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Former Jet sprinter flying high

CONTRIBUTED
CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Josh Burks gave up baseball after his junior season at James Clemens High School to focus on getting better in track.

That was a decision he certainly hasn’t regretted.

Burks hit full stride as a senior with the Jets in 2015, signed a scholarship with Auburn and earned second-team All-America honors as a freshman during the spring outdoor season.

“It was pretty cool,’’ said Burks, who made All-American while running the third leg of the Tigers’ 4×100-meter relay team. “A year and a half ago, I didn’t think I’d be in this position.’’

His high school coach, Drew Bell, said he “loved’’ watching his former sprinter on TV during the national championships where Auburn’s 4×1 team placed 13th. According to Bell, he also enjoyed watching Burks bloom during his time with the Jets, for whom he set seven state records.

But he wasn’t surprised that Burks, who also runs the 100 and 200, continued to blossom in his first collegiate season.

“Josh can do whatever he wants to do,’’ Bell said. “He sets his goals. He has no self doubts and he’s very confident. I’m glad Auburn gave him a chance as a freshman.’’

Burks confirmed he’s big on setting goals. He headed to California this past weekend for the USA Junior Nationals but didn’t qualify for the world meet.

“The ultimate goal is for Auburn to be national champions,’’ he said.

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