LCA'S TALAN SEIVERS MAKES HIS WAY THROUGH THE HILLS AT STATE ON MONDAY
Brad Sievers is not a prophet. He is not the second coming of Nostradamus. But you would have a hard time convincing Lafayette Christian Academy head coach's Facebook friends otherwise after Monday's LHSAA State Cross Country Championships in Natchitoches. He posted his prediction on social on November 7th.
When the crowd saw Burney, who had just passed Sievers before entering the Walter Ledet Track & Field Complex, not many of the unbiased watching would have given Sievers much of a chance against Burney--who is ranked No. 2 on Louisiana's all-time 800m list for sophomores with his 1:52.34 time at the USATF Junior Olympics in Eugene, Oregon in late July.
When they hit the track and reached the 300m mark, Burney took a peek to see where Sievers was. When he turned back around, Sievers decided to make a decisive move past Burney, who did not respond immediately.
With just over 100m to go, Burney emptied the tank, but Sievers seemed to have eyes in the back of his head as he grit his teeth and found one more gear on the way to the finish line and his first state championship. Sievers finished with a three mile time of 15:40. Burney was three seconds behind him.
"I was really, really, really scared," Sievers said of the fantastic finish. "I thought he was going to run away from me, but I took it. My legs were burning, but I still ended up passing him and taking him."
Making his first state championship even more special was the setting-Northwestern State University, where his father competed in college.
"It's really fun with my dad telling me about his stories. His uniform is hung up at our camp here. It's fun to win here."
Dad thought so as well.
"It was really special for my family, for Talan to pull off a win in his freshmen season on the NSU track," Brad Sievers said. "Talan and my daughter, Peyton, have grown up running on that course and track as we are in Natchitoches quite a bit. My family and I love Natchitoches and NSU track and field. After the race, I told him that was one of the gutsiest finishes I've ever seen."
The LCA father/coach also complimented the "amazingly strong" Burney.
Sievers wasn't the only Knight on the podium, his teammate junior Matthew Edwards finished with a third place finish after running a 16:07.
"It's really cool! All of my teammates are fun to hang out with. Me and Matthew, we push each other all the time so it's fun to be side by side (on the podium)."
Last year, Burney split time as a Calvary wide receiver on Friday nights and a cross country runner on Saturday mornings. After a wildly successful summer, Burney decided to focus his energy on running.
"I ran a good race, I think, but I didn't have anything left at the end," Burney said.
Now, Burney will turn his attention to his favorite season--track and field.