SPRINGFIELD -- Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Ronald Boyce and head cross country coach Greg Hipp have announced the addition of three new athletes for the 2011-12 cross country and track and field seasons.
The trio of harriers will run both for Boyce's track and field group and Hipp's cross country squad. Among Missouri high school seniors, Burditt, Rebecca and Wood have combined to register two of the top-eight finishes at the 2010 Missouri state cross country championship, two of the top-eight 3,200-meter run performances, one of the top-eight 1,600-meter performances and two of the top-eight 800-meter performances.
"We have put together some of our best recruiting classes in history over the last few years and with the holes this group fills we feel like we're now set up to tackle some of our long term goals for this program," Hipp said.
The commitments are an early start to the track and field recruiting process, with more additions expected to be announced later in the high school track and field season.
Emma Burditt (New London, Mo., Hannibal High School)
-Burditt was one the state's most notable breakout performers during the 2010 cross country season. Her season culminated in a title at the Missouri 3A state championship. Burditt finished the challenging state 5K meet course in 19:04.00, 26-seconds ahead of her closet competitor. Burditt ran to her personal best 5K cross country performance of 18:53 at the MSU hosted Richard Clark Invitational in 2010. A four-time all-state competitor in cross country, Burditt equaled that distinction on the track in 2010, placing fifth in the 3,200-meter run and sixth as a member of her high school's 4x800-meter relay. Her personal best in the 3,200-meter run is 11:22.74. Burditt's signing means MSU has signed the class 3A state cross country champion two years in the row. Current MSU runner Sierra Jenkins won in 2009.
Alyssa Rebecca (Eureka, Mo., Eureka High School)
-Already with nine all-state honors, Rebecca has been one of Missouri's top middle distance runners through her first three years of high school. Two state championships in the class 4 4x800-meter relay highlight her career (2010, 2008). She added to that relay success with three top-three finishes as a member of Eureka's 4x400-meter relay. Rebecca has been just as strong in her individual races, finishing in the state's top five in the 800-meters each year. On the cross country course, Rebecca showed her range with a 18:43 5K best as a senior and was Missouri's sixth best finisher at the FootLocker Midwest Regional in Kenosha, Wisc. this past fall. Rebecca holds the fastest high school 800-meter personal best of any Missouri State signee in history. The two previous fastest are current sophmores Maggie Sutor and Ariel Butzine.
Courtney Wood (Neosho, Mo., Neosho High School)
-One of the state's elite runners over the past four years, Wood boasts all-state honors three years each in cross country and track and field. Wood ran to her third career top-ten finish at the MSHSAA 4A state cross country championship this past fall placing, fifth with a time of 18:48. Wood's senior season also included a 25th-place finish at the Nike Midwest Cross Country Regional in Terre Haute, Ind., where she finished in 18:39.00 minutes. At the MSSU Southern Stampede Wood, she recorded a personal best of 17:46.00 for 5K. With her senior track season still remaining, Wood has eight top-ten finishes at the MSHSAA 4A championship, five of those earning her top-three podium honors. Wood has the fastest 3,200-meter run personal best of any MSU signee prior to their senior season.