Moorestown track star celebrates his victories

James Burrus is the 100-meter state champion

Special to The Sun: James Burruss (center), shown here with his mom Tracey (right) and dad James, came in fifth at the New Jersey Meet of Champions for the 100-meter.

Moorestown track star James Burrus has more to celebrate than graduating from high school last month. On June 10, he won the NJ Group 3 100-meter championship with a record time of 10.58, and on June 18, came in fifth place at the NJ Meet of Champions for the state’s 100-meter championship.

Burrus shared how he started out as a track athlete and how obstacles such as the pandemic and an injury affected his high-school career.

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“My mom had signed me up for a program in preschool, and it was called “World Athlete,” and that was a track team that Coach Troy Pappas (Moorestown High’s boys track coach) owns and still owns …” he recalled. “I had started running with him at around 7 years old, and I did that all the way up to middle school, where I stopped, and then I was able to run with him again freshman year.”

“I lost my freshman year to a hip injury, so I was only able to run in one meet,” Burrus recalled. “Then I lost my sophomore year to COVID, so junior year really meant a lot to me coming in, having hybrid classes and being full(y) remote the whole year. It meant a lot to me to be able to have a season, so I didn’t take it for granted, and I was really happy that I was able to make it to the Meet of Champs as a junior, and then even (win a) medal at Meet of Champs as a senior.”

Burrus praised Pappas’ continued support.

“If I have any question whatsoever, not just athletically, he’s always been able to help me,” Burrus said. “Especially when it came to the recruiting process, where I was trying to find a college to be able to run at. He vouched for me in so many ways … “

Burrus will continue his education and track career at Monmouth University, and aside from describing what he’s most looking forward to, he also discussed what he loves about the sport.

“ … I really do believe I can be just as dominant on the college level as I have been at the high-school level,” he predicted, “and I’m just real(ly) excited to get in and get to run with the team and just see where I’m at.

“I just love how free track makes me feel … I’m always willing to put in the work,” Burrus added. “ … I just love the grind. I love seeing improvement and getting better.”

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