SoBoCo's Burns, MICDS' Ray announce college plans

Two of Missouri's elite runners announced their respective decisions on where they will attend school next school year.

Southern Boone County's Connor Burns posted a photo of himself in an Oregon Ducks uniform, holding a flag, on his Instagram account. MICDS' Julia Ray announced intentions to run for the Tennessee Volunteers. Like Burns, she was wearing her future college uniform in the photo.

Burns has made headlines for running a sub-4-minute mile and is among the nation's elite runners this fall.

In track and field, he won the Class 3,200-meter run this past year while taking second in the 1,600-meter run. He beat current Notre Dame runner Daelen Ackley in the 3,200 but lost to him in the 1,600. In 2021, Ackley beat Burns in the 3,200-meter race.

Burns, the son of former Missouri cross country coach Marc Burns, was the state runner-up in the Class 3 cross country meet last fall. He made a big jump from taking 46th as a sophomore.

He became the first Missourian and 15th high school to break 4 minutes in the 1,600-meter run at the Festival of Miles race in St. Louis this spring. He also became the first junior to run sub-4 since Jim Ryun.

He is ranked sixth in the MileSplit50 rankings.

Ray was all-state in the 1,600-meter (seventh) and 3,200-meter (sixth) this past spring in track and field. As a sophomore, she was the runner-up 3,200 and was sixth in the 1,600.

There wasn't a season her freshman year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In cross country, she was fourth in 2021 and 2020 in Class 5 and was the Class 3 champion in 2019 as a freshman.  

She announced her plans on both Twitter and Instagram.