By Mark Barnes
Kuna High School senior Andrew Burgess signed with Lewis and Clark State College track and field program Friday, February 23 in the school gymnasium in front of coaches, teachers and over 100 students interested in this year’s track and field team. Cross country Coach Chuck Tookey told those in attendance about Burgesses accomplishments during his time at Kuna High. Burgess improved his running time in the mile from 5:05 as a sophomore to 4:35 as a junior. Last season, he placed 10th in state for the mile. Running cross country, Burgess improved from 14th in state as a junior to seventh in state at last fall’s competition.
Running times weren’t the only thing Burgess improved. Burges said academically he started out pretty low in high school but he really worked hard and improved. He picked up running as a hobby but feels he has developed it into a career. Along with his dedication he worked hard on his grades to keep himself eligible to run. His studies reflect his interest in running. Burgess’s senior project was to develop a running program to train other students in the 5K .
“Running is what turned his grades around,” says Nancy Stauffer, his homeroom teacher.
Lewis and Clark State College track and field coach Mike Collins attended the signing and said Burgess has a ton of potential.
“His running history is relatively short,” Collins said. “I see a lot of kids coming out of high school that have run their legs off.”
“Not Burgess, he said.
“We might have one of the best recruitment classes we’ve ever had. We have a good chance for a national championship with this team.”
Burgess, who won an athletic scholarship with Lewis and Clark State College plans on studying criminal justice with a minor in psychology. He thanks his coaches, school career counselor Kathy Purin, his homeroom teacher Nancy Stauffer, his parents Andra and Sean Burgess, and his girlfriend Toni Freeman for all their support.