Injuries don’t keep Harley Murray from competing

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UVU distance runner overcomes obstacles by running

Austin Cope | Sports writer | @autipopecope5

Having overcome challenges during her time as a distance runner at Utah Valley University, Haley Murray has dealt with multiple injuries, including stress fractures in her right tibia and fibula that ended her 2013 season. She then had some issues with her IT band (a ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin) becoming inflamed that kept her from competing for about three weeks in 2015. Murray isn’t about to let those struggles keep her from competing and helping the UVU women’s cross country team to a WAC Championship. She is also looking to have success individually.DSC_8596

“I’m looking forward to having consistent training,” Murray said. “This will lead me to create new personal records and help me qualify for the NCAA championships in either the 1500m or 3000m steeplechase in track. My goal for cross country is to lead the team to a conference championship.”

The redshirt junior from Vernal, has had success since joining UVU where she qualified for the USA Junior Nationals in the 3000m steeplechase as a freshman. She also finished in third place at the Great West Championship in the steeplechase.

During her sophomore season, she earned Second Team All-WAC honors after placing fifth in the mile at the WAC Indoor Track & Field Championships. She finished in second place in the 1500m race at the 2015 WAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Last season she had to redshirt due to injuries and looks to come back stronger and faster this season.

Murray got into running after watching the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She watched the hurdles and that led her to become a hurdler in high school.

“I watched the Olympics and thought the hurdles were cool,” Murray said. “I was a hurdler all through high school.  I also did cross country.”

When UVU head coach Scott Houle recruited her he saw that she had potential to become a great mid-distance runner but Murray wasn’t too excited about it at first.

“I missed the hurdles a lot at first,” Murray said. “But once I started having success with distance, I became passionate about it.”

Despite being recruited by Utah State, the confidence that coach Houle showed in her during the recruiting process led Murray to UVU.

“Coach Houle’s confidence in me and my potential brought me here,” Murray said. “Also, the team was a good environment and that appealed to me.”

She has made the transition from hurdler to a mid-distance runner without any hang-ups. As a member of the UVU cross-country team she competes in the mile. For the UVU indoor track & field team she competes in the 3000m race. And she competes in the 800m, 1500m, and 3000m steeplechase for the UVU outdoor track & field team.DSC_8606

Despite the injuries and the stress that running puts on the body, Murray enjoys it and the challenging aspect of running.

“Running challenges you and teaches you to overcome obstacles and injuries that might be in your way,” Murray said. “It’s very competitive and the racing makes it worth all of the work that you put in. Running is a way for me to spend time with myself and it’s a de-stressor.  There are times during runs where I just feel so happy and healthy.”