In a sport where the individual is glorified, modesty and humility is a rarity. In track and field, one may recall the tantalizing exploits of Usain “Lightning” Bolt and not even remember the nation he races for.
For UVU sprinter and hurdler Megan Brown-Burr, her track teammates are what make the sport worthwhile.
“I want to be there for my teammates and I know they will be there for me in return,” Burr said. “They will be there through the injuries and any other obstacles. My track team is my other family.”
Growing up as a soccer star in Las Vegas, Burr used track as a means to stay in shape during the offseason. However, once schools began calling for her services as a sprinter, her decision to forgo soccer became an easy one. Simply put, her track coaches believed that she could be great. Burr credited such support for giving her confidence, and said it has only proven more valuable since transitioning to the college level.
“That’s 99 percent of it,” Burr said, referring to her support system. “Obviously as an athlete I need to have a determination and the willpower to get to where I want to be, but I have my family, my friends, my coaches and my husband. People genuinely care and that is so important. You can dominate, but without a support system what do you have?”
The people close to Megan have plenty of reason to care. Recently Burr ran for a school record of 8.80 seconds in the preliminaries of the 60-meter hurdles. She also placed first in the 60 and 200-meter sprints as well as the 60-meter hurdles the week before.
The scary part for UVU’s Great West Conference foes as well as the rest of the nation, though, is that Burr is far from her personal goals.
“If I put it in my mind to do something I am going to do it,” Burr said. “I won’t limit myself. If anything I will shoot for goals that for some people would say are unobtainable, but then I would know that I am not selling myself short.”
Burr knew upon coming to UVU that head coach Scott Houle would be there to help her set and achieve her goals, and cited this as a big reason for her committal to play for the Wolverines. Houle knows the level of athlete Burr is, but looks for ways to motivate her beyond the realms of NCAA competition.
“We think she has opportunities to go to the next level, to be a little bit better than the collegiate level,” Houle said. “We put that in front of her and she steps up her practice, her weight lifting, and now she races against some of the top athletes in the country and even the world. She is approaching that level now. “
Even as the expectations and accolades mount, Burr continues to credit her support system for her success. Coach Houle knows it takes a special athlete to accomplish these feats.
“Her best event is the 100-meter hurdles,” Houle said. “There are ten obstacles in the way but when she does it, seems as if there is nothing in her way because she is so technically sound. She is that kind of athlete.”
By Travis Leavitt