Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


May 17, 2014

Croy's initiative pays off with Maryville

Neoga senior signs with Saints track and field

NEOGA — Courtney Croy loved Marvyille University for its physical therapy program, and also loved running track.

So with time before high school track season winding down, the Neoga senior took the ball into her own hands, sending out an email to coach Micky Kaufman at Maryville, expressing her interest in running for the Saints.

The initiative paid off, as Croy signed to become a member of the Maryville track and field team Friday afternoon.

It was a whirlwind 24 hours, as Croy qualified for the state track meet in both the long jump and as a member of the Indians' 4x200-meter relay team at the Lawrenceville Sectional Thursday.

"We knew we were going to sectionals, and we were hoping it wasn't rained so out (the signing wouldn't) have to be rescheduled again," Croy said. "It was crazy. I got to state, now I get to sign and start my college career."

Kaufman said he was glad she got in contact with the program, as Croy was an impressive athlete that could be used in many ways.

He was impressed with Croy's second-place finish in Class 1A in the long jump last year, jumping 17-05.50, but also said her versitility and size could pay off for the Saints in a number of ways.

But they may not have had the chance if it wasn't for Croy herself.

"Sometimes you get overlooked in these smaller schools and smaller classes, she wasn't really on my radar before she contacted me," Kaufman said.

Croy was a classmate of Teutopolis' Madeline Hartke in the local Health Occupations class, and both were interested in the physical therapy field.

Hartke made her commitment to Maryville official last November, and Croy said both of them liked the school for that program.

Now, with state looming, Croy is looking to do well at the IHSA level and then on to the Division II level at Maryville.

"I just want to improve on all my distances and times. I'm excited to be part of a team at college," she said. "I really wanted to do track in college and I knew they had a good track team."

Kaufman said again that Croy's versatility will be a huge asset, and maybe there are some untapped tools Croy hasn't had a chance to show off yet.

"We had another female recently who was a long jumper and a long sprinter in high school, and we found out she's a tremendous javeline thrower," he said. "You don't have that opportunity in high school, so sometimes you get little surprises like that.

"I'd like to see her spread out into more events, high jump being one of them, 100, hurdles. We'll she what she liks the most. There's a lot of upside to her."


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