MOSCOW, Idaho — A track star and friend, gone too soon.
At the University of Idaho's Kibbie Dome, there are many firsts. First-time competitors, first-place winners and athletes competing in the first-ever Lauren McCluskey Memorial Open, on a track now bearing her name.
"We were very touched by Idaho who named the first track meet after Lauren. We didn't even ask--and they just did it out of the kindness of their hearts," said Matt McCluskey, Lauren's dad.
Pullman Native Lauren Mccluskey was murdered four and half years ago while attending the University of Utah.
Mccluskey was killed after reporting to campus police that her ex-boyfriend was harassing and stalking her. Since her death, Lauren's parents settled for nearly 14 million with the university. One million dollars were used to resurface a track in her honor at the University of Idaho's Kibbie Dome.
Matt and Jill McCluskey, Lauren's parents, got their first look at the track today.
"My daughter Lauren spent so many hours working out on this Kibbie Dome track, which was her home track in the winter months," said Jill McCluskey, Lauren's mom.
Jill hopes Lauren's name will serve as a reminder to listen and believe those experiencing dating violence.
"What you do can create a ripple effect. So that the next young woman who asks for help will be taken seriously and with urgency," said Jill.
A plaque now hangs on the wall depicting Lauren doing what she loved. A symbol of her passion already inspiring Idaho's student-athlete Tayler Lyday.
"It gives us something to compete for. We might not know her. But in spirit, she's always going to be here with us because it's Lauren McCluskey's track," said U of I athlete Tayler Lyday.
The first day comes to a close, but the legacy of Lauren Mccluskey will carry on.
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