by S. Purdom
Murray, Ky., April 20------Kenzley Sparks, Murray High School senior Cross Country Team member, signed a letter of intent with Colorado School of Mines, in Golden, Colo., to compete on their Orediggers Womens’ Cross Country Team.
A State Cross Country participant since seventh grade, (except her freshman year due to injury), Sparks is a six-time State Track Meet participant. The only MHS female to participate in a high school 5,000 meter race on the track, Sparks is the MHS 3200 meter holder with 12:12.36. Sparks is also the second fastest 1600 meter MHS individual at 5:42.75 and is the second best MHS record holder of the 4 x 800 meter relay.
A member of the 2014 MHS Cross Country Team which finished fourth in the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Class 1A State Meet, Sparks is a two- time Kentucky Track and Cross Country Coaches Association (KTCCCA) All State member, a three-time Academic All State recipient, and six-time Academic All-State track member.
The Colorado School of Mines intercollegiate athletics program provides student-athletes with the opportunity to participate in 18 varsity sports. As one of 14 schools in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Mines provides an excellent opportunity and environment for both the scholar and the athlete. The RMAC is an NCAA Division II affiliate consisting of 10 institutions in Colorado, two in New Mexico, one in South Dakota and one in Nebraska.
The Mines athletics staff also provides a wide range of summer camps each year. Additionally, Mines offers intramural and club sports programs, as well as physical activity classes for the recreational athlete.
Teresa Speed, MHS principal, said Sparks is a fine young woman who exemplifies the motto of MHS Tradition, Pride and Excellence. "Whether Kenzley is in the classroom, or on the track fields, she demonstrates the work ethic to be a true Murray Tiger. I am proud to call her my student."
Most recently, the OreDiggers finished in the top 10 of the Division II Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup at No. 6 with a 378.00 point total. CSM has finished in the top-20 in four of the last five academic years, including a school-best tie for No. 10 at the close of 2012-13. (The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 14 sports – seven women’s and seven men’s).
Sparks hopes to pursue Metallurgical & Materials Engineering Degree while attending Colorado School of Mines, a public research university devoted to engineering and applied science. In pursuing this major, Sparks hopes to one day work in athletic gear research and development.
Mines has distinguished itself by developing a curriculum and research program geared towards responsible stewardship of the earth and its resources. In addition to strong education and research programs in traditional fields of science and engineering, Mines is one of a very few institutions in the world having broad expertise in resource exploration, extraction, production and utilization. As such, Mines occupies a unique position among the world's institutions of higher education and offers all the advantages of a world-class research institution with a size that allows for personal attention.
A member of National Honor Society, Sparks is the daughter of Jeff and LaDonna Sparks, Murray.