May 23, 2013 in Washington Voices

Rogers senior keeps the bar raised, hopes to attend Georgetown

By The Spokesman-Review
Jesse Tinsley photoBuy this photo

Track athlete Carson Murray, right, leads his team on a warm-up lap at Rogers High School on April 23.
(Full-size photo)

Carson Murray set a new high jump record for Rogers High School. And then he broke it. In late April, he was named Rogers’ male scholar-athlete, and a week later he received a Gates Millennium Scholarship – an all-expenses-paid scholarship to a college of his choice.

Yet, he’s humble and friendly. And he likes to make people smile.

“It’s Monday so I wore bright colors just to kind of brighten things up,” Murray said, smiling, pulling at his tie-dye T-shirt and pointing at his bright blue track shoes. “It’s just who I am. I like making people’s day.”

His high school years have been a journey. Murray lost his mom to breast cancer during his sophomore year and his GPA dropped. When he got the second D one semester, he decided he had to do better.

“I didn’t start out with the goals I have now,” Murray said. “About two years ago, I realized that high school will be a big part of my future and I started working really hard.”

It paid off. Murray is now on the waiting list for Georgetown University – his top choice – but also considering University of Washington, and he would like to get a degree in international business.

“I want to get to know the global culture,” he said. “I’d like to travel.”

Born in Tacoma, Murray moved to Spokane in second grade. He’s excited about living in Washington, D.C., if he gets in to Georgetown, but said he’ll miss Spokane.

“I’ll miss the familiarity. I know where everything is here,” Murray said, “but I’ll always come back for Hoopfest no matter what.”

What’s his best advice to other high school students?

“Don’t fall behind,” Murray said, “and kick it into high gear early on – what you do now affects your future.”

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