When Kelly Burns first dove into the pool four years ago as a freshman at Mount St. Mary Academy, she immediately established herself as one of the best securing not one, but two school records.
"I love swimming, it's my first love. When I go out there, I love what I'm doing. It's just really cool," she said. “It’s just again validation that my hardwood has paid off."
Those records still stand, and now a senior, Kelly hasn't slowed down. In fact she's gone from a premiere distance swimmer in the 500 freestyle to one of the top sprinters for the Thunder.
"I would put Kelly as one of the top in the mix in the program," Co-Head Coach Erika Tozser said. "Not only in her ability with being one of the fastest in the program, but being an all-round athlete and student really puts her at the top."
In the past two weeks the Thunder speedster has set personal records in the 100 and 50 frees and 100 butterfly, all first place finishes as well in meets against Nardin, Sacred Heart and Lady of Mercy.
"When I'm on the block, it's just pure focus. I have to be in that moment to do the best I can and win that race," Kelly added. "My ultimate goal at the end of that race is to touch first on that wall and that's all I have in mind."
"We tell her to give it all you got right at the beginning and if you've dead at the end, then you're dead at the end," Tozser said. "She's taken that on at meets and it's great to see herself out of her comfort zone and really race those girls and get first place."
Over her career Kelly has helped Mount St. Mary capture seven All-Catholic Championships but there is one title that has eluded the speedster. An individual medal at the state meet.
"That would mean to the world to me. That would mean so much," she said. All that time spent in the pool would pay off."
Super 7 Countdown
#1 – Kelly Burns, Mount St. Mary Academy
Noah Keem, Sweet Home Soccer
Set a single game scoring record with seven goals in a 9-1 win over West Seneca East. He also had an assist in the victory.
"Noah Keem is a natural born competitor with tremendous instinct and explosive finishing. Noah is very committed and selfless player who has continually insisted that our program and team be a priority over individual accomplishments and accolades. His coach-ability and genuine compassion for his teammates speaks volumes about his character and his readiness for whatever the future may hold." – Scott Martin, Head Coach
Brittany Baker, Pioneer Field Hockey
Scored all five goals in the Panthers 5-1 over Sweet Home.
“Brittany is a very talented attack player who thrills every time she
touches the ball. Against Sweet Home, she was dominant and scored 4 goals
on sheer talent against a tough defense.” – Landahl, Head Coach
Max Giordano, Lancaster Football
Had 140 receiving yards, two touchdowns and kicked a 30-yard field goal in the Legends 42-14 win over Williamsville North.
“Max is one of the most well rounded athletes in WNY. He does a little bit of everything for us. He is our starting slot wide receiver, safety, kicker and kick returner. He is also an All-WNY baseball player who is verbally committed to Niagar.” – Eric Rupp, Head Coach
Casey Adimey, Amherst Field Hockey
Scored the game-winning goal in the Tigers 2-0 win over Williamsville North.
“She is a skilled player that understands the game and finishes off her opportunities. She rises to the occasion in the biggest moments. She had the game winning goals in the Section VI Championship and Semifinal Games for Amherst last season.” – Laurie LeGoff, Head Coach
Eric Bartnik, Cheektowaga Football
Passed for 170 yards and a touchdown and ran for 117 yards and another score in the Warriors 35-14 win over Burgard.
“Eric is a true leader of our team who has constantly played his best in our biggest games. His combined 287 yards and 2 touchdowns led the team over rival Burgard last week.” – Mike Fatta, Head Coach