Senior Spotlight: North Allegheny jumper looking forward to Princeton career

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020 | 6:55 PM


Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

Students at North Allegheny have two more weeks of school to finish before they can enjoy the summer.

And while the coronavirus has closed high schools and stopped athletics across the country, senior Casey Burton has found ways to keep busy.

She’s finishing up her schoolwork and she’s been communicating with her future college coach at Princeton, who has given her some workout routines.

Burton was looking forward to her final track season. She was coming off an indoor state championship in the long jump and was eyeing a possible title outdoors.

The PIAA Track and Field Championships were scheduled for May 22-23.

What were your thoughts when you found out your season was over?

I was angry and frustrated that my senior year was being taken away from me. There were things I wanted to accomplish.

What were your goals?

I was coming off winning the indoor long jump title with a jump of 19 feet, 1 inch and was hoping to jump more than 20 feet. I was also going to run the 100, where I placed third and fifth previously, and second in the long jump. I was hoping to break the school record in the 100.

What have you been doing to keep yourself busy? Are you planning to run at the high school nationals in July?

I’ve been able to go to the school track and do some of the workouts my college coach has sent me. My focus is getting ready for college. I’ve talked to my coach about nationals and we decided because I haven’t been competing that there is a risk of injury. So I’m going to pass on competing.

How did it feel to win the indoor long jump title?

It was really exciting. I was hoping to perform better, but I had the flu. I wasn’t worried about having covid-19. I wasn’t feeling good weeks before it became a problem.

What has the coronavirus taught you?

I’ve learned to stay positive. We’re going to get through this and be better for it.

Are there any hobbies you’ve picked up during the past three months?

I’ve learned some crafts and done some DIY (do it yourself) projects from Pinterest. I’m making stuff for my room.

How was the recruiting process and why Princeton?

I picked Princeton over Penn State, Brown and Penn. I wanted a place where I could get a good balance in academics and athletics. I felt Princeton would provide that for me. I also liked the atmosphere and coaching staff. It just felt right.

Have you been able to see and visit your friends?

We do a lot on FaceTime and Zoom. We also meet in the school parking lot and sit in the trunks of our cars and keep our social distancing.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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