The first time she hit the grass for a cross country race, Kathleen Burroughs of Granville Central surprised everyone. She recalls, "I had only run in two practices before the meet and they were light practices, maybe 2 or 2 1/2 miles. Coach Lyons didn't really know me that well, and so as he was talking to the team before the meet he told two of the veteran girls to go out and lead. He then turns to me and says, 'Kathleen, you do your best.' We were running a course where you can only see the runners at the start and finish. Coach was straining to see who is that girl leading at the end of the race? All he knew was that by the uniform she was one of his runners. Someone finally said, 'that's Kathleen!' He asks, 'Kathleen? Kathleen?' At the end of the race he came over and shook my hand and said, 'I need to apologize to you.' Much to everyone's surprise, especially Coach Lyons, I won my first meet. Although he only coached me that first season, he has supported me every season and every step of the way. He will always be my coach."
That first meet came during post-season. She raced 21:42.35 to capture the 1A East Regional Individual crown. The following year she defended her title and last year she claimed silver in 19:47. Her PR stands at 19:41.
Burroughs remembers, "I actually started running in September of my freshman year. I saw the cross country team warming up for a pre conference meet and told my mom I wanted to run next year. She teaches at my high school and so she emailed Coach Lyons to see if it was too late to sign up and it wasn't."
Despite being a soccer player and equestrian as a young girl, she says, "my favorite sport is cross country because I like running the terrain and being outdoors. I also like the 800m in track, but our school doesn't even have a track so it's hard to prepare for races." So far Burroughs has set a 2:36 PR in the outdoor 800.
When pressed for a top choice for training she says, "I love running around Boone, especially Moses Cone Memorial Park. It's beautiful!" She adds that her favorite race was last year's, "Friday Night Lights. It was a lot of fun--so many runners, the fireworks, and the celebratory dancing at the end."
Burroughs prefers wearing bright pink socks so that her family and coaches can pick her out in the crowd. She believes she "may break out some striped socks this year" to go with her black and silver uniform and "Nike cross country trainers and spikes."
She confesses, "I'm all business at the meets, but I like to joke around afterwards. I really try to encourage all my teammates to run their best and push through to the end. I enjoy hanging out with my teammates and supporting other teams at Granville Central, especially boys' soccer."
Inside the Panthers' classrooms, Burroughs enjoys a variety of science courses including biology and chemistry. Additionally she says, "I also really love to read so English is a favorite too."
She hopes to pursue running at the collegiate level. She says, "my dream team would be the App State Mountaineers! I feel like I have so much room to grow, and running will always be a part of my life."