The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Local: Texas Sized Dreams

  • Murray hopes to make winning USA Jr. Olympics reality
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  • It’s a much needed vacation for Lindsey Murray, even if its a working vacation.
    The former Harrisburg standout and IHSA Class 2A Pole Vault state champion hasn’t had much time for a little R&R — in what she says — a long time.
    Murray finds herself just outside of Houston, Texas surrounded by family this week for a little down time and to celebrate a milestone.
    Or maybe two.
    Murray turns 18-years-old today (Tuesday) and while the stars are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas, Murray is hoping her star shines bright on Friday.
    For the second straight year, Murray will compete in the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, where last year she finished with a fifth place showing in Greensboro, North Carolina after a jump of 11-foot-8.
    The spectacle that is the USA Junior Olympics is one that someone could easily get caught up in.
    However, Murray uses the sights and sounds as motivation.
    “There’s no question this is one of the biggest meets I’ve competed in. The fact that its out of state, on a bigger stage, with more people watching, not just there, but live on video is something someone could get caught up in.
    “For me, it helps me perform better. This is one of the highest levels of competition there is. I know I’m on that stage and I have to do what I can do to block out any distraction.”
    This will be the last meet Murray participates in before reporting to Southern Illinois University where she signed scholarship papers with the Saluki Track & Field team.
    Her routine going into the junior Olympics hasn’t shied away from any other meet.
    “Obviously this meet is more important than ‘some of the others’, but from a preparation standpoint, I’ve been doing the same things I would be doing to get ready for a conference meet or the state meet.”
    Murray added that while her routine has been normal, rarely does her normal routine get boring.
    “You can always do things differently every time out. When I practice, I make sure to put myself in different kinds of variables or positions to better myself if the situation should present itself.”
    One variable that will present itself according to Murray is competing against the national recorder holder, who will be at the meet, with a jump this year of 14-feet-2.
    Murray’s personal record this year is 13-feet-4, which she set at the state meet this past May.
    “My mindset is to win it,” Murray said. “Hopefully I can grab a PR, but I’d really like the national record, I’m feeling pretty confident.”
    Page 2 of 2 - When asked where Murray was going for her birthday dinner; “I’m pretty confident, we’re going to Olive Garden.”
    Michael Dann can be reached at mdann@dailyregister.com. Follow on twitter: @spydieshooter.
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