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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Burns Believes In The Boom

Every time Kelly Burns pulls into the parking lot at Mount St. Mary she sees the huge banner on the school that reads: We believe in you.

Each time she reads that banner Burns remembers what it was like when she saw it for the first time her freshman year. And how much it truly resonates with her now as a senior.

“I remember when I was a freshman and looking at it and thinking it would just be a whole bunch of support and a family surrounding me and supporting me for everything that I do,” Burns said with a smile.

“Even now I find even more appreciation for the surrounding family that I have here at Mount.”

Now in her fourth and final season as a member of the Thunder swim team, Burns is focused on making it to states. A journey that continues when she competes at the All-Catholic Tournament that will be held inside the Burt Flickinger Center on the ECC-City Campus, Nov.1-2.

“I just think that, especially because it’s my senior year, I just want to put everything I have into it,” said Burns, who made Catholic states the last two seasons with the Thunder relay teams.

“It’s my last (All-Catholic) meet. So it’s gonna be really sad.”

Burns has certainly been heating up the pools as she has turned in some of the best performances in WNY this season.

Burns made a statement very early as she scored a pair of first place finishes in a tri-meet with Sacred Heart and Our Lady Of Mercy (Rochester) on Sept.15. Burns swam a 25.88 in the 50 free style and a 56.33 in the 100 free.

Five days later, she notched two more first place ribbons against Nardin, going 25.62 in the 50 free and 1:03.57 in the 100 butterfly.

Her times against Nardin earned Burns the Super 7 Athlete of the Week honors, while the previous meet earned the No.2 spot on the Super 7 countdown the week before.

“It was awesome. I was shocked. I didn’t know that could happen,” Burns said. “I’m just really grateful for my coaches and my teammates for allowing me to do great things.”

While her times have been dazzling, Burns, who also swims on the Thunder’s 200 and 400 free relay teams, said she wanted to do more than put up great numbers. She wanted to be a great leader. To be the kind of girl the others members of the team could count on as a leader, but also a friend.

Burns said she took her lead from previous captains Lexi and Grace Fredricks and Carolyn Sicurella, who each brought something special to the role of being a leader. The Fredricks were two of the Mount’s most accomplished swimmers and set multiple records. Sicurella, meanwhile, possessed the charm and sense of humor that made coming to the pool every day fun for everyone.

“With those people, Carolyn and the Fredricks, you get both ends of the spectrum,” Burns said. “You get the really awesome teammate and the really accomplished athletes. So you want to try to model yourself after both (styles).”

Off the playing fields, Burns is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council and is a member of Mount’s community service organization called the Z-Club. Also a member of the Thunder’s varsity basketball team, Burns was part of the team that made school history two seasons ago by helping the program win its first-ever state championship. Reflecting on her time as a student-athlete, Burns said that in her eyes there truly is something special about the Mt. St. Mary setting.

She said that no matter what goals you set, you have the feeling that the entire Mount family is always behind you. And that achieving those goals is your way of saying thank you to the school that has given you a home and the people that believe in you.

“Every time I step onto the basketball court or into the swimming pool I know that I’m doing that for Mount, because of all of the opportunities that they have given me,” Burns said. “My success is because of them and all of the support they have given me. Every other student or athlete, they should feel the same way.”

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