Aug. 22, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS – Gopher senior pole vaulter Katie Murgic is gearing up for her last season wearing Maroon & Gold, looking to build off momentum from a strong junior season in 2014.
Murgic, a Rosemount, Minn., native already ranks as one of the best pole vaulters in Gopher history. The three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree climbed to fifth and sixth all-time on the Minnesota indoor and outdoor all-time list during her junior year. Murgic also placed at both the indoor and outdoor Big Ten championships last year, taking fifth place outdoors and sixth indoors.
What is your favorite thing about Gopher track & field?
I have met some of my best friends through this team, and it has been amazing to watch the team grow over the past four years here. Being a part of Gopher track & field has been one of the greatest adventures of my life, and much of what I have taken from the experience goes way beyond the track.
What is your best memory with the team so far?
My sophomore year, the team went to San Diego for spring break, and that has been one of my favorite trips.
What’s your proudest accomplishment in your track & field career so far?
My proudest accomplishment in my track career so far was clearing 13 feet for the first time at the first indoor meet this past season. It was a huge mental barrier to break through, and it opened the door to five more PR’s during the season.
What are your major and career goals?
After completing my child psychology degree at the U, I am going to apply to the radiation therapy program through Fairview. I then hope to work in Radiation Oncology at a children’s hospital.
How did you choose the University of Minnesota?
After my junior year of high school, I went to a Flight Deck camp run by our coaches Steve and Caroline White, and I just loved their coaching style. I thought I would maximize my potential in pole vault by continuing my career with them at the University of Minnesota.
How did you get into track & field?
I participated in community ed. track in elementary school, but then gymnastics became my main sport through high school. One day during my junior year of high school, the track coaches came into the gym and suggested some girls come out for the team since gymnasts typically pick up on pole vault pretty quick. So about two weeks into the track season, I finally showed up to practice because Jay Hatleli (our vault coach) wouldn’t stop bugging me in the school hallways; and I absolutely hated pole vault. Fortunately, Hatleli made me stick it out and things just fell into place. I still thank him for that to this day.
Were you involved in any other sports growing up?
My main sports growing up were actually soccer and gymnastics. Being a gymnast for 10 years was a huge part of my transition to pole vault. Gymnastics helped a lot with body awareness and not being afraid to try new things.
Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions?
I’m really particular about my socks and shoes during meets. I like to wear tall socks so I can pull them up easily and I tighten my spikes between every jump to the point where my feet turn purple. I also have a little ritual on the runway before I jump; I crack my right wrist, kick the back of my shoe on my other foot and bend over to stretch. Ask anyone on the team and they can mimic it pretty good.
What do you think makes being a Gopher so special?
I love being able to represent the University of Minnesota and the state I grew up in as well as feeling part of a family and community for the rest of my life.
What are you most looking forward to about the 2014-15 season?
I am looking forward to building off last season and taking the next step as a team and as an individual. I hope to start the indoor season off strong just as I did this past year and then finish off my career as a Gopher on a high note!
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