published Saturday, February 9th, 2013

GPS's Lansden signs to run for Memphis

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    Destinee Lansden
    Photo by Doug Strickland.
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After enjoying official visits to Indiana and Ole Miss as well as Tennessee and Murray State, Girls Preparatory School track standout Destinee Lansden made an unofficial trip a month ago to the University of Memphis.

Friday, GPS teammates and friends celebrated her signing of a Memphis letter of intent.

"I went there just to see if I would like it," said Lansden, who won the Division II 100- and 400-meter races and was part of the second-place 4x100 relay at the TSSAA state meet last May. "A couple of days later, I committed to them."

A junior 800 specialist at Memphis is former GPS teammate Nandia Taylor, and Lansden said Taylor "made me feel really good about the campus and how they do things. She assured me that's the place that's going to make me a better runner."

GPS coach Stacey Hill backed that up.

"I think it's a good place for her," he said. "Looking at their roster and their coaches, I definitely think she can go there and better herself."

He and Lansden both expect another great spring from her as a Bruiser. Lansden admitted she's out to set the state 400 record and help GPS win the team title after three consecutive runner-up finishes.

"I've been working out to build strength and muscle," said the 5-foot-6 daughter of 1982 Riverside all-state basketball player William Lansden. "Our team is going after a lot of records on the record board at GPS."

Murray State was the first university to contact her. That was after she competed as a Chattanooga Jet in the AAU Junior Olympics last summer in Baltimore.

"Destinee is a good student, and she's driven now after a great state meet last year," Hill said. "She has the confidence to go after bigger things."

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