Mt. Vernon and Lawrence Central seniors capture state titles


George Burhenn’s focus is on football now.

However, before the tight end reported to Purdue University to begin summer training, the 2023 Mt. Vernon High School graduate captured the 110-meter hurdles in 15.33 seconds, placed third in the 300 hurdles and was on the fourth-place 1,600 relay team June 2 at the IHSAA boys track and field state finals in Bloomington.


“It was awesome. You can’t really ask for a better way to end my high school sports career than being on the podium in all three events and having a day like that,” he said.

The only other time he placed in the state finals was fifth in the 300 hurdles in 2022.

“I worked in the summer and the offseason at Acceleration Indiana, which really helped me with my speed,” Burhenn said. “I focused on getting faster with my hurdles coach, Chris Norris, because the form was there.”

Burhenn said he enjoys track but his heart is in football.

“His greatest strength in the hurdles, both highs and intermediates, is that he runs each one like he had footprints to stay on from start to finish and they remain the same,” said Marauders assistant track and field coach Bruce Kendall, previously the longtime head coach. “He attacks each and every hurdle, and if you look at his football runs when he encounters a tackler, he looks exactly the same. It is merciless, chin down, arm forward, power through.”


Lawrence Central’s Elijah Jackson, who also will be a freshman on the Purdue football team this fall, closed his career with a state title as well. Jackson, a running back, captured the 100 meters in 10.52 seconds.

“Elijah has made huge improvements from year one to year two,” Lawrence Central coach Shawn Carson said. “The biggest jump was trusting his coaches and trusting his training. Over the past year, his commitment helped him to experience growth in the sport.”

Heritage Christian junior Luke Himes won the shot put with a throw of 65 feet, 1-1/2 inches.


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