HARTSELLE — Sporting a new Alabama baseball cap, Quanesha Burks made her way through Hartselle High’s cafeteria to pose for photos with friends.
Sure, it may not have been the unveiling Burks initially planned because last week, the secret about what college track and field program she signed with slipped out of the bag.
Even though the destination was no longer a secret, Burks didn’t let that damper her enthusiasm at a gathering Monday afternoon at Hartselle to celebrate the moment with family and friends.
Burks sent a National Letter of intent to Alabama on Wednesday when the NCAA’s signing period began. The decorated Hartselle sprinter picked the Crimson Tide over Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Central Florida.
“I loved it at Alabama,” Burks said. “My visits were great. After coming home and praying about it, Alabama just felt like the right place for me.”
Burks gave a commitment to Alabama in January, but because she wanted to have an unveiling similar to those of high-profile football prospects on National Signing Day, she kept the destination secret.
And when it comes to keeping secrets, Burks obviously knows how to stay mum. According to Hartselle athletics director Johnny Berry, not even her closest family members knew what college she picked.
Unfortunately, not all plans pan out. Alabama released the names of its signees on Wednesday, and Burks’ secret quickly spread via Twitter.
“I’m not upset the secret got out,” Burks said. “Everyone that I wanted to come is here, and getting to share this with them is what it’s all about. This is a happy day for me — one of the happiest of my life. Getting a chance to go to place like Alabama is a dream come true.”
Burks is one of the area’s most heralded track and field athletes. As a junior in 2012, she won Class 5A state titles in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, while finishing second in triple and long jump.
During the past two seasons, Burks has amassed five outdoor track state titles, and she set indoor state records in the 100- and 200-meter dashes on Feb. 2 at the Alabama High School Athleitc Association championships.
Burks was The Daily’s girls track athlete of the year in 2011 and 2012.
“She will do well,” Hartselle coach Kenneth Lopez said. “It’s going to be fun to see the progress she makes. Quanesha really works. I usually get her on the back end of basketball, so when she gets in a program where she’s in that venue year round, she has a chance to really blossom.”
Contact Justin Graves at 256-340-2460 or by email at email@example.com.
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