Washington High School junior Rayana Burns showed true grit and determination to return from an ankle injury suffered during the basketball tournament in late February and compete in the final six weeks of the 2019 track season.
Burns, already a seven-event State qualifier, made it back to State again this year in the 400-meter dash.
Burns competed in the first heat of the event which finished just before the meet was suspended for some three hours by lightning.
She was sixth in her heat in a time of 59.19. That appeared to be a time that would be close to getting her to the finals. However, she had to wait through the lengthy weather delay before finding out that, unfortunately, she was 10th fastest overall in a field of 18 competitors.
The final time that made the finals was 59.15 by Alexandria Lewis of Roger Bacon.
Anna Podojil of Cincinnati Indian Hill clocked the best time Friday, 55.55.
The Record-Herald spoke with head coach Louis Reid and Burns after the first heat and right before the meet was suspended.
“She ran really well,” Reid said. “We’ll wait and see what happens. For her to be able to run six weeks after the injury she had and to run at the high level she’s been running at, I’m pretty happy with the year she’s had.
“Just making it here was a long shot,” Reid said. “She’s worked hard all year. She’s had a great, positive attitude. I’m really proud of what she’s done. She ran well today.
“When you have adversity, you can either step up or shut down,” Reid said. “She really stepped up. I’m really proud of how this year has gone for her. If we get in (to the finals), it’ll be awesome. Anything could happen.”
“Today, I was really just glad to be here,” Burns said. “These girls, they were really fast. Just being able to be up here was something for me, because I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it here.
“Hopefully I make it (to finals),” Burns said. “But, it’s fine with me. After what I’ve been through, just being able to be here was a blessing.”