is now excelling in it.
“I was scared to try it again,” Burruss said. “But I wanted to see what I could do with it, and I did well.”
Burruss said her next goal is to clear 21 feet in the long jump, and she has a plan to make it happen.
Her mother, LaShawn Burruss, said many of their family and friends assume her daughter has done weight training before, but she hasn’t.
LaShawn Burruss said Javanique’s accomplishments have come from “natural ability.”
But this summer, the family has hired a personal trainer to work with Javanique twice a week in Charlottesville.
“I really don’t know what to expect. I just know it’s going to be amazing,” LaShawn Burruss said of results from Javanique’s emphasis on strength training. “I can’t wait.”
Javanique plans to begin her regimen next week.
Before then, she’s going to settle in on the couch and watch more of the trials.
Javanique said the events she misses live, she’s sure to record.
Hurdler Lolo Jones is her favorite athlete.
She also admires sprinters Allyson Felix and Sonya Richards.
In four years, she aims to compete in the same stadium as her idols.
“She’s been talking about it for the last few years,” LaShawn Burruss said. “So it’s a huge goal for her.”
Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526