By Morgan MacDonald, Auburn Media Relations
It is no mystery as to why Joshua Burks is making his mark on the Auburn track and field program. The accolades of the 2016 Second Team All-American selection speak for themselves. A junior from Madison, Ala., Burks is majoring in Aerospace Engineering and was tabbed on the 2015-16 First Year SEC Academic Honor Roll, all while balancing a world class athlete’s schedule and making a huge impact on the track. Burks’ hard work ethic matched with the pride, passion and love he has for his team makes him the epitome of what an Auburn student-athlete should strive to be.
Q: What is the best part about being on Auburn’s Track and Field team?
A: “The greatest thing about this track team is that it’s the most diverse team at Auburn University.We’ve got people from Kenya, Jamaica, Europe and all over the globe. Being around this level of diversity is great because we get to learn so much from each other every day.”
Q: What is your relay group like?
A: “We have some great sprinters in our group. Nathon Allen and Akeem Bloomfield are from Jamaica and then Randall Ceneus is Haitian. Being the only true American in the group is such a unique experience that I get to be a part of.”
Q: How would you describe the coaching staff?
A: “The coaching staff is remarkable. We have so many great coaches who help guide us and give us the steps we need to reach our best performance level. Coach Spry and all the other coaches are just stellar.”
Q: When did you start running track?
A: “I actually started running track my senior year in high-school. I played baseball before that.”
Q: How would you describe what running track is like?
A: I would say track is definitely 80 percent mental. Getting through the physical pain of a race is easy if you have your mind right.”
Q: What is your favorite TV show?
A: “I love The Office and Impractical Jokers. Any of those funny shows we love to watch together when we have time for TV. The Jamaican guys actually know the show Friends, which is funny to all of us.”
Q: Do you have any pre-meet superstitions?
A: “I actually try to have the same meal before I run, usually something light. I have been known to eat pancakes before I run which helps me keep that energy I need for the rest of my day.”
Q: What goes through your mind during your lap of the relay?
A: “The first 300 meters my mind is completely blank, and then the last 100 is just lots of pain. Sometimes it literally feels like there is no noise when I am running my first 300, and then the last 100 meters I can literally hear the pain talking to me.”