Callaway’s Burks shines at state
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
When the dust cleared and everyone had crossed the finish line, only two Class AA runners in the state were faster than Niakoe Burks.
Burks completed a memorable stay in the state track-and-field meet with a third-place finish in the 100-meter dash, and that came after she placed second in the long jump.
The performance at state put the wraps on a sensational school year for Burks, who helped lead the basketball team to the third round of the state tournament earlier this year.
At the state meet, Burks had the second-fastest 100-meter dash time during the qualifying race on Friday.
On Saturday, Burks and seven other runners returned to the track to vie for state supremacy.
In a close race, Burks posted a time of 12.71 seconds, leaving her just 1/10th of a second behind the winning time of Sanna Earles (12.61 seconds) of Dodge County, while Oglethorpe County’s Jayda Jones (12.62 seconds) was second.
Burks also had a stellar performance in the long jump, finishing second with a distance of 17 feet, 3.5 inches.
Zekylah Boyd of Heard County claimed first place with a jump of 17 feet, six inches.
Also for Callaway, the team of Omarianna Brown, Malaysia Parham, Markayla Moore and Burks finished 13th in the 400-meter relay.
Heard County, a rival of Callaway’s in Region 5-AA, won the state championship in the 400-meter relay.
Also for Callaway, Dillion Stephens was 15th in the discus with a throw of 112 feet, three inches.