Preston Burks, Hernando an Emerging Distance Runner

Name:  Preston Burks, Hernando

Personal bests:  800m-2:03.72, 1600m-4:39, 32:00m-10:23.70, 5K-16:57

Academic interests:  Science, I want to major in Biology

Hobbies: I like to go fishing and play video games

Favorite quote: "You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back"-Steve Prefontaine

How did you get involved in the sport?  I used to play football and basketball but as I got older, everyone started growing while I was staying small so my parents told me I should try out for the track team and I did.

What is your favorite race and why? I think my favorite race would have to be competing at the 2017 AAU Junior Olympics.  It was a very humbling experience and full of great competition.

How do you look at being ranked as one of the top in the state in your event?  It feels good being ranked top in the state in my event. Last year in the 1600m I was ranked 200 something and this year I am ranked 6th so it's a very good feeling of accomplishment.

Do you have a specific motivation?  My motivation is to not let down everyone who has been supporting me.

What has been your biggest challenge in the sport?  My biggest challenge is overthinking everything instead of just running.

What do you hope to achieve in the future?  I hope to qualify for a New Balance National meet and be able to run for a collegiate team.

What do you hope to achieve the rest of the season and at State?  For the rest of the season, I want to run under 4:35 for 1600m and under 10 mins for 3200.  As for state, I just hope to be able to compete there because I have never made it past North Half.

Walk us through a race/event for you (from pre race until post race). Pre-race-I like to listen to my music and go through the race in my head.  Post-race, I do a 5-10 Minute cool down jog, elevate my legs, eat a snack and drink water before my next event.

What goes through your mind? I think about what my splits should be and also think about how many kids aren't as fortunate as me to able to run

Do you play other sports? How does track help you with other sports and vice versa?  Running is my one and only sport

How and when did you start training for track and field this season?  One week after Cross Country season ended.

What do you enjoy the most about your team? I enjoy being able to have a good time when I am around my team.

What team goals does your team have?  To have as many of us qualify for state as possible

What do you feel you have learned from your coaches, teammates and the sport?  I have learned that everyone's stats are equal when you get on the starting line.

What would like to see happen in the future in the sport? I would like to see more Mississippi track runners at the top in the nation.

If there is one thing in the world you could do, what would it be and why?  I want people to understand that you have one life so make the most of it. Dream big and work towards your goals.