Jenna Key, Jackson Burney Take C.E. Byrd Invitational Wins!

C.E. Byrd's Jenna Key and Calvary's Jackson Burney made it two in a row as both won their second straight three-mile race to take individual honors at the C.E. Byrd XC Fall Invitational at South Bossier Park Saturday morning.

Key was coming off her personal and school record 17:53 at last week's Wallace Martin Invitational in Ruston. Running out in front on Saturday morning, Key's time of 18:48 led the host Lady Jackets to a dominant win.

"It was really fun," Key said. "I always love our home meet. It was my last one so it was bittersweet. I don't know if it was my last time on this course, but it was fun and everyone did good."

Everyone wearing purple and gold did do a good job. In fact, no team in meet history has done it better than the Lady Jackets.

Juan Plaza's team had five girls in the top six. Senior Spencer Frierson finished third (19:36). Freshman Anna Lake Watts finished fourth (19:45). Mallory Swint finished fifth (20:09). Laila Wells finished sixth (20:37).

Airline, led by sophomore Jayden Williams' second place 16:36, won the boys' division with a score of 44 points. Cedar Creek, led by Myles Carpenter-Head's third place 16:44, finished as the runner-up with 57 points. 

"We were really excited," Turnbow said. "Our goal was for all five of them to come in under 19 and that's what we did. We are so excited."

Besides Williams, the winning Viking team consisted of Austin Bonney (18:06), Brady Parks (18:14), Gabe Laval (18:44), and Jordan Williams (18:52). All finished in the meet's top 15.  

On Burney's last time out, he won his season opener two weeks ago at the Huntington Raider XC Invitational with a time of 16:18. Burney's winning time on Saturday was 16:20. 

"The first mile and a half felt pretty good, but I kind of slowed down a little bit the second half," Burney said. "I think the heat got to me. I was trying to go sub 16 today."

At this time last year, Burney was playing wide receiver for the Cavaliers on Friday night before running in cross country meets on Saturday morning. This year he decided to concentrate on running.

"I like football," Burney said. "It's a lot of fun, but the practices every day were a little too much. I just wanted to focus on track."

His commitment to the sport has been evident as in July he finished second in the USATF National Junior Olympics 15-16 boys' 800m (1:52.34) at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Burney's sister, Emma Burney, is a freshman on the C.E. Byrd, won the junior varsity division of the C.E. Byrd Fall Invitational. 

Burney was asked if he has given his sister any advice about running at the high school level.

"No," Burney said. "But she hasn't asked for any advice either." 

Byrd freshman John Ferguson won the boys' JV division with a time of 18:50.