The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Girls Track & Field: Putting On The Finishing Touches

  • Harriburg’s Murray, Eldorado’s Steed close out careers at Charleston
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  • It’s the best of both worlds for a pair of local athletes this weekend.
    As seniors, Harrisburg’s Lindsey Murray and Eldorado’s Sadie Steed are competing at the IHSA State Track and Field Meet in Charleston, looking to end their career on high notes.
    Murray is looking to bookend a four-year run at the state finals with a championship in her marquee event, the pole vault. The Bulldog senior will also be competing for the first time in the high jump, an event she had not competed in until this year.
    Meanwhile, Steed is looking to make good on an event that has grown on her, the triple jump.
    Murray is hoping the make the most — and her last — state finals with spot on the top of the podium.
    It’s been a work in progress for over a year for her.
    “Everything I’ve done in track has led up to this point,” Murray said. “I’ve put in countless hours into it with workouts, camps, vault sessions, training exercises, rope drills and healthy habits, just to reach the goal of being a state champion and have that state record.”
    Along the way, Murray has had plenty of guidance from assistant coaches like Ron Brachear and have taken the time to look up to different vaulters over the years that compete at the state finals.
    “I have finally made it to the point that I believe I’m on the same level. I never would have thought I would have accomplished what I have four years ago. I have been very blessed to experience this three years in a row now.
    “This one is going to be different. As a senior, I have matured mentally, emotionally and physically to become the person and vaulter I am today. It’s bittersweet to be able to end my high school career as a state participant.”
    If this was Las Vegas, all of Murray’s pole vaulting chips are out on the table.
    “The people supporting me have worked night and day to make my dream a reality. I am so blessed to be here. I haven’t had any ‘extra preparation’ to get ready for state,” Murray said. “Ron and I just practice how we have all year. It’s to the point where if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. We just work on technique, form and overall confidence at the bars and on the piles that I compete on. I want to be a state champion and have the state record. This has been my goal since I fell in love with pole vaulting.”
    Page 2 of 2 - For Steed, the triple jump wasn’t love at first sight. To be honest, it wasn’t even love.
    “In the beginning I absolutely hated the triple jump,” Steed said. “Coach Gina (Griffin) and my family saw the potential in me to get where I am now. I have completely dedicated myself into competing in track. Triple jump has grown on me and I now love to compete in it.”
    Steed said hard work, dedication, perseverance; most of the ingredients that go into most thing in sports, is what she believed as propelled her to the state meet.
    “Getting here took a lot of hard work. Learning the triple jump is not the easiest thing and I’ve fallen multiple times, rolled my ankles, felt like giving up at times, but thinking back it was all worth it.”
    After winning the triple jump at the Black Diamond Conference meet a few weeks ago, Steed said she got the notion that the dream of actually qualifying for state could become a reality.
    “After sectionals when Gina texted me and told me I qualified for state, I was extremely excited. I have been practicing by myself everyday and I have been nervous about state for the past week. My goal as of right now is to beat our school record and get a 33-feet-8 to qualify for the weekend finals.
    “If I achieve this goal, my senior year would end perfectly, but if I don’t succeed I will still be happy with the way my senior year of track has ended. I have no regrets.”
    Michael Dann can be reached at mdann@dailyregister.com. Follow on twitter: @spydieshooter.
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