South Greene senior Hunter Burkey celebrated a chance to continue his athletic career on Tuesday afternnon when he signed to join the Track and Filed program at Tusculum University in ceremony in front of his friends, family and teammates.
“It feels awesome to sign today, I’ve been working so hard and now it’s finally paying off,” Burkey said.
Burkey has been a standout athlete for the Rebels’ track program and last year in the Class A State Meet he placed fifth in the high jump and 10th in the decathlon.
Going into his senior season Burkey is looking to improve his marks, and is hoping to add the hurdles to his list of state championship events. The Pioneers are looking to bring in Burkey as a hurdler first, and if he can improve his height as a jumper he may high jump as well.
“I’ve got to put in a lot of practice and get stronger before I get to the college level,” Burkey said. “I’m looking to improve a lot this season. I’ve been in the gym and doing a lot of drill work this offseason. I want to be in the 15s in the 110 hurdles, and I’d like to get to 6’4”, to 6’6” in the high jump.”
Currently his best high jump is 6’2” and his best time in the 110 hurdles is 16.39 seconds.
Burkey joined the track team at South Greene initially to help him get better at football, where he was an All-County and All-Region selection this year, but it has grown into something he loves and something that has given him the opportunity to be a college athlete.
“I started track to stay in shape for football, and I’ve just played football to have fun,” Burkey said. “Then I realized that I’m kind of good at this. I kind of stuck with it and started working harder, then college interest started rolling in and here we are.”
Tusculum was a place where Burkey instantly felt comfortable and being able to stay close to home was a big reason why he chose to join the Pioneers.
“It’s local, it’s close to home, and that was something I was looking for in college,” Burkey said. “I wanted to stay close to home and get a good education. I wanted to be able to stay close to my friends and family.”
Burkey is undecided on what he will major when classes start at Tusculum next fall.