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Athlete Spotlight: Maureen Sutphin, Harlem

Posted: November 8, 2017 - 2:52am
Maureen Sutphin won the 100-meter hurdles in the Columbia County Track and Field Championships. She wants to continue competing in college.
Maureen Sutphin won the 100-meter hurdles in the Columbia County Track and Field Championships. She wants to continue competing in college.

Harlem's Maureen Sutphin is ready for the second half of her sporting year at the school.

This past fall, the junior outside hitter helped Harlem finish the volleyball season with an appearance in the second round of the Class AA playoffs, the first time the Lady Bulldogs have made it that far in postseason play. Now, she's preparing to shift her focus for the spring track season.

Sutphin said she's become a better hurdler because of her work in her other sport.

"I think volleyball made me faster and have better footwork," she said. "You've got to be fast for volleyball."

Sutphin and her Lady Bulldogs teammates posted a breakout season on the volleyball court. Harlem went 9-1 in region play and finished as a region runner-up. Then, the team defeated Spencer in the first round before advancing to the state quarterfinals.

Sutphin finished with 115 kills and 63 aces on the year.

"I think we had a really good season," she said. "All my teammates are all so sweet. Coach (Scott) Hawkins is my favorite coach out of all of them."

Sutphin only started played volleyball four years ago. Before that, she did cheerleading for seven years, but she ran into a problem. She grew.

"I was starting to get tall," she said. "When you get taller in cheerleading, it's not as much fun because you have to be the back spot."

An energetic child, Sutphin tried a little bit of everything as youth. She played softball, basketball, soccer; she also danced. If that weren't enough, Sutphin also modeled and took piano lessons.

She eventually found a home in volleyball. She began using her height to her advantage on the front line.

"I like that it's an aggressive sport," she said. "I like that anything you have inside of you you can just take it out on the ball."

Sutphin plans to play travel volleyball this winter before gearing back up for the track season. She started in hurdles her freshman season, advancing to the state meet.

Last season, she won the 100-meter hurdles in the Columbia County Track and Field Championships in the spring before finishing third in the region meet. At the state championship, she finished ninth in the prelims. She missed making finals by one spot.

"I want to make it on the podium," she said. The top eight hurdles make the podium. "I've dreamed of it. I want to be on the podium so bad."

Sutphin said she wants to play volleyball and run hurdles in college. She said she really enjoys the team aspect of volleyball. In college, she plans to major in biology so she can ultimately work in facial reconstruction of burn patients.

"I looked into it and it just seemed really cool," she said. "I find that really interesting. I'd like to help people that want to fix their face to get it back to the way they wanted it."

 

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