Kendra Murnion: animal lover and athlete

Charlie Denison

Kendra poses with her yearling, Duke, shortly before she showed him at the Central Montana Fair.
Photo courtesy of Lori Murnion


Grass Range go-getter Kendra Murnion is doing it all: working with horses, heifers and canines while also having time to be the only Grass Range student in her class to compete in volleyball, basketball and track.

And she’s loving it all, having fun and working to improve each step of the way.

Some might say, “Hey, I had a good year last year” and not work harder to do better, but that’s not Kendra.

After making it to state for 100-meter hurdles last year and placing twelfth, Kendra is not going to settle. Instead, she is going to try harder, work harder and condition harder in hopes to return to state and place higher.

The same goes for volleyball: last year, the team made it to the divisional tournament. Kendra isn’t satisfied.

“We can get back there and we can do better,” she said.

A competitive person, Kendra is excited for the challenges and looks forward to improving in sports, academics, FFA, FCCLA and 4-H. She’s busy, she’s driven and she’s having fun.

During the Central Montana Fair, Kendra put forth her best efforts, selling a heifer and showing a three-year-old horse, a yearling and her young border collie, Runt.

“I took Runt for obedience training,” Kendra said. “She did real well in the agility course except there was one tunnel she didn’t want to go through. It was a little scary for her.”

Her horses also did well, she said.

“Duke, the yearling, did real well with the walking, trotting and the pivoting,” she said. “Raz did well, too. He picked up all the right leads. I also did some pole bending and barrel racing, which was fun.”

The Central Montana Fair was a good time and successful, but Kendra said she hopes for even better results next year.

Animals are a big part of Kendra’s life. Considering her passion, she said she is interested in becoming a veterinarian some day.

“I became more interested in being a veterinarian after Duke got attacked by a mountain lion,” Kendra said. “Duke is OK now, but the mountain lion ripped up his chest real bad. He was all tore up. You could see claw marks going down his side. I spent a lot of time nursing and helping him, and I really like caring for animals.”

But college is still a ways away for young Kendra. Instead of focusing on what college to go to, she is more focused on academic achievements and competitions. This summer, she was part of the Grass Range FCCLA team that went to nationals in San Diego.

“We got silver in Parliamentary Procedure,” Kendra said. “Getting silver is pretty good, especially being from such a small school. It was nerve-racking being at a national competition. A lot of our hard work paid off.”

Just having the opportunity to go and compete meant a great deal, Kendra said.

“We are thankful our community supported us with fundraisers and stuff so we could go on that trip,” she said.

FCCLA, like 4-H and FFA, has been very helpful for Kendra, she said, helping propel her for the future.

“I’ve gotten to meet a lot of people and do a lot of networking through these programs, and I’ve also improved my public speaking skills and have become more confident as a person,” she said. “And, in 4-H, I’ve also learned a lot about working with animals, which has been great.”

Kendra is going for it, working hard and pushing toward her future. She is making the most of her time in Grass Range and looks forward to what life after high school will bring. Nevertheless, she is present in the moment and not letting any opportunities pass her by. She is putting her all into what she does, which, she said, is the only way to live.

“Work hard,” she said. “You have to work hard if you want to get anywhere.”



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