BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Brandon Burke is known for his high jumps. Now he’s cleared a major bar by making it to the NCAA National Indoor Track-and-Field Championships.
“I’m extremely grateful to be here to represent the University at Buffalo,” he said.
Burke qualified as one of the top 16 high jumpers in the country. He jumped 2.19 at Akron earlier in the season to earn 6th in the nation among high jumpers. He stayed in that spot the rest of th eyear and earned the invite to nationals.
“It means a lot. It’s always been one of my dreams to compete at the division 1 level. It means the world to me.”
It wasn’t always easy for Burke. He said his mentality wasn’t the best heading into this season. He took more of a “whatever happens, happens” approach. Then he performed well at a meet early in the season, and things turned around.
“I saw a spark of success,” Burke said. “… I rode that and proved to myself this is possible and I am able to make it to the NCAA’s.”
It’s something that doesn’t happen often at UB. Buffalo had one athlete make nationals last year, but the COVID-19 shutdown canceled the indoor championships. Burke is happy to be the one to wear the bull on his uniform.
“It means a lot to me,” Burke said. “A lot of people especially people that go to the University at Buffalo don’t get the opportunity to go to nationals. You don’t see a lot of people wearing the bull at nationals, especially at track and field. To be one of the elite at this university really means a lot to me.”
Burke’s done all he can do physically, now it’s just about preparing mentally for the championship on Friday. He’s grateful to get the opportunity.
“It’s amazing,” Burke said. “All of us as athletes we made sacrifices in our daily lives and it’s awesome to see all that come together and make it all worth it.”
Burke will jump Friday morning at 12:30 eastern time.