SHELLEY — Shelley High School is sending its star high jumper to Brigham Young University.
Maddie Lempka, a senior at Shelley High School, signed a letter of intent on May 19 with BYU as a high jumper.
“I’m excited, but I’m mostly kind of nervous to go down there,” Maddie told Community Pioneer. “It’s the next chapter of your life.”
Maddie was a gymnast before joining the Shelley High School track team her freshman year.
Maddie said it was weight lifting coach Barry Johnson, after seeing Maddie’s ability to jump, first suggested she join the track team and compete in the high jump.
“I told my mom that I didn’t really want to do track and look at me now,” Maddie said.
She said she is happy that she decided to join the track team and learn how to high jump.
“She has been doing really well in the high jump ever since she was a freshman,” track coach Drew Wilson told Community Pioneer. “She’s won districts every year we’ve had districts. She’s finished second a State twice.”
At the State Track and Field Championship on May 22, Maddie took first place in the high jump with a jump of 5’4”.
Wilson said Maddie would have likely won State in 2020 if the competition hadn’t been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“She’s worked hard at this during COVID. She’s been working when a lot of other people weren’t, and it’s been awesome,” Wilson said.
Tracy Lempka, Maddie’s mom said sending her daughter to BYU is overwhelming but exciting
“She’s a great kid. Very social. Loves everybody, always doing something. She’s just a good kid,” Tracy said.
Maddie said she is excited to join the BYU track team because she will be able to work with another former Shelley High School high jumper, Ty Wright.
Wright signed his letter of intent with BYU in 2019.
“I’m super excited to work with him and the team and get some competition and really work hard,” Maddie said.
She said she plans on studying education.
“I want to be an elementary education teacher,” Maddie said.
She is still working out exactly when she plans on heading down to BYU but believes it will be sometime in August.