Burdettes make running a family affair

October 06, 2003|JILL ERWIN

STANFORD - The faces of Lincoln County's cross country teams are changing, and they look a lot like Elizha Burdette.

Burdette and his twin sister, Elicia, are the two oldest of four Burdette siblings on the Patriots' teams. Those two, both freshmen, seventh-grade sister Jordan and sixth-grade brother Julian are making an impact on Lincoln's other runners and on each other.

Elizha Burdette said his goal is to win the region this year, and Jordan has made it her goal to win state in her freshman year.

"At the beginning of the year, I was wanting to win region," Elizha said. "Then I got sick and I'm starting to get back. My goals are still the same - I want to win region this year. I'm still capable of getting it. My goal's not going to change."


It's goals like that and the fact that the foursome have each other to work out with that they hope will lead them to success in cross country.

"It brings us closer," Elicia said. "When we were little, we all did different sports, basketball and other things. But this brings us real close together and we all like it and that's the excellent part about it."

Elizha said he used to run in the mornings before school, but stopped when he got sick. However, he said his family talks about running all the time.

"It's one of the topics we always talk about," Elizha said. "I think it's better that way. Everybody's doing one thing and we can all focus on one thing. It's a fun sport, a fun family sport."

But the talking isn't always positive. In a family of competitors, when all are so close in age and competing in the same sport, some verbal jawing is bound to take place.

"We do a lot of trash talking just to build us back up," Elicia said.

One of Lincoln County's coaches, Mick Goodwin, said working with the Burdettes has been a pleasure.

"They're easy to work with, they listen well in practice and they always give you good effort in practice every day," Goodwin said. "Elizha especially, he likes to lead the team. Jordan's usually a little more temperamental.

"This is just Julian's first year to run. He was a little reluctant to run this year, but he's really run well. He broke a 25 (-minute time) in the 5K the other day. He's starting to enjoy it now instead of just being there."

Elicia is also having fun. Her goal for the year is to get below 23 minutes on the 5K (3.1 miles). She said she has every intention of improving throughout her high school career, and said that she hopes to continue running in college.

"I plan on getting better and I plan on getting a scholarship to college to run," Elicia said. "I think (I like) Western (Kentucky) because my sister is there and we are really close. That's what I'm hoping for and I think that's what my whole family wants, unless we get scholarships otherwise."

Goodwin said the talent is there within the family to make a real mark on the cross-country landscape.

Goodwin said both Elizha and Jordan have the talent and ability to win the state.

"Especially with Elizha and Jordan, you're looking at possible state championships as they get older," Goodwin said. "They have that kind of speed and ability. Julian looks really good, but it's just his first year and it's hard to tell. Elicia is showing marked improvement here toward this time of the year. As her practice habits have improved, she's really improved."

Elicia said the Lincoln teams are really like one big extended family, one she and her siblings fit into easily.

She said she has learned a lot from her teammates and that the bond is very strong.

"We get along with everybody. We love everybody," Elicia said. "They're really supportive, no matter what. They just bring you back up and our family is the same way. It's really good and I just love them to death."

Central Kentucky News Articles