Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

May 24, 2014

Lee clears hurdles to sign with EKU

MOREHEAD — Isaac Lee has cleared many obstacles on and off the track.

From injuries to his personal life and hurdles at track meets, Lee has found a way to overcome all adversity to make the leap to a college scholarship.

The Rowan County senior, a member of three region championship teams and one runner-up squad, signed his letter of intent to run track at Eastern Kentucky University at a ceremony at the high school on Tuesday.

“I’m very excited about it,” Lee said.  “Anything Division I is going to be great. It’ll be a great environment and a lot of hard work and I’m looking forward to getting down there and getting to work.”

His coach, Stephen Cyrus, could not be more thrilled for Lee, calling him a “natural leader.”

“We’re so pleased that he gets to do this,” Lee said. “If you could just see him work with the other fellas and the leadership he shows, he’s not boisterous, but leads by example. It’s an honor for him and our program.”

For earning his opportunity at Eastern Kentucky next year, Lee has plenty of reason to keep running.

“The people around me give me motivation,” Lee said. “I’ve been working hard to get to this point and we’ll see where it goes from here.”

He’s won a lot of hurdles events over the years, in the Eastern Kentucky Conference meet or in region meets. Last season, he pulled a hamstring and could not compete at the state meet.      

Lee said he will run the 400-meter hurdles and will look to earn a spot on the 4x400 team in Richmond.

Cyrus has an indication that Eastern Kentucky does not quite know what kind of competitor they are getting in Lee, and that’s a good thing.

“They know his numbers, but when they meet the real Isaac Lee, they’re going to realize he’s a true gem,” the coach said. “He’s a winner. I used to run with (Colonels coach Rick) Erdmann a little bit down there. … He’s truly a coach that can bring out the potential in athletes if you’re willing to work as hard as he is. It’s going to be a good combination.”

While Lee has aspirations of making an impact for the Colonels, his primary goal is to be the first from his family to graduate from college.

“It’s a big focus because track won’t be around forever,” Lee said. “I’ll make a career choice soon and get my education.”

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