Alicia Burnett became one of the fastest freshman sprinters of all time on Sunday running 7.43 for the 60 meter dash at the Big River Running Company Indoor Championship Series Finals. This time came within just 6 hundredths of a second of the freshman class record set just last year by Thelma Davies of Girard College HS (Philadelphia, PA).
Burnett has been crushing her age group competition since a young age. She is now one of the fastest high school athletes in the United States regardless of her grade level. Last year she ran an unreal 11.66 in the 100 dash and a 23.80 in the 200. She also ran a nasty indoor 400-meter dash currently ranked 17th amongst freshman indoors. What events she chooses to focus on will be up to her coaches. However, Coach Miller and her father Del Burnett have Alicia arguably in the best position an incoming freshman has ever been.
She is currently ranked number 1 in the nation amongst all freshman in the country over the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes. Alicia is tied for 9th and 21st amongst all high school grade levels nationally. The 200 meter could be considered even more impressive when her times have been run on flat or undersized 200 meter tracks. Ultimate Speed Academy has a large number of athletes who have been setting numerous age level records. The club shows no sign of slowing down and seems to be collecting talent to an epic degree.
Missouri MileSplit caught up with Coach Miller of Ultimate Speed Academy to discuss what it is like coaching one of the top sprinters in the nation.
Coach Miller: To groom a Triple A athlete (Academics, Attitude, Athleticism)
We have noticed an uptick in talent. Why do you think so many great performances have been coming out of your program?
Ultimate Speed Academy (USA) has several well-trained USATF Level 1 and 2 coaches that create a real team/family atmosphere. We train our athletes unconventionally, which gives them quite a bit of versatility. We also encourage our athletes to get out of their comfort zone which promotes growth.
How long has Alicia been with Ultimate Speed Academy?
Since our inception, which would be 7 years
What do you believe are Alicia's biggest strength?
Alicia is a strong runner who reaches maximum capacity and has the ability to maintain that speed through her maintenance phase.
Besides sprinting what other events has Alicia done recently?
Alicia occasionally runs the 800m
How have you or Ultimate Speed Academy managed such a talent like Alicia?
We encourage our athletes to stay hungry but humble and give all glory to God
Is it easy to keep her grounded and focused on the process?
Very easy. Alicia is very coachable and humble about her accomplishments. She would never share with anyone that she's one of the fastest Freshmen in the nation.
Has she discussed with you long term goals? If so what are they?
Alicia has plans to attend college and become an Olympian.
What challenges will she face entering her first high school season
The burden of high expectations placed on successful athletes
Are there any technical aspects of her race that she is focusing on this spring?
We will be working on her starting mechanics