The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

High School Sports

April 24, 2014

Shady’s Thompson clearing hurdles with ease

Soccer record holder finding similar success on Tigers’ track team

A fall while running hurdles can be a dangerous thing.

Unless you’re Shady Spring’s Lyndsey Thompson.

At a meet last fall, Thompson tripped as she was going over the fourth-to-last hurdle. Suddenly out of control, many an athlete has suffered scratches, cuts, bruises and sometimes far worse as they hit the unforgiving concrete.

Not Thompson.

“I did a somersault,” she said. “I still got sixth place, so... (laughs).”

It’s been that kind of a four-year career for Thompson, the 2013 Register-Herald girls soccer player of the year, and a multi-sport star at Shady.

She’s a four-year letter-winner in track and soccer, and she also played guard for two seasons on the school’s basketball team.

While better known for her soccer exploits, including a state-record 135 career goals, Thompson does a pretty good job on the track, as well.

Last year, she finished fourth in the 300 low hurdles at the state track meet in Charleston. It was her first full season of running individual hurdles, although she had competed in the shuttle hurdle relay as a sophomore.

“Coach (Vince) Culicerto knew I had endurance — I had run the 400 (meters) for him,” she said. “He started mixing in some hurdles, because he knew I had a pretty good chance at it.”

Blessed with both speed and great jumping ability, Thompson has lived up to Culicerto’s expectations.

“Lindsey hasn’t lost a meet in the 300 low hurdles, and now she’s running in the 110 highs,” he said. “She posted a Top 10 time (in her first attempt). She’s got her eye on the goal.”

Until this week, Thompson was ranked first in the state in the 300. She’s currently third, and 10th in the 300.

“The low hurdles and shuttle hurdles are the same height,” Thompson said. “The high hurdles are three inches higher, but it doesn’t really bother me because I jump so high.”

Admittedly, her form isn’t the best, but she makes up for it.

“I just think about winning and not letting girls pass me,” she said. “I would really like to win states in the 300. Coach wants me to really bad. I’m sure I can.”

Thompson also competes in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays, running the third leg.

Her favorite sport remains soccer, where she is set to play for the University of Charleston in the fall.

But track is a temptation.

“I like it. My parents like watching me do it, and it keeps me in shape,” Thompson said. “It’s good to have on my side.

“I could probably run track and play soccer at UC. My dad really wants me to do it, but I’m afraid it will take away from my soccer.”

“Lindsey is a super athlete. She could run in college easily and play soccer, too,” Culicerto said. “She can do a lot of things.”

— E-mail: dstillwell

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