Burningham chases state title in final run

A year ago, Trent Burningham ran the 800 on a whim. A few weeks later, he was competing against the best in the state in the finals at the State Championships.

Senior Trent Burningham competes at the Barbers Hill meet earlier this season. He set a school record this year and reached the State Meet in the 800. (Derriq Young)

Today, the senior returns more prepared and hoping to win it all. He won the bronze medal at State a year ago. 

“I’m just a lot more focused this year,” Burningham said. “It was kind of a surprise to me [last year], but this year it was expected for me to make it to State and hopefully win, so I’m just a lot more focused and working harder.”

This year he embraced the mid-distance lifestyle that comes with the 800 and joined cross country to improve his endurance. He also played basketball to help avoid burnout and the stress that comes with only running. 

“I stuck with basketball because I had told my coaches I was going to play, and I couldn’t just leave my team like that,” he said. “Also, I did know that it can be dangerous running track for a whole year straight because it’s just a lot of stress on your body. So I knew it would be important for me to take a break for a period of time and have something else to do to prevent an injury and burnout.”

His goal for State is to clock a time under 1:51. His best outing of the season was at the Victor Lopez Invitational in March at Rice University, where he ran the 800 in 1:52.97, setting a new school record. 

He continued winning most of his races throughout the year and headed to Regionals optimistic in his chances of returning to State. The Regional meet was held at University of Texas at Arlington, three and a half hours away. It was meant to be held Friday to Saturday but the weather had other plans. 

“Friday just got completely rained out,” Burningham said. “We just sat in a car all day on Thursday, then Friday we ended up just sitting in the hotel or the car again all day. So Saturday we were pretty tight and I felt slow, but I was able to pull through for sure.”

He ran a 1:58.10 to capture the gold medal and advance to State.

“It was a new experience just because we were sitting around so much,” Burningham said.

After high school, Burningham plans to put his running career on pause to attend a mission trip to Manchester, England for two years. Afterwards he hopes to run at BYU. 

“I know it’s my responsibility to go on a mission,” said Burningham, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Then I chose BYU because I feel like there are a bunch of good people there who will push me to be a better person.”

He looks forward to returning to the track eventually. 

In 10 years, I’ll be 28 years old,” Burningham said. “I believe my track career will be retired. Hopefully, I’ll be at least an NCAA medalist. I hope to go to the Olympics at least once.”