Garfield High School and University of Maryland's Paula Girven passed away last week at the age of 62 after her battle with cancer.
Paula's story is one for the history books. Her life was often filled with obstacles that cut her short of some of the goals she could have achieved. That started in high school when she did not even have an indoor season, followed her in her Team USA career when the United States boycotted the 1980 Olympic Games, and most recently with her cancer diagnosis.
Despite having many obstacles in front of her, Paula always found a way to raise the bar even higher.
Paula helped Garfield win their first state team title, won a state record nine outdoor titles, and even scored a monstrous 40 points in a state meet. Ultimately one of her greatest achievements was setting the state record in the high jump with her clearance of 6-1.25".
That high jump record still stands today as the state record and was set back in 1975, six years before indoor track was a sanctioned sport for women in Virginia. It is also the oldest state record in Virginia including boys, girls, indoors, and outdoors.
Following her competitive career Paula was a trainer and coach who helped athletes recognize their own dreams.