The ripple effect of Connie Price-Smith leaving the SIU men’s and women’s track and field program are still being felt.
After Price-Smith left for Ole Miss in late July and Raven Saunders transferred in early August, one more Saluki is leaving and joining the two.
Former Harrisburg standout and SIU’s all-time record holder in pole vault, Lindsey Murray announced her plans to go to Oxford.
The loss of Price-Smith, along with Murray’s pole vault coach Brian Porter, is what she said prompted her to look at transferring.
“One of the biggest reasons why I even went to SIU was because of coach Connie and coach Porter. I liked the way they ran their program, it fit me, both on and off the track. So, what I knew worked for me was no longer there and that’s when I looked into what my options were or could be.”
Murray was granted her release from Southern Illinois University over the weekend and was able to enroll and sign with Ole Miss earlier this week. Murray will not have to sit out the upcoming season for the Rebels.
For Murray, she said it hasn’t really full sunk in yet, but looks forward to competing in the Southeastern Conference.
“It’s obviously a bigger conference and it will put more pressure on me to do better. The notion that I was away from home, but close enough to get back if I had too was nice, but yeah, I don’t know if it’s all sunk in yet. I think getting that first year out of the way was really beneficial to me.”
Oxford, Mississippi, is a four and half hour drive from Murray’s native southern Illinois.
Murray named Missouri Valley Conference Female Athlete of the Week three times this past season as she received the award in April and February.
It was a season to remember for Murray, who after winning the IHSA state championship in her senior year at Harrisburg, went on to break multiple records for the Salukis.
Murray holds the SIU outdoor record with a jump of 13-feet-10 that she set at the A-State Red Wolves Open in April. Murray had the previous record of a jump of 13-feet-6.25,
Murray also holds the SIU indoor record with a jump of 14-feet-1.25, which sent her to the NCAA Indoor Championships, where she finished ninth overall as a Second-Team All-American.
At the prep level, Murray is the all-time Illinois high school girls state record holder in the pole vault at 13-4, which won her the outdoor state title her senior year at Harrisburg.
The four-time Southern Illinois River-to-River All-Conference recipient and three-time all-state qualifier, as well as three-time All-South and two-time National Elite, Murray was a Gatorade Athlete of the Year nominee in her senior season.