Solei Burgess returns to track

White: ‘She has been one of the hardest workers on the team since freshman year’

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After being unable to run for nearly half a year junior Solei Burgess is preparing to run in the upcoming track season.

At the end of track season during her sophomore year, Burgess sustained a stress fracture above her right ankle. Burgess is on the varsity cross country and track teams and her best track race was a 6:02 mile at the Redondo meet. Burgess ran varsity cross country a few times during her sophomore year and has competed in CIF finals. After going to state with the team last year, Burgess and the team were recognized by the Oak Park Unified District school board, and received an award.

“I can’t run yet but I’m building up to [it],” Burgess said. “I’m going on walks and I think I’m going to start running a little bit next week.”

Burgess is happy that she will be able to run and exercise soon and she hopes to build up her endurance and speed to run at races but mostly she just wants to be running and stay injury free.

“We will have to bring her up to speed slowly. I want to be very careful in how we train her. She will have to do less distance and at her own pace for the beginning of the season so we don’t injure her,” cross country and track head coach Steve White wrote to the Talon. “I expect Solei to come back strong and achieve the goals she sets for herself.”

According to White, Burgess is able to overcome obstacles and continues to improve.

“She has been one of the hardest workers on the team since freshman year, ” White wrote to the Talon. “The boot really set her back, but even with it she tried to stay fit and come to practice every day.”

Senior and varsity track athlete Sylvia Cruz-Albrecht described Burgess as a dedicated runner whose work ethic inspires her teammates.

Cruz-Albrecht wrote to the Talon that Burgess became a role model for others dealing with injuries with her sustained resolve to continue cross training and supporting her teammates at practices.

“[Burgess’] contributions to the varsity team are only matched by her loving, supportive personality,” Cruz-Albrecht wrote. “She is selfless and caring and wants to see other [people] succeed.”

Burgess said her favorite part of running is being able to accomplish things she never thought she could.

“The best feeling in the world is when you do a really really hard run and then you get back and you’re like ‘Hey, I just did that,’” Burgess said.

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