Lakeland cross country ready for region meet

Published 9:53 pm Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Lakeland High School cross country team is poised for the region meet gearing up next week.

With the regular season wrapped up and solid progression made by almost all of their runners, the Cavs are looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish in the Class 3 Region A meet. Coach John Burket took over the program this season and was excited to see the progress his runners made, even those who were first-time runners.

“I am so proud of all our boys this year,” Burket said. “Most of our runners shaved off at least three minutes from their 5K times and some as high as five minutes. It will be very exciting to see where this team will go next year with so many underclassmen returning.”

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Burket believes this season has also brought a newfound interest throughout Lakeland High School to those wanting to come run cross country. Lakeland didn’t have enough runners to field a girls’ team, but he believes that will change next year.

The goal is for the team as a whole to run well at the region and advance to the state meet. However, if Lakeland qualifies a runner in the state meet, it will likely be Emmanuel Williams. He runs an 18:30, and Burket believes that will easily qualify him for the state meet this year individually. Williams has run strong throughout the regular season in the district meets.

Regardless of what happens at the region meet next week, Burket is excited about the future of Lakeland cross country. They only lose two seniors next year and will have at least six very promising underclassmen returning.

“I am expecting growth over the summer into next year,” Burket said. “It was great year of cross country here at Lakeland.”

Lakeland will run in the region meet Nov. 6.