The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Track athlete leaves her mark in campus record books

Knowing that she was the best athlete in the triple jump wasn’t enough, so Star Thurman had to show all of her doubters and competitors once and for all that she was the best.

Thurman did exactly that two weekends ago at Sacramento during that state finals. Thurman captured first in the triple jump with a leap of 38 feet, 6 3/4 inches, it was the first time that a Warrior finished first in the triple jump since Michelle Allen did it in 1992.

“It is a really nice feeling to know that all the hard work has finally paid off,” Thurman said. “I was unaware that I was capable of this.”

Before attending EC, Thurman attended and competed at Paramount High School.

Her high school years didn’t go by in vain, as Thurman became a star athlete by the time she was a senior in high school.

Thurman broke a record in the following events during her senior year in high school: the triple jump, 100-meters, and the 400-meters.

“It is a very nice feeling to know that my name will be on the record book in my high school,” Thurman said. “I have to say that my senior year was the biggest highlight in my high school years.”

After Thurman graduated from high school, she was undecided on whether or not she should attend college. Also if she was going to attend college, she didn’t know where to enroll.

One afternoon, Thurman received a surprising visit from her current coach Kevin Hughley.

After talking for a couple of hours, Hughley convinced Thurman to attend EC and join the track and field team.

“She did a tremendous job developing from last year,” coach Dean Lofgren said. “We predicted early during the season that she was capable of doing big things.”

Thurman’s first year as part of the track team was not as good as she thought it was going to be.

She had even convinced herself that quitting was the best solution.

“At one point, I was convinced I was going to quit track because of all the responsibilities I had ,” Thurman said. “All the hard work I was doing in practice was not showing during all of the events I competed in.”

Besides being a full-time student, Thurman also had to work in a restaurant for about 20 to 30 hours a week.

The work overload was beginning to affect her in a negative way.

Having to take a bus, two trains, and one final bus, was part of her daily commute to school, home and work.

Her daily commute took 2 to 3 hours each day.

At the time, Thurman’s hectic schedule was getting the best of her and had it not been for her coaches’ and peers’ intervention and advice, she would have quit the team.

“I was so tired of my schedule. Between work, school, track and all the other responsibilities I had, at one point I was just ready to call it quits,” Thurman said. “But my teammates, coaches and family did not allow me quit. I love them for that encouragement.”

After the very first meet of the season, Thurman instantly believed that she would qualify for the Southern California finals.

Her numerous accomplishments during the early part of the season gave Thurman the confidence to know that she was going to have a successful season.

“She is a very wonderful person and a strong person and also a great team member as well,” Roy Alugbue said. “When she has her mind set upon something, she will accomplish it.”

As the season progressed, Thurman began improving in every event she competed in, especially in the triple jump.

Even though she was competing in both track and field events that she wasn’t used to, Thurman managed to place in the top positions at most of the meets.

With only one more meet left in the season, Thurman was surprised and happy to learn how much she had improved.

She captured first place in the triple jump at Sacramento during that state finals.

“It was very satisfying to be the state champ in the triple jump,” Thurman said. “I am just glad everything turned out great for me.”

Despite all the success that the season has brought her, Thurman walks away believing that she could have acomplished a lot more if she had more time available to work out.

“I sometimes wonder to myself, ‘what if I had gone to the weight room’, I know I could have done much better,” Thurman said.

The desire for a scholarship to a university motivates Thurman to not quit and to use track and field as the source to get an education and her college degree.

Thurman also wants to prove to all the people who doubted that she could do anything with her athletic ability.

Furthermore, Thurman is trying to set a good example for her two younger sisters, who she says admire her for what she does and are always looking up to her.

“I want to show my younger sisters that if you stay devoted and motivated, then anything is possible,” Thurman said. “I just want to be the best role model that I can be for both my younger sisters.”

As for what she will be doing in the immediate future, Thurman is unsure. There is a possibility of transferring for the fall or spring, and there is a chance that she will be back for next season.

As for the summer, she has a slight idea of what she will be doing.

“Now that the season is over, I have so much free time for myself,” Thurman said. “I am just going to sit back, and relax and watch my favorite TV show ‘Oprah’.”

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