Redshirt Delsin Burkhart leaves his competitors in the dust as he takes lead. Submitted Photo/Bob Stoner of Conference Carolinas
By Nicole Cook, Sports Editor
Redshirt junior Delsin Burkhart takes a moment to focus on the kickoff of the outdoor track season. Burkhart has been running as a distance runner for the Braves for three years and is a vital part of the indoor and outdoor track and cross country teams. From Fayetteville, N.C., Burkhart made his mark in Pembroke over the last three years as a staple runner for the 800, 5k, 3k, 1500, and 4x400m relay.
Burkhart went on to capture first place and his own personal-best time of 4:21:03 in the mile-run at the invitational this past weekend, and it’s clear that his confidence in both the team and himself proves to be propelling the team forward.
Burkart has a pregame routine of running three whole miles in his colorful Christmas themed toe socks as a warm-up and then drinking a coffee, which proved to have worked this past weekend.
“I’m in the moment. I’ll just read the track, and I’m looking at the paces, looking at what runner is doing what. But also, at the end of the day I’m just free-minded,” Burkhart said.
Burkhart is coming off a knee injury, making the weekend at the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational his first meet for outdoor track of the year.
The Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational in Myrtle Beach, S.C., hosted over 40 universities and clubs of all different rankings of D1, D2, D3 and NAIA schools.
Burkhart said he and the team were ready to face their foes and turn their motivation as runner-ups from their most recent indoor track season into wins for outdoor track. The only problem Burkhart foretold for the spring season was the weather.
“I think there’s nothing more we can do. We’ve already done everything we need to.”
Burkhart said for the indoor track season, he is confident that the Braves should have taken the championship title and has no doubts about what the team is capable of.
“We just had a couple mistakes and a couple of hiccups. We really should’ve won,” Burkhart said.
The experience Burkhart has from running for the cross country team, which placed first in the conference in the fall, has fueled his excitement for this track and field season.
“We just need to keep going in the direction we’ve already been going. It’s been set and established at the beginning of the season that we can win,” Burkhart said.
He said there wasn’t anything they could change from what they are doing in their training. The team’s primary goal is to stay healthy to perform well.
“Because if we’re healthy, that’s it. That’s another ring coming back to Pembroke” Burkhart said.