Last Friday at E.D. White in Thibodaux, Houma Christian's Emma Bourg lowered Louisiana's best in the girls 1600m with a time of 5:03. She had the training and the competition--Mt. Carmel's Catalina Reichard, to break the sub 5:00 barrier she has been going after, but the cold and windy weather did not cooperate.
While she didn't the Sub 5:00 she was looking for, Bourg did run one of the most impressive distance doubles in Louisiana history--in sub par conditions. Both of her times rank in the top 10 in La. history.
Still, Bourg lowered the state's leading time, which was held by Reichard (5:06.05), to 5:03.88. She returned in the 3200m, winning with a time of 11:01.02.
"I was really excited to be able to race Catalina," Bourg said. "I saw where she had run 5:06! The 1600m was super cold and windy and then--to top it off--it started misting just for our race. I have been attempting to go sub 5:00 but lately I've just been working on getting closer to that mark and this meet I achieved that goal."
What does it mean to Bourg to have pulled off one of the best doubles in La. HS girls distance running?
"It feels good, but at the same time it makes me feel even more confident in what the Lord can do through me and what I'm capable of," Bourg said. "I know by His strength I have a lot left in me if I can the fastest times in the worst conditions."
La. Top 10 Girls 1600m Times in the MileSplit Database
EHS Jostens Relays1st F
Cardinal Relays1st F
Bourg has been a dominating force in distance events this year. However, she has not experienced the most direct path to the top like some runners have had. Although, her journey to becoming a multiple-time state champion and Gatorade Player of the Year does not begin with her funnily enough.
The story of her great success initially began with another runner from her school, Antonio Delgado. He had been receiving private coaching from an individual by the name of Braedon Methvin of Illuminate Endurance Coaching.
Delgado was a teammate of Bourg and they often trained together despite having separate coaching inputs. Eventually, Bourg began to run the same workouts as Delgado and Coach Methvin took note of this and reached out to her.
Coach Methvin knew that Bourg was talented before he officially took over because he saw the level of success that she had achieved with little direction in coaching. Not only that but the level of her dedication and her willingness to get the small things right impressed Methvin and made him know he stumbled upon someone truly talented.
La.'s Top 10 Girls 3200m Times in MileSplit's Database
FSU Relays3rd F
Arcadia Invitational23rd F
Grizzly relays1st F
Cardinal Relays1st F
In the past, Bourg demonstrated great running ability. She won her first state title at the LHSAA State XC Championship back in 2017 when she was just in 7th grade and went on to collect two more podium finishes in the consequential outdoor track season. After that, she went through a period of stagnation but was still notable when it came to the state championships.
This all changed when Coach Methvin took over in the summer of 2021. Bourg had her best cross-country season since 2018, even so after being displaced by hurricane Ida in late August. She split her season halfway between competing in Mississippi and Louisiana and she still managed to secure a top-ten finish at the state meet in the midst of a highly competitive 2A field.
From this point on, Emma had a spike in her performances that Coach Methvin attributes to her gaining confidence in her abilities, discarding any doubt that she had in the past, and removing the comparison of herself to other athletes. The rest is history as Bourg went on to have unprecedented success during the outdoor track season.
With less than one year of coaching under Methvin, Bourg decimated her previous bests and secured her second state title and first individual state title since 2017. Since then, she has yet to slow down; but Methvin doesn't take responsibility for all of Bourg's successes. He stated that Emma's friends and family are incredibly supportive and encouraging, especially her father who acts as an outside perspective and a set of eyes and ears for Coach Methvin.
Not many could accomplish what Bourg did; conquering mental roadblocks and suffering through them, and overcoming those obstacles to become something that no one expected. Now about a year and a half has passed since Bourg's running career hit a turning point, and she went from another name in the state of Louisiana to one of the best runners in the nation.
Bourg will be competing at the Pete Boudreaux Invitational at Catholic tomorrow.