The Southern Miss Four Interviews

The Southern Four - A four part series on Southern Miss Signees

To The Top and Geaux Eagles.  Here is the First installment of the Southern Four - Preston Burks. 


Preston Burks, Hernando High School

Personal Records


400 Meter Dash          57.02

800 Meter Run            2:01.31

1500 Meter Run          4:20.57

1600 Meter Run          4:39.17

One Mile Run      4:39.44

2000 Meter Steeplechase       6:38.10

3000 Meter Run          9:34.04

3200 Meter Run          10:23.70


800 Meter Run            2:06.45

1600 Meter Run          4:48.79

One Mile Run  4:40.04

3000 Meter Run          9:50.41

3200 Meter Run          10:33.95


5000 Meter Run          16:37.43



According to his coach, Garrett Clark, "Preston is an intensely competitive athlete in practice and meets. He is fiercely dedicated to his craft, and it shows through all of his extra work outside of what is asked of him." 

Lets' see what Preston says about himself in this interview... 

DP:  What is your GPA and ACT score?

PB:  My GPA is a3.71 and my ACT is a 23 

DP:  Describe your visit to Southern Miss.

PB:  My visit to Southern Miss was awesome. I took two visits to the school, an unofficial in September and an official in October. Patton Little was my host both times and he (as well as the rest of the team) showed me a great time: going to a football game, taking me out to dinner, and showing us around campus. Coach Kindt and Coach Stuart are both super nice and intelligent coaches, and I just felt at home when I was there. I knew when I took my unofficial visit that Southern Miss is where I wanted to spend my next 4 years at. 

DP:  We've heard that you hit it off with some of the other recruits on your visit, tell us about that.  I'm referring to the Southern 4 of Dylan Allen, Dylan Evans, Austin Bourne, and Preston Banks.

PB:   I felt I hit it off with Dylan Evans and Austin on the visit. Austin and I already knew each other somewhat from both competing in Mississippi and 6a, but I had no clue who Dylan was. As we started chatting during the trip, I felt we all just clicked. We liked the same stuff and did the same activities. I knew these were guys I wanted to be around 24/7 and become good friends with. As for Dylan Allen, he didn't go on the same visit as us but I knew him from talking and competing against him at meets. When I heard that Coach Kindt wanted to get him on the team, I got real excited because I know what kind of competitor he is and what he can bring to the table. 

DP:   What are you most looking forward to about your future career as a Golden Eagle?

PB:   What I am most looking forward to as a future golden eagle is being able to have a group of guys I can run with to help push me to the next level and have people around with the same goals everyday. 

DP:  What is your favorite workout your Coach has you do?

PB:  My favorite workout is anything that involves speed, but I think my most favorite is 6x150m or 400m breakdown - its all you got, one each. 

DP:  What is your least favorite workout?

PB:  My least favorite workout is 800m intervals. I am good with any distance above it, but I just cannot run good 800's. 

DP:  What events do you think they'll have you run in track as a freshman?

PB:   I hope as a freshman I get to run the 3000m steeplechase and 5k. 

DP:  What motivates you to run?

PB:  My motivation to run is thinking about all the people in the world who aren't able to run or walk and how they would love to have the opportunity to do what I can do. 

DP:  What do you think about when you're running?

PB:  When I run I think about the weirdest stuff. Sometimes it's what I did the day before or what I am going to do after the race. I usually get a song stuck in my head and I will just sing it over and over again. 

DP:  Do you have any superstitions on race day or perhaps an odd pre-race routine?

PB:  Every race day I will wear the same shirt, shorts, socks, pants, jacket, and underwear, and if I have a bad race I will change something for the next race day. 

DP:  Gatorade or Powerade?

PB:  Gatorade all the way. 

DP:  Jersey aka singlet, tucked or untucked?

PB:  The singlet has to be tucked in. 

DP:  Do you have a favorite meal for the night before a race?

PB:  I will always try to eat some form of pasta with some protein in it. 

DP:  Do you take ice baths? 

PB:  Yes I take ice baths. 

DP:  What do you think about during an ice bath?

PB:  As soon as I get in, I get on my phone and will get on YouTube watch a video and try to focus on the video instead of the ice. 

DP:  Name a lesson that running and training as a runner has taught you.

PB:  You can't let a bad race or workout determine the next race or workout. You can give yourself an hour to dwell on it but then you have to toss it out of your mind. I still struggle with holding on to bad performances and letting them bring me down. 

DP:  Do you have a rival runner? 

PB:  I wouldn't say I have a rival runner but I do have competitors that I know I will have to battle it out with at certain meets. 

DP:  What do you do to recover after a race?

PB:  After I finish running and let my heart rate slow down some, I go for a 10-15 minute slow jog then will go and elevate my legs while I wait for my next race. 

DP:  How do you intend to balance academics and athletics in college?

PB:  I know balancing athletics and academics in college will be a huge struggle, but I know if I just plan everything out and have schedule times for studying and homework, I will be just fine. 

DP:  Who is your biggest fan?

PB:  My biggest fan would have to be my parents. They're always giving me advice and supporting me. They've never missed any of my races throughout my entire high school running career and I could never be more grateful for them.


DP:  What advice would you like to share with younger runners just starting out their high school careers?

PB:  Advice I would like to give younger runners is to be patient. The time is going to come, you just have to continue to work hard and not lose hope.


DP:  Thanks for answering my questions and good luck in Hattiesburg in the fall... Southern Miss To The Top!