University of Texas freshman John Burt jumps over a hurdle in the 110 meter hurdle race at the Texas Relays on April 2, 2016. Shelby Tauber for the Austin American-Statesman

Track & Field

With his focus only on track, John Burt closes out Texas Relays with a strong showing

Posted March 30th, 2019

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Like so many times before, John Burt spent his Saturday showcasing his speed on UT’s campus.

This Saturday, though, Burt was across the street from Royal-Memorial Stadium. A senior receiver in football and a hurdler on the track team, Burt finished third in the Texas Relays’ 110-meter hurdles final. With a time of 13.64 seconds, he finished behind only Houston’s Amere Lattin (13.4 seconds) and LSU’s Damion Thomas (13.62).

The times were wind-aided, but Burt wasn’t about to complain about the start to his outdoor season. He has been told by UT track and field coach Edrick Floréal that he has the talent to win a national championship. UT football coach Tom Herman has said the same thing.

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Texas’ John Burt competes in the 110-meter men’s hurdles during the Clyde Littlefield 92nd Texas Relays at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas Saturday, March 30, 2019. [JOHN GUTIERREZ / FOR AMERICAN – STATESMAN]
“That’s coming from people that have been to the highest levels of their profession, so it’s safe to say they know what they’re talking about,” Burt said. “That really gives me a big boost of confidence when I see the guys that are supposed to be leading me have the bar set so high for me.”

Burt clipped a hurdle at last year’s NCAA outdoor meet in Oregon and placed eighth. He hopes for a top-three finish at this year’s championship meet, which will be hosted by Texas. He will soon “get back in the lab” with his coaches to work on his technique and form.

Burt is focusing solely on hurdling this spring. Two years ago, his track season did not begin until the conclusion of the football team’s spring practices. Last season, Burt split last spring between the two programs.

Texas expects Burt to play football in 2019. Burt, though, was non-committal about his future on Saturday. He added that he hasn’t thought about football much this spring.

“I’ve been really trying to keep my head down and focus on these hurdles,” Burt said. “Last year in Oregon, I got a glimpse of where I can possibly be in the future.”

Read more: Texas prepares for freshman sprinter Kynnedy Flannel to take flight

Burt was among a handful of Longhorns who performed well on the final day of the Relays. Senior Teahna Daniels (invitational 200-meter dash) and sophomore Sam Worley (invitational mile) wrapped up their weekends with wins. One day after she sang the national anthem at the meet, junior Elena Bruckner placed second in the Section A discus and shot put competitions.

Timed at 11.16 seconds, freshman Kynnedy Flannel was the runner-up in the 100-meter dash. The first- and second-place finishers at the NCAA’s indoor meet in early March, North Dakota State’s Payton Otterdahl and Texas’ Tripp Piperi went 1-2 in the Section A shot put. Bronze medals were awarded to UT’s Destiny Collins (Section A 1,500 meters) and Serenity Douglas (invitational 200-meter dash).

Next week, Texas will send its athletes to a meet in College Station. Competitions in California, Waco and Arkansas are also on the April schedule.

“I’m excited,” Worley said. “I think I’m in a really good place with fitness right now. As long as I can just stay healthy, I think this will be a pretty special season.”

Said Flannel: “I definitely have a lot more confidence in the 100. I know what time I can run and I’m just looking forward to it and the rest of the season.”

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