June 20, 2014 11:33PM
By LARRY KELLEY
Sun Staff Writer
WESTERLY — Westerly High senior Jackie Burr was determined to go out on top to complete her decorated scholastic running career in style.
Despite battling leg injuries during the fall cross country season and using the indoor track season to get back in shape, Burr accomplished her goal with a stellar senior outdoor track season, earning a long list of postseason honors.
Burr repeated as the state champ in the 3,000-meter run to earn Coaches All-State first- team honors. She also captured Coaches All-State second team with three other teammates in the 4x800 after the relay finished second in the state meet.
Burr also collected hardware in the Class B meet, earning first team for winning the 3,000 and second team for finishing second in the 1,500. She earned a pair of first-team distinctions after winning the 1,500 and 3,000 in the Southern Division meet.
“Jackie had a great scholastic running career and the last two outdoor seasons were the pinnacle for her,” Westerly girls’ track coach Dave Federico said. “For her to come back from the condition she was in the fall, it’s a huge accomplishment for her that she was able to round into shape to repeat as state champion.”
During the winter, Burr accepted a scholarship offer to run track at the University of Rhode Island. Burr’s state meet winning time of 10:12.38 in the 3,000 was three seconds faster than her victorious time as a junior. Burr holds the 3,000 school record of 10:04.7. She set that mark en route to finishing sixth in the 2013 New England meet in 3,200-run while earning All-New England honors in the process.
During her senior outdoor track season, Burr tied one meet record, running to a first place time of 4:41.90 in the Southern Division 1,500-meter run. She also made Academic All-State, qualifying by being a National Honor Society member and a three-year track letter winner.
In her outdoor track career, Burr made All-New England second team as a junior after finishing second in the 3,200 at the New England meet. As a junior, she was also Coaches All-State first team in the 3,000, Class B first team in the 3,000 and 1,500 and Southern Division first team in the 3,000. As a sophomore, she was Coaches All-State third team in the 4x800 relay and second team in the Class B 1,500 and 3,000 and Southern Division 3,000.
She also set the state record in the 5,000 (17:31.2) after finishing 16th in the New Balance Nationals in 2013.
While the Bulldogs lacked enough depth to post a winning record — Westerly was 2-7 this season in dual meets — Burr and other mid- or long-distance relay runners upheld the program’s proud postseason award tradition. Westerly finished 8th of 10 teams in the Southern Division meet and third of 14 teams in the Class B meet.
Burr joined sophomore Charlotte Andrus, junior Maddy McLaughlin and junior Julie Senior on the 4x800 relay team that finished second in the state meet to earn Coaches All-State second- team honors.
Andrus, McLaughlin, Senior and freshman Abby Murdock made Class B first team after winning the 4x800 in that meet. Murdock, Senior, McLaughlin and Andrus were Class B second team after finishing second in the 4x400. The same quartet finished third in the Southern Division 4x800 to garner third- team honors.
Federico lauded the comeback of Andrus, who like Burr was battling injuries during cross country season, which set her back after she enjoyed a strong freshman outdoor season.
In her first outdoor campaign, Andrus was a Class B second-team pick and Southern Division second-team pick in the 4x400. This season, Andrus also earned individual postseason honors by finishing second in the 400 at the Class B meet.
McLaughlin, who made All-State second team in basketball during the winter, has established herself as a quality cross country and outdoor track middle distance runner. She has earned the distinction of “gamer” from Federico, meaning she saves her best performance for the biggest meets.
She has a long list of track postseason honors. As a freshman, McLaughlin was a Southern Division first-team pick in the 4x800 relay and second team in the 800 and 4x400. She ran with Burr and two other graduated runners in the 4x800 to earn Coaches Association All-State third- team honors. As a sophomore, McLaughlin was Class B second team in the 4x400 and third team in the 800 and 1,500. She was also Southern Division second team in the 4x800 and 4x400.
The Bulldog coach listed Senior as the team’s most improved and consistent performer who enjoyed a breakout outdoor season to strengthen the 4x800 relay. This season, Senior made Class B first team on the 4x800 relay and second team on the 4x400 relay. As a sophomore, Senior was a Southern Division second-team pick in the 4x800.
Murdock showed great potential as a sprinter and middle-distance runner, Federico said. She finished second in the 400 and fourth in the 200 at the freshman state meet.
Senior Rachel Jacques also pulled in postseason recognition with a Class B Third team honor after finishing third in that meet’s pole vault.