LEXINGTON - Kendall Burgess suffered a puncture wound after she spiked herself on her first long jump of the day, and she had to compete in most of the triple jump event in a torrential downpour.
But for Burgess, it was probably one of the best days of her life.
In the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Class A State Track Championships at the University of Kentucky on Thursday, Burgess came away with two individual state titles, two individual state runner-up titles, the state meet Class A female top scorer award, and she helped lead her Lady Jumpers to a state runner-up team finish
"I am speechless and so excited," Burgess stated after winning her first state title in the long jump event. "I have spent three years trying to get first. I got second my eighth-grade year and got third last year, and now that I finally got first place I am so excited. It's awesome."
"My first (long) jump, which ended up being my winning jump, I was coming out of the pit and I moved my foot up and spiked myself," Burgess laughed. "It kind of hurt, but I just pushed through it, and I knew that I had to keep going if I wanted to win."
Burgess won the her first state title in the long jump event with a best leap of 17'08". Burgess claimed her second state crown of the day in the triple jump event with a best of 36'02".
Kendall's mom, Jennifer Burgess, has served as an assistant coach to the team and her daughter's individual coach in the jumping events. Jennifer Burgess was happy see Kendall finally reach her dream of winning a state title.
“Kendall has been chasing the state long jump title since eighth grade," Jennifer Burgess stated. "To watch her achieve her dream today was remarkable, and so was her triple jump title since she just started competing in the event last month. She really showed up today in her sprint races, exceeding her expectations and I’m unbelievably proud of her as a coach and a parent.”
Burgess got a state runner-up finish in the 100 meters with a time of 12.58, and placed second in the 200 meters, as well, with a time of 26.55.
"I wasn't really expecting to get second in the 100 meters, but all I could do was go out and do my best," Burgess said. "I PR and I am really excited because I didn't expect that to happen either."
Burgess scored an amazing individual total of 36 points (10 points for each win, and 8 points for her two runner-ups). As a team, the Lady Jumpers tallied 46.5 points to place second. The Lady Jumpers were only 1.5 points behind the girls Class A team champions Beechwood.
"I am really thankful to all my coaches and for God giving me the ability to come out here and run and jump and do my best," Burgess said. "I did my best, and I am really happy with the results."
"Long jump was probably what I was most nervous for because I had placed the last two years and I knew this was my chance win," Burgess explained. "Winning the long jump took the pressure off of me for the rest of the day."
Somerset junior Lauren Foutch placed third in the discus event with a best of 113'06", to score six points. Foutch placed 13th in the shot put with a best of 30'04.75".
Lady Jumper sophomore Lexie Herndon placed fifth in the high jump with a best clearance of 4'10", and scored 2.5 points. Senior Audrey Anderson placed seventh in the 100 meters, with a time of 12.78, to score two points.
Somerset sophomore Madison Garland placed ninth in the shot put with a best of 31'02.75". Freshman Emily Ham placed 17th in the triple jump with a distance of 31'0.25, and 19th in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 18.87.
The Lady Jumpers 800-meter relay team of Anderson, Addi Bowling, Ham and Jocelyn May placed 15th with a time of 1:56.03. The 400-meter relay team of Anderson, Bowling, Ham and May placed 20th with a time of 55.49.
“They never complained, never made excuses, and always put in the work," stated Somerset track coach Brandon Hall. "Such a great group of student-athletes. They deserve this.”
“Kendall did about as well as you can ask from an athlete," Hall said. "She always brings a positive attitude and fierce competitiveness with her and has shown today in a big way that hard work and persistence to be the very best you can be pays off.”
The Lady Jumpers' track state runner-up finish was a first in school history.
On the boys side, Somerset senior Will Perkins placed fifth in the discus event with a best of 130'0".
Somerset senior Payton Ellison placed sixth in the high jump with a best of 6'0".
Sophomore Cole Blakeman placed 12th in the pole vault with best of 9'06". Junior Jayden Gilmore placed 15th in the triple jump with a best of 38'08.5"
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.