By Michael Kinney
EDMOND -- When Cheyenne Walden graduated from Sand Springs last year, all the long distance runners exhaled. She had dominated the 1600 and 3200 meter runs for three years as she claimed five state titles in the event.
But her departure has left the field wide open for someone to come in and grab hold of the long distance events in class 6A. One of those who wants to add their name as a future state champion is Deer Creek's Elysia Burgos.
As a junior last season, Burgos finished runner-up to Walden in the 3200-meter run. She also was fourth in the 1600 and third in the 800.
Now as a senior, Burgos is looking to take that next step to becoming a champion. So far she has the third-best time in the 1600 in 6A at 5:24 and second best in the 3200 at 11:29.
Burgos took time for a sit down with OK Mile Split during the Deer Creek Invitational April 9th. It was a day that saw her win the 800, 1600 and 3200 runs, something she wants to do next month at the state meet.
Michael Kinney: First of all, how do you think you performed at the Deer Creek Invite?
Elysia Burgos: Oh, I'm not too sure. I mean, I came in kind of nervous seeing how we came off a three day weekend and the weather kind of threw off for me. But, I think so far, I've been doing pretty well. My team, my 3200 relay, we got first and so it's just fun to see our team work together. I'm tired but the Lord is giving me strength through this.
Kinney: Also, obviously in the 800 pretty dominant performances. How do you think you ran?
Burgos: I ran a 2:18, which is okay. I'm trying to get lower. I need to get lower to compete at the state-level. I mean, if I want to be anything near competitive, I need to do better. So it was a good time for today, with it being windy, but I'm ready to get lower. I want to get 2:10.
Kinney: What do you think it's going take for you to be able to get to that?
Burgos: A lot of mental strength. A lot of my competition is across the state, so I don't see them often. It's just me pushing myself, by myself, going on the front and being okay with that.
Kinney: Coming into this season, what were your expectations?
Burgos: I knew automatically, I wanted to do really, really well. I knew I wanted this 2:10. I know I also tend to get mentally weak, so trying to mentally prepare myself and be mentally strong through this.
Kinney: And you say you get mentally weak, in what way is that?
Burgos: I tend to doubt myself. I tend to doubt the gifts the good Lord gave me. So it's just to remember trusting myself, trusting my coaches, trusting the work that they put into me, trusting that God has a plan and regardless of it I will do well for His glory.
Kinney: Do you think you've gotten to that point now, where you're over the doubting yourself and you believe in your talents?Burgos: I don't think I'm over it. I think it's a daily process to get over it, but I think through a lot of encouragement from various people, I'm getting over it.
Kinney: Just overall, how good do you think Deer Creek can be as state arrives?
Burgos: I think we can be pretty good. We have a lot of strong people, a very strong full. I'm very excited to see as they continue to progress and watch as my coach encourages them.