If Red Bud senior Brittany Burmester wanted to make a point, she did so Thursday at the Class 1A girls state track and field meet in Charleston.
Continuing to stake her claim as one of the top distance runners in the state, Burmester posted the fastest qualifying time of the day in the 1,600 meters -- 5 minutes 10.87 seconds -- as she led the way for metro east athletes during the preliminary round of competition at O'Brien Stadium in Charleston.
Burmester, who had the fastest Class 1A time in the state during the regular season at 5:11, posted her time in the third and final heat. Her time of 5:10.87 on Thursday is nearly four seconds faster than Ivy Handler, of Decatur St. Teresa, who ran a 5:14.46.
Burmester will attempt to become the first track and field state champion from Red Bud during the finals, which will be held Saturday at O'Brien Stadium.
Class 2A preliminaries begin at 8 a.m. Friday, with the Class 3A athletes taking the field at noon. The finals in all three classes begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Burmester, who will also run in the 3,200 final, wasn't the only local star to shine at Eastern Illinois University.
Metro-East Lutheran senior Jessica Jump put herself in position to win three state medals. Jump has the third-best time in the 400 meters (58.35 seconds) and has the sixth best time in both the 100 (12.83) and 200 (26.31 seconds).
The Althoff Crusaders are also in position to bring home some medals. Senior Cara Brooks sits ninth in the shot put, after a throw of 37, while junior Savannah Ames qualified for the finals in the 1,600 meters.
Ames has the seventh-best time at 5:21.09.
Nashville's Easton Hoepker has the 11th best throw in the discus at 111-1.