The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Prep Track & Field: Murray brings back All-American honors

  • Bulldog senior to be places fifth at USA Junior Olympics
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  • The cliches roll off Lindsey Murray's tongue with ease.
    Things like, 'go big or go home,' or 'If you're not working to be the best, why do it all.'
    It's the kind of sayings that one tells the head and for Murray, the inner-voice paid off this weekend as the Harrisburg High School senior to be placed fifth over the weekend at the USA Junior Olympics Track and Field Meet at the University of North Carolina Greensboro in the pole vault.
    A slip on the track, causing Murray to tweak her back, limited her performance, but she did clear 11-foot-8, good enough for All-American honors.
    As if the fall on the track wasn't enough of a distraction for Murray, she also had to deal with another bad blow.
    I turned 17 four days before the competition, so I had to compete in the woman's division," Murray said. "I was the youngest participating in my division, but it's okay though, I get to have two more years in this division and now that I have experience I know what it's going to be like. I'm going to work even harder to be the best, because I want to win it."
    Aside from holding her own, Murray relishes in the notion that she brings back an All-American honor to Harrisburg.
    "Bringing home All American honors and being one of the top vaulters in the nation is a dream come true," Murray said. "I never thought I'd make it this far, but now that I'm here, I want to go further."
    Murray also had the chance to check out a few universities along the way to North Carolina, making a stop at Austin Peay University in Clarksville, Tennessee and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on her way back.
    The experience as a whole made it feel like a college event for Murray.
    "It was very exciting," Murray added. "There were a ton of people there and it was definitely more pressure than the state meet, with heavier competition."
    On the downside for Murray, with 50-plus competitors in just the 17-18 women's pole vault meant Murray got just two warm up jumps and she was forced to sit some 30 minutes before she was able to jump again.
    "It really messed with me," Murray said of having to sit. "I loved watching other jumpers though. It was awesome to see other forms of how they vault, some of them were so different. There were two girls from Fort Worth, Texas that placed in the top three that were just amazing. They were gymnasts and they got upside down and made it look easy. It was just a cool thing to see."
    Michael Dann can be reached at mdann@dailyregister.
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