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Hyatt’s legacy lives on at Placer

PVL Pipeline
By: Dave Krizman Journal Sports Columnist
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Walking into Earl Crabbe Gym, one cannot help but notice the many pennants hanging from the walls of this venerable edifice. Most signify league championships won, others acknowledge athletic achievements of a specific individual. The many pennants should come as no surprise as Placer High is 112 years old, and they speak to success and victory from years ago. Yet, on the far wall, there hang six pennants commemorating a Placer grad whose legacy continues today. Lindsay Hyatt (Barr), a 1999 Placer grad, may be the single most decorated athlete to ever wear the green and gold. The two blue and red pennants identify Hyatt as a national champion and the four green and gold pennants identify her as a CIF State Champion for the years 1996-1999 in the 800 meters, perhaps the most grueling of all running events. Hyatt still holds school records in the 400, 800 and 1600. Her success on the track and in the trails of the American River Canyon as she ran cross country landed her a track scholarship to Stanford University, where she would ultimately earn her bachelor’s degree. Hyatt’s legacy, however, extends far beyond those hanging pennants which speak to a time long past. Hyatt’s living legacy can be seen every fall as the Placer cross country team takes to the nearby trails. It was Hyatt’s success as a freshman and continuing through her senior year that made running cross country and track a cool thing to do. Her unparalleled athletic ability, her academic success, her drive and determination and her social standing opened the doors for other runners to follow. Running cross country and track became an acceptable choice for any talented female athlete. Hyatt was quick to point out that while at Placer she ran with other very talented runners. “I had awesome teammates from my freshman year all the way to my senior year,” Hyatt said. “Lucy Schmauch and Kristen Murray were role models when I was a freshman and Melinda Fuller and Randi Fee, my good buddies, were my teammates my junior and senior years. They were as much a part of our team’s success as I was. They were talented girls and we had lots of fun running together in the canyon.” It was Hyatt along with her teammates who were the pillars on which the foundation of success was built. To this day, Hillmen runners train and race knowing they are a continuation of what was built in the late 1990s. Hyatt finished her college running career at the University of Tennessee, a member of the powerhouse South East Conference. While there she received her Master’s degree. The difference between Stanford and Tennessee was dramatic. “At Stanford, everyone is talented in what they do so being an athlete was no big deal,” Hyatt said. “At Tennessee it was not unusual while walking around in your Tennessee jacket to have someone walk up to you and say, ‘ You’re a Lady Vol… that’s great.’” Hyatt has moved comfortably on with her life. She lives in Auburn and is both a wife and mother. She works for Stanford as a Development Analyst, helping to fundraise for the athletic department. “I miss the good friendships and good teammates, but I don’t have to get up at 5:30 am to lift weights,” she said. “Most collegiate athletes learn to channel the athletic drive they had in college to passions in their new life.” Ron Hyatt, Lindsay’s father and longtime Hillmen coach, was Lindsay’s coach for all four years at Placer. “It was a coach’s dream to coach someone that talented but it went above and beyond to coach my own daughter,” he said. “It was a great way to finish my coaching career. That group of girls really stimulated things. They received lots of press. They were a turning point for our program.” Any time Ron Hyatt needs reminder of his daughter’s success and the impact she had on Placer track and cross country, all he need do is poke his head out of his office and sneak a proud peek at the six banners heralding Lindsay Hyatt. Dave Krizman's column runs Wednesdays in the Journal