Prep Cross Country: Burgin's Alex Beckerson takes third in Class A regional
Alex Beckerson of Burgin runs up the hill to the finish line in the boys race Saturday at the Class A, Region 5 cross country championships at Admiral Stadium. Beckerson finished third. (Mike Marsee / November 3, 2012)
Two different knee injuries have given the Burgin senior a much different senior season than he expected, but he rebounded Saturday to finish third in the boys race at the Class A, Region 5 championship.
And he said his regional performance gives him reason to believe that despite all he has been through, he can still finish his career by earning a medal at next week’s state meet.
“Any time you medal in the state, I consider it a successful year,” Beckerson said. “I broke my ankle my sophomore year, and I was still able to medal, so that was a success.”
Beckerson ran Saturday’s 3.1-mile race at Admiral Stadium in 17 minutes, 37 seconds, well off the lead and a full off his pace a year ago, but well ahead of what he has been running for much of the season.
An injury to his right knee early in the season derailed the big dreams he had for his final high school year.
“Coming in I wanted break 16 my first race and win region, win CKC, try to win state, and then as I was going through it I was like, ‘All right, I’ve just got to get maybe top three in the CKC, maybe top five in the region and then see what I can do at state, just medal at state,’” he said. “I was coming in running really good paces, I was looking to break 16 my senior year, and then I pulled my IT band (a knee injury) and dropped 2 minutes off that, so it was really frustrating.”
He suffered another setback a couple of weeks ago when he hurt his other knee in the Woodford County Invitational.
“I was over (the first injury) probably a week before I got my other one,” Beckerson said. “I didn’t do anything during the run, but the next day I woke up and my left knee was messed up. It was pretty rough.
Things are getting better, though, as evidenced by his result Saturday, and he said he thinks he could do even better next week.
“My knee’s getting better, so I definitely think I can get sub-17 (minutes) in the state, maybe top five, six,” he said.
He said he thinks he can carve out a spot between the top four runners and a group that he expects to be right behind them.
“There’ll be a big pack fighting for the next 10 spots. I definitely think I can be ahead of that pack,” he said.
Beckerson will have company at the state meet, as the entire Burgin boys team qualified for the state meet by finishing fifth in the team standings. This is the sixth time in the last seven years that Burgin has qualified, but this year’s Bulldogs are a much younger team.
“We’ve got a good group coming up,” Beckerson said. “It’ll be a nice experience for them. I don’t think any of them have seen high school state.”
Beckerson and his younger brother Nick are the only current Burgin runners who have competed at the state meet.
Two Danville seniors will get to finish their careers at the state meet as well. The Admirals didn’t qualify as a team, but Calvin Steber and Michael McChesney qualified after finishing seventh and 13th individually.
“I wish that we had the whole team going, but if you can’t go as a team and you had to pick what two individuals would you want to go, you’d want it to be your seniors, so it was nice they stepped up to get that opportunity to run one more week,” Danville coach Chris Verhoven said.