A CANDID CONVO: PART II WITH MEGAN DURBIN
By BRANDON HURLEY
Greene County senior Megan Durbin returns to wrap up the second part of the Jefferson Herald’s Q and A series with the track star. Today, the state champion looks back on what happened to be her final moments inside Drake Stadium and as an athlete at Greene County High School. She also discusses what she has planned for the future and not being satisfied as solely a great high school athlete. She plans to excel in the college ranks and one day perhaps represent the United States at the summer Olympics.
Durbin signed to run track and field with Iowa State University this past winter, the first Greene County athlete to earn a Division I scholarship.
Jefferson Herald: As you stepped off the Drake Stadium track for the final time in your high school career yesterday, what was that like? I imagine it had to be pretty difficult.
Durbin: After running the open 200-meter final on Saturday, although I was rushed to get home for my graduation party since the rain delay was going to make me late, I sat on the infield for a little bit and took it all in. I watched the athletes around me warming up, and took a look at the Drake University sign. One of my coaches, Pat Gearhardt, came down to talk to me about my sixth place medal from running, and gave me one last hug telling me how proud he has been of me the past four years, which really made me tear up.
When I was walking out of the entrance to the infield, I kept looking behind me and all I could think about was how some of my best high school memories, and maybe even life memories, happened on the Blue Oval.
I have loved the time I have been able to put my time and effort into something so important and close to my heart, but I am excited to see what Iowa State has to offer for me and what plans God has for me there. I know that things happen, and all I can do is get back to work as soon as possible and get better and come back stronger. Although I may not have won the state title this year for high jump, I know I have been only the third female high jumper to never place below second after seven appearances in Drake Stadium, which is extremely humbling and makes me feel a lot better about the outcome this past weekend.
JH: What are some of your lasting memories of running track and field for Greene County over the last four years?
Durbin: Obviously, the big picture of the success I had with high jump, but I would say my favorite memories are more so the relationships I made along the way. Being able to become friends with so many girls from other schools because of high jump made the sport so much more fun.
I always had great teammates who pushed me and were very supporting ever since I was a freshman, and being able to run in relays with the girls is something I will never forget. I have had amazing coaches who have always pushed me to try harder and really reveal what I can do to better myself. I know that they will always be one of the biggest reasons I never gave up in the moments I wanted to, and that I always kept my head up when it was hardest to.
One thing I will always hold close to my heart is praying with all hands on the baton before relays at the district meets or Drake qualifying meets, and the excitement on my teammates faces when we did really well. The overall sense of friendship and the amount of love that can be found in such a small track team is amazing and it melts my heart looking back at all the fun memories I have had with my teammates and from being a Greene County athlete.
JH: One last question, as you head off to Iowa State, what are your expectations for yourself and what goals do you have at the D-I and Big 12 level?
Durbin: I know that Iowa State will be a huge transition compared to high school athletics and that a large portion of my time will be spent in practices and in the weight room and what not. I also know that I will go from being one of the best athletes in high jump competition, to a rookie who isn’t as good nor as experienced as everyone else.
I am excited to get coaching on my jump by my coach, Fletcher Brooks, and see what he can do with me. My far-fetched goal that I have written up on my bathroom wall is to go to the Olympics someday to jump. For now, I am going to work towards becoming better, stronger, and even more consistent. I hope to someday be an All-American athlete, rank high in the NCAA competition, possibly a hall-of-famer for Drake Stadium, make it on the All-Cyclone team, and overall do well academically.
Durbin did not go out for softball this summer, which means her triumphant high school athletic career has come to an end. She competed in her last event at the sanctuary that brought her so much glory.
Durbin: This weekend at Drake Stadium was my last time preforming in a Greene County jersey, and I’m happy to have ended my high school athletics career where I did.