Tyler Burger

Last updated: May 19. 2014 11:39PM - 2472 Views
By - psokoloski@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6392

Athlete of the Week Tyler Burger is believed to be the first track and field athlete from Northwest to win four District 2 gold medals on the same day.
Athlete of the Week Tyler Burger is believed to be the first track and field athlete from Northwest to win four District 2 gold medals on the same day.
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School: Northwest

Grade: Junior

Sport: Boys Track and Field

Events: Hurdles, Jumps

All in the Family: Tyler, 18, is the son of Tracie and Bill Brown of Shickshinny. He had a brother named Brandon Burger and two sisters, Jess and Paulette Brown.

Statistically Speaking: Burger won four gold medals in all four events he entered at the District 2 Class 2A Track and Field meet, earning the honor as the meet’s only four-time gold medalist. He is also believed to be the first Northwest athlete to win four track and field gold medals in the same district meet. Burger captured the 110 hurdles, the 300 hurdles, the high jump and the long jump.

Leader of the pack: In some events, Burger was favored to win and in others, he wasn’t. But it’s hardly a shock anymore when Burger comes out on top, no matter what event he enters — simply because the Rangers star has shown he’ll do whatever it takes to produce victory. It took a gallant comeback at districts for Burger to pass Rasheem Twyman of Meyers over the final third of the race and win the 300 hurdles in 39.03. It took a tiebreaker with Hanover Area’s Bobby Kerestes for Burger to pull out the high jump. It took a personal best distance of 22-10 for Burger to pull off victory in the long jump. And it took a lot of training for Burger to master his signature event, the 110 hurdles, where he cruised to a second straight district title in 15:21.

Coach’s Corner: “It was kind of the plan,” Northwest assistant and jump coach Roy Philips said of Burger’s district medals sweep. “He’s such a talented athlete, we felt if he put the effort in, with the talent he has, there was a possibility of it. Certainly, we didn’t feel it was a given. But we felt it was a possibility. Certainly, we’ve had some nice athletes over the years, but not to the point where we have someone take four gold medals. This year, he really took a leadership role on the team. Last year, he was kind of finding his way. This year, he stepped up. He really likes the high jump, in practice, it’s the one he gravitates to the most. I’ve been telling him his best event was going to be the 300 hurdles. He’s starting to believe it. He’s such a naturally-strong athlete. If you look at him, you’d think he’s someone who goes in the weight room and throws up incredible amounts of weight. He doesn’t. It’s just his natural physique.”

Did you know? When he’s not counting his district gold medals, Burger is counting cash. He’s a balancer (for shifts and drawers) at Thomas’ Market in Shickshinny — where his track stardom is no longer a secret among customers. “They didn’t realize I was part of a track team,” Burger said. “When they saw my picture in the paper, they said, ‘Good luck at states.’ My mother posts everything on Facebook. I really don’t say anything — trying to be humble, I guess.” His track success probably won’t get him a raise at his after-school job, but it may give the market a boost in celebrity status around town. “Still getting minimum wage,” Burger laughed. “I count the money at the end of the night. It’s not a bad job.”

From his angle: “It’s dedication, really,” Burger said of his run of district success. “I worked my butt off all season. I guess it paid off.” He realized quickly which two events brought him the most dividends. “The 300 hurdles and the long jump,” Burger said. “The 300, I wasn’t expected to win it and I wasn’t feeling too good going in. It was a really good race. I crossed the finish line, saw the time and said, ‘Wow.’ The long jump was kind of the same way, I wasn’t feeling good before that, either. When I jumped, the lady said the distance and my eyes popped out of my head.” Now there is a little more weight on his shoulders - and not just from carrying all those gold medals around. “Now I’m expected to do better,” Burger said. “People say they’re rooting for me. I kind of want to make everyone proud. It does kind of put more pressure on me.”

Week in Review: In the boys Class 3A field, Wyoming Valley West’s Jermichael Bunch nearly matched Burger’s feat in the District 2 track and field championships. He collected a bunch of gold medals — three in all — by winning the 110 hurdles, the long jump and triple jump. Dallas’ Dominic DeLuca broke a 31-year-old district record while claiming a pair of gold medals. He set a new standard by winning the 3,200 in 9:03.54, shattering the old mark of 9:19.54 set by Pittston Area’s Tom Doran in 1983. DeLuca also captured the other long-distance event, the 1,600. Coughlin’s Tony Khalife threw some weight around, winning gold medals in the discus and shot put. Pittston Area’s Mike Harth won the 400 meters and was part of the winning 1,600 relay team. And in the Class 2A boys field, GAR’s Anthony Maurent was a blur while blazing to gold medals in the 100 and 200 meters. …

Coughlin’s Nathaniela Bourdeau walked away from the girls Class 3A district competition with three gold medals, capturing the 100 meters, the 300 hurdles and was a member of the winning 400 relay team. Her sister, Tamar Bourdeau, was also on that 400 relay team and won the 100 hurdles. Pittston Area’s Madison Mimnaugh pulled the upset of the district championships by winning the 400 meters in record time. Her 57.58 not only upended defending champ Kaitlyn Lewis of North Pocono, it bested the old district record set by Delaware Valley’s Ashley Holgate in 2010. Mimnaugh also took a gold medal in the 800 while helping Pittston Area claim the girls Class 3A team title. Her Pittston Area teammate Olivia Giambra had a big role in that team title, leaping to gold medals in the long jump and triple jump. Dallas once again got good mileage from Regan Rome, who won gold medals in the 3,200 and 1,600. And her Mountaineers teammate Katie Kravitsky matched the District 2 record by skying 5 feet, 5 inches to win the high jump. In Clas 2A, Lake-Lehman’s Emily Johns took home two gold medals and a silver in field events, winning the discus and shot put and finishing second in the javelin. …

Wyoming Seminary’s Chris Kim went to two District 2 boys tennis finals in the same week before settling for a pair of silver medals. He battled hard in the Class 2A singles title match before falling 6-2, 6-3 to Scranton Prep’s Keller McGurrin. Then Kim teamed up with Matt Cartwright to post three straight-set victories — including a 6-2, 6-2 win in the semifinals — to reach the District 2 Class 2A doubles title match. The dynamic duo fell in the finals, 6-2, 6-0, to Scranton Prep’s hard-hitting Pete Kazmierczak and Tony Lutz — who also downed Sem’s Andrew Schukraft and Eamon Gibbons in the semifinal round. …

Holy Redeemer’s Ken Rexer served notice the Royals will be a force to deal with again in the District 2 Class 2A boys volleyball field by serving 16 points, including four aces, in a first-round district victory over Crestwood. The Royals also used 16 kills from Mike Prociak and 29 assists from Mike Conlon to capture that quarterfinal match. Nanticoke’s Ed Lukowski dished out 18 assists in a match against North Pocono at the end of the regular season, then put up 37 assists to help the Trojans past Wester Wayne in the District 2 Class 2A quarterfinals. His Nanticoke teammate Robert Burke used some of those sets to blast 18 kills in the quarterfinals. …

Crestwood’s Lizzy Dessoye is becoming unstoppable on the girls lacrosse field. She scored five goals and added an assist in the Comets’ regular-season finale, then hit for seven goals and another assist in a District 2 quarterfinal victory over Lake-Lehman. But she has plenty of help from Daniella Callaghan, who followed her six goals against Dallas with five more and an assist in the quarterfinal playoff win over Lehman. Katie Struhl spearheaded Lehman’s quarterfinal loss with three goals and an assist, while Lehman goalie Kenzie Borum made 18 saves against Crestwood. Wyoming Seminary used three goals from both Alexis Quick and Gabby Grossman to put away Scranton Prep in a District 2 quarterfinal. And Coughlin rode four goals from Kyra Castano and a goal and four assists from Kaitlyn Lukashewski to get past Dallas in the district quarters. …

Steady Omar Nijmeh of Dallas scored three goals and added two assists against Crestwood, then scored three goals to help Dallas down North Pocono in the District 2 boys lacrosse quarterfinals. His Mountaineers teammate Cory Metz finished the regular season strong, with four goals and an assist against Lake-Lehman, and one goal and five assists against Crestwood. Crestwood’s Drew Bobynskj erupted with five goals and an assist in a District 2 quarterfinal victory over Lake-Lehman, while the Comets received two goals and three assists from Ryan Magin. Crestwood goalie Bailey Bauman made seven saves in that playoff game. …

Berwick opened the District 2 Class 2A baseball playoffs looking pretty stout behind their hard-hitting catcher. Jorden Stout went 4-for-4 with two doubles and drove home five runs while scoring one in a first-round playoff victory over Lake-Lehman. That came right after Hazleton Area’s Biasi brothers burned Berwick in a playoff for the Wyoming Valley Conference Division I championship. Dante Biasi came back after a week off with a muscle pull to record the five-inning mound victory over Berwick while adding a three-run double that broke open the 10-run rule victory. His older brother, Sal Biasi, drove home two runs and scored two more in that league title game. Holy Redeemer’s Jeremy Worlinsky did everything but dust the plate while leading the Royals past Mid Valley in a District 2 playoff opener. Worlinsky picked up the pitching victory by allowing two hits and one run (it wasn’t earned) while striking out eight batters. He also doubled, scored two runs and drove one in. Pittston Area’s Joe Champi had two RBI, scored two runs and had two hits — including a two-bagger — in a playoff win over Wyoming Area. Coughlin’s Dave Marriggi needed just 80 pitches to twirl a three-hit shutout with five strikeouts while leading the Crusaders to victory over West Scranton in a District 2 Class 3A playoff opener. And Northwest’s Eric Gurzynski led the Rangers past Elk Lake in a Class 2A district opener by striking out eight while allowing just two hits and one run. He also doubled and scored a run in that game. …

Tunkhannock’s Taylor Hegedty hit a home run, went 3-for-3, scored three runs and drove home two more in a softball victory over Dallas. Her teammate Erin Smith rolled up 12 strikeouts while pitching the Tigers to victory. Dallas’ Katy Comitz didn’t make it easy for the Tigers, though, ripping a home run and double while driving in four runs and scoring two. Hanover Area’s Haylee Bobos continued her season-long hot streak by going 3-for-3, including her sixth home run of the season, during a victory over Wyoming Seminary. Michelle McNair ripped a grand slam for the Hawkeyes in that game, while the Hanover Area pitcher MaryKate Penczkowski recorded six strikeouts in three innings. Northwest’s Emily Buerger had two doubles among her three hits against Hughesville, and Kelsey Yustat picked up the win on the mound for the Rangers with a two-hitter and seven strikeouts. Nanticoke’s Leandra Ramos piled up 12 strikeouts in a victory over Pittston Area. Meyers rode Gina Strillaci’s two-hitter over five shutout innings past GAR. Ashton Mensinger struck out seven batters to help Berwick down Dallas, but Abby Berger had two hits and two RBI in the game. Wyoming Valley West’s Chloe Ruckle tossed a five-hit shutout with seven strikeouts in a victory over Crestwood. The Spartans batting order is getting a spark from Leanne Dellarte, who went 4-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI against Coughlin and followed that with two hits and two RBI against Crestwood.

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