Female Area Athlete of the Week: Burton breaks S-M course record

Kyanna Burton.jpg
Kyanna Burton.

In her second meet in five days last week, Kyanna Burton didn’t disappoint.

On her home course, the Staples-Motley freshman cross-country runner broke the course record in 19:28.9 for girls at The Vintage at Staples in route to her second win that week.

A few days earlier, at Park Rapids, she clocked in a 19:25 winning time.

“It’s definitely a struggle,” Burton said of having two meets in one week. “You can definitely feel it in the second meet for sure. All the pain catches up to you in the second meet.”

S-M head coach Bruce Furhman acknowledged how hard it was to run two meets in one week, despite the Park Rapids course being 60 meters shorter than normal.


“We knew the one course would be a little short,” Furhman said. “She ran a great race there and I know she could have crushed a time there, but we were a little reserved. “The last race at our place is always set to a 5k and the course resembles a mini-state meet the way it is set up. She went out to get the course record and she did which was really impressive.”

The familiarity of the home course made it easier for Burton to push through and score a low time.

“It’s still a hard course because of the hills,” Burton said. “But it does make it easier to know the course.”

Getting the course record at The Vintage has always been Burton’s goal.

“It was definitely cool,” Burton said. “That has definitely been a goal of mine since I first started.”

Before the meet, Fuhrman told Burton her goal was obtainable.

“She is a real trainable kid,” Fuhrman said. “She listens to a lot of things and understands what her body can do. She is a lot taller and stronger this year.”

Burton is coming off her eighth-grade season that saw her place sixth in the Class 1A state meet to lead the Cardinals to fifth place.


It has been hard for Burton to improve because of COVID-19. She has used the weird year to improve her training and learn how to train better.

“As a runner, there hasn’t been as much improvement as I’ve wanted,” Burton said. “I’ve learned more about my training and how I should do that better. I’ve learned more about why I should train instead of just doing it.”

Where Fuhrman has noticed Burton’s improvement is mental.

“Things don’t distract her as much,” he said. “And I think that happens more as you get older. But I think she is just becoming a little wiser too and understanding how competitive the races are and how strategy works in cross-country. For her, she has taken on the role of being our front-runner and she’ll set the pace of the race and some people try to chase her down, but it’s really difficult.”

Burton has accepted and excelled at the front-runner role. Her teammates expect her to perform well every race and she delivers.

“We have three, four, five other girls who are running with her with a long part of the race, but they know Kyanna is going to stretch it out a bit,” Fuhrman said. “We have five runners this year who are really fast.”

Burton’s favorite part about cross-country is being with her teammates.

“We have a really tight bond,” she said. “I just really like the improvement and knowing that I am improving all the time.”


One of the teammates that mentors Burton is senior boys runner Emmet Anderson.

Burton loves watching Anderson train and run to see if she can steal anything for herself.

“He always tells us what we should improve on and how we can fix things,” Burton said. “I like to see how he does stuff a little differently than us girls and go off of that for myself.”

Fuhrman sees a lot of similarities between Burton and Anderson.

“They are seeing what our training model can do,” he said. “They are very dedicated to how they work and see the vision through the model. They know every practice means something six-days a week.”

Moving forward, Burton is looking forward to the section meet that was announced Monday, Sept. 21. She wants to get her times down to the low 18:00s by the time the season is over.

“This year hasn’t been super fast for me, so I hope I can finally get up to where I want to be,” Burton said.

Fuhrman said reaching under 19 minutes is going to be no problem for Burton.


“It’s a joy to coach her,” Burton said. “She has nice running legs and running form. She is really gifted.”

Other notable performances:
Cross-Country: Kira Sweeney, Wadena-Deer Creek, won the Wadena-Deer Creek meet in 20:02.3.
Calia Chaney, Pequot Lakes, won the Menahga meet in 18:53.24.
Tennis: Megan Muller, Pequot Lakes, won 6-0, 6-0 in a 7-0 win over Perham.
Carly Chaney, Pequot Lakes, won 6-0, 6-0 in a 7-0 win over Perham.
Emma Stokman-Teresa Goodwin, Crosby-Ironton, won 6-0, 6-1 in a 4-3 win over Detroit Lakes.
Margaret Silgen, Crosby-Ironton, won 6-0, 6-0 in a 6-1 win over Long Prairie-Grey Eagle.
Quinn Trottier, Pequot Lakes, won 6-0, 6-0 in a 5-2 win over Staples-Motley.
Maddie Andrea, Pierz, won 6-0, 6-0 in a 4-3 win over Mora.
Swim/Dive: Ella Rausch, Little Falls, won the 50- and 100-yard freestyles in a 114-72 loss to Cathedral.
Emma Gustafson, Little Falls, won the diving competition with a score of 201.05 in a 114-72 loss to Cathedral.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at

Kyanna Burton

Year: Freshman

School: Staples-Motley

Sport: Cross-Country

Highlights: won the Staples-Motley River Run in 19:28.9 and the Park Rapids meet in 19:25.

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