Pilot in the Spotlight: Maya Murphy-Cook dominates for track and field

By Jamison White | April 18, 2019 11:36am

Junior track and field star Maya Murphy-Cook has dominated this outdoor season.

Media Credit: Brianna Miyama / The Beacon

This week, our Pilot in the Spotlight is junior track and field athlete Maya Murphy-Cook. Murphy-Cook competes in various events for the Pilots, mainly in hurdle races, high jump and the occasional shot put. 

Murphy-Cook has found success in multiple events this outdoor season. On March 16, she finished in the top five in four different events at the Lewis and Clark Spring Break Open, and claimed first at the high jump clearing a height of 1.58 meters. She also finished sixth out of 26 competitors in the women’s heptathlon, a combination of seven events, on March 25 to 26 at the Pacific Boxer Combined Event. 

The fact that Murphy-Cook competes in multiple events should come as no surprise. Joining her first track team when she was five, Murphy-Cook has had time to try it all. Her main focus, though, has been focused on hurdles and jumping events.

Behind the success of any athlete is a protein filled pre-event meal. Murphy-Cook is no different. In the moments before her events, she turns to her pre-event snack: chocolate.

“Before I race, I always down at least three chocolate bars,” Murphy-Cook said. “The type of chocolate depends on what events I’m doing that day.”

Murphy-Cook is also excellent in the classroom. During the 2018 season, she earned All-Academic honors from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. A future law school candidate, Murphy-Cook embraces political electives, including her favorite class, American Protest and Reform taught by Dr. Hancock. 

“It was really cool to learn about how policy has been formed by people pushing for what they want,” Murphy-Cook said. “In this political climate, legislation can feel like it’ll be stagnant forever. I plan to go to law school, so this class was a really encouraging in that reminded me that people on their own can and have created change through organized movements.”

Maya Murphy-Cook will compete again today, April 18, at the Brian Clay Invite in Azusa, California.

Jamison White is a sports reporter for The Beacon. He can be reached at whitej20@up.edu.

Contact sports reporter Jamison White at whitej20@up.edu.