They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes, though, they’re worth an entire afternoon filled with jumps and hurdles (literally) … along with more traditional shots. We first went down to Drake Stadium with Elizabeth Osborn, senior at Valley High School, to catch her in the sport she loves.
If I tried to do this jump I would land on my face.
She said, “I run cross country and track but I definitely favor track. There’s something about being “center stage” that gives you a rush of energy. Competing is a funny thing. One would think you can hear the screams of the crowd, but in reality, all I can hear is me counting the steps in between hurdles and staring at the next one in front of me. The best thing about hurdles, though, is that you can always get better. There’s always something in your form to change.”
But maybe the sport is in her blood. Her grandfather, who passed away when Elizabeth was a little over a year old, competed in the men’s 110 high hurdles in high school; eventually, the event was named after him in the Drake Relays. He went on to become the women’s track and cross country coach at Drake for 32 years. “He still manages to make a great impact on me,” she said.
Though it seems difficult to believe that Elizabeth has time for much else beyond training, she also says that being involved in her church is of the utmost importance: “Plymouth Church has always been a second home to me and most likely always will be. I’m in Matins Choir and am on the youth leadership team. I volunteer in the Sunday school programs, have been part of a search committee, and of course attend services weekly! My grandfather ‘s ashes (on my mom’s side) were buried in the memorial garden so this has also always been a place where I feel closest to him and my family.”
She has high hopes for the future, too. “I’m most proud of the fact that I have stayed true to myself throughout these four years and haven’t let social pressures or norms tear down the person I am. I’ve been able to grow into the person I imagined I would become. I look forward to finding out what God has in store for me next!”
So what might that be? “I plan on (fingers crossed) attending the University of Houston to study elementary special education! Being around kids has always been something that I enjoy! There’s so much in that field that I believe I can do and help to make a difference. There’s a saying, ‘If you choose a job you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life,’ and I aim to achieve that.”
Best wishes to this track-loving, graceful superstar!