A 13-year-old Minnesota girl will compete with much older athletes in the heptathlon beginning Wednesday at the Drake Relays. Shaina Burns is coached by her mother Luonna, who says her daughter has quickly become a top track performer. She says they have elementary program that her daughter started in fourth grade and was okay.
Burns says her daughter then ran one year the middle school team and then in seventh grade started running with her high school team. Shaina competed in the high jump and hurdles, and at the end of the year her mother says she started blossoming and “getting really good, really fast.” Burns says they kept looking for competition after the high school season was over.
Shaina went to the U-S-A Youth Nationals and did the Pentanthalon, which is the 100 meter hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put and 800. She started at the bottom of the age group of 13-14 year olds and got fourth, and then went to the A-A-U Junior Olympics and got second in the country. The continued looking for competitions, but could not find many that allowed unattached athletes to compete in the heptathalon.
Burns says they decided to give Drake a try. She says she sent in her performances to Drake officials and started looking at the past results and saw that her daughter could compete with those in the field. Drake said they would look at the performances and if there was a spot open, decided if she could compete. Burns says it was exciting to learn Shaina could participate at Drake.
Burns says she competed at Drake in college and says Shaina has been to the meet a few times. She says to have her daughter be able to compete at Drake is “mind blowing.” Shaina stands 5-11 and has high jumped 5-6 which, is better than many college athletes. Shaina will compete in the university/college division, as the high school races are only open to Iowa athletes.