Medina’s Taylor Burke has received a host of honors over her three-year prep career, but none of them matched the news the incoming senior received Wednesday.
Burke became the first county athlete to be named to the All-USA High School Track & Field Team, released by USA Today, for her efforts as a state and national high jump champ.
“I was just eating lunch and my mom (Julie) said, ‘Oh, my God, you’re in USA Today,’” Burke said. “I was shocked, excited and flabbergasted. I didn’t know that a little girl from Medina could be in that big of a newspaper.”
The select group was based on USA Today rankings and national lists produced by Track & Field News.
Burke was one of six Ohio athletes named to the squad and was one of the 10 named in the jumps category of the team, which included high jump, long jump and pole vault.
“It’s just a real honor,” she said. “To be All-Gazette, All-Ohio and now All-USA Today, it’s really cool. To see how good all of the selections were and their PRs, it’s just so cool to be considered.”
Burke, who will be continuing her track and soccer careers at Florida in 2011, started her track season in March by winning the state indoor title and then a week later claimed the Nike Indoor National crown in Boston.
In the outdoor season, the 17-year-old won her second consecutive state title by breaking her own Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium record by an inch, clearing the bar at 5-feet, 11 inches.
Despite finishing what Burke called a “disappointing” seventh at the New Balance Nationals, the nation did take notice of the Medina talent.
“It was not just the 5-11 she jumped, but how consistent she was both indoors and outdoors,” Bees high jump coach Phil Brewer said. “No other jumper was that consistent.
“The girl from Iowa (senior Hannah Williams) jumped 6-1 and there were some other jumpers at 5-11, but week-in, week-out no one was better than her this year in the nation.”
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.