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Murray Native Competes In Olympic Trials

Lily Lowe
Lily Lowe competing in high jump.

A woman from western Kentucky competed in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials late last week for the first time vying for a trip to this year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, following years of collegiate and high school success in track and field and a pandemic that erased a year of competition.

22-year-old Lily Lowe, originally from Murray, was one of 24 women who qualified for the first round of high jump trials competition on Friday in Eugene, Oregon. Along with four state titles at Calloway County High School, she has also won multiple competitions in college including: the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Track & Field Championships, the Texas Tech Shootout, and the Desert Heat Classic last month.

She set a personal record of jumping 1.87 meters at the Desert Heat Classic representing the University of Arizona, which qualified her for the Olympic Trials.

“It has been a really long time coming,” she said. “ I really just enjoyed the journey. I know a lot of the girls who are jumping there. A lot of us are NCAA athletes, and then a lot of the great professional athletes, I got to jump on a pit with them and compete against them today, which was so exciting.”

Lowe also said qualifying for the trials was a great experience for her, even though she didn’t perform as well as she would have liked. She didn’t make it out of the qualifying round of competition, finishing with a height of 1.77 meters. But she appreciated the support she received from family who flew out to see her in Eugene.

“It's a lot of stress and pressure that we're not supposed to put on ourselves as athletes, but we do,” Lowe said. “I think having my family here, going to dinner with them...that definitely helps take a load off and just give me perspective on there's people who love me no matter what.”

Lowe, who graduated this past spring with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, has another year of collegiate competition eligibility left offered by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said she’ll be studying toward a master’s degree in real estate development and competing again for a new personal best of 1.90 meters and higher, along with an NCAA championship.

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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