Loss of Ute Track Athlete Being Felt in Two Communities
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – While those on the University of Utah campus deal with the loss of fellow student Lauren McClusky, family and friends in her hometown of Pullman, WA are also mourning her passing.
Family friend, Patti Green-Kent said the young track star always gave it her all.
“She was so focused and loved what she did and worked hard at it,” Green-Kent said. “She was an incredible, incredible athlete.”
“She was one of the most coachable athletes but also a good person, I mean she was very well-rounded,” she said.
The Washington native was an honors graduate at Pullman High School. In a post, her mother, Jill McClusky said she was a state champion in high jump and school record holder in the 100-meter hurdles.
“She was dearly loved and will be greatly missed,” she wrote.
McClusky’s high school principal, Desiree Gould said Lauren was loved by so many in the community.
“She was so sweet. Everyone who knew her knew her as really kind and a quiet leader,” Gould said. “For all her quietness in the classroom and in the school, she was fierce out on the field.”
McClusky caught the attention of numerous universities; receiving multiple offers her senior year of high school. With family by her side during signing day, she chose the University of Utah in 2014. The pent-athlete excelled her freshman year and after nearly four seasons at the U, was set to graduate in May 2019.
“That was a thing of beauty to watch when she was out there. It truly was,” Gould said.
In a statement her coach Kyle Kepler said, “She was a wonderful person, an excellent student and a dedicated member of our track and field team. She showed a relentless drive to improve every day and was always kind and supportive of her teammates. Those are just some of the reasons why her loss has hit us so hard.”
There are vigils planned to honor McClusky both at her high school in Washington and at the University of Utah. The U of U vigil is set for Wednesday at 5 p.m. on the steps of the Park Building in President’s Circle.
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