Record-Setting Former Player Inducted

Payson's Mary McMullen joins California school hall of fame

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A Rim Country mother of two entrusted with supervising the construction of the Payson Area Trails System (PATS) has been inducted into her high school's athletic hall of fame.

Mary McMullen attended the ceremonies held May 17 in her hometown of Paradise, Calif. There, school and town officials honored her and 16 other inductees.

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Mary McMullen receives a plaque from Paradise High athletic director Jay Bell acknowledging she has been enshrined in the school's hall of fame. McMullen was a star basketball player and track and field athlete at the school.

McMullen, a 1988 graduate of Paradise High and a former prep basketball star, is the all-time leading scorer in the school's history.

During her three-year varsity career, McMullen scored 1,198 points while playing both forward and center for the Bobcats.

That mark is also a California Eastern Athletic League North Section record.

In addition to setting scoring marks, McMullen is the school and North Section record-holder in career rebounds with 876.

Upon receiving the award, McMullen, who is known in Paradise by her maiden name of Mary Prince, told onlookers that winning a sectional championship was the highlight of her basketball career.

"It was my senior year and we scored in the last minute to win by one point," she said.

"It had been a long time since the school had won (a sectional title)."

In track and field, McMullen was equally successful as she was on the hardwood. She continues to hold the PHS high-jump record with a leap of 5-feet, 10 1/2 inches.

After starring in two sports for Paradise High, McMullen accepted a track and field scholarship to the University of Washington where she once finished second in the Pac-10 high jump.

She remained at Washington for two years before transferring to the University of California at Davis. There, she continued her high-jumping career for the Cal track team.

McMullen originally was a town recreation coordinator before accepting a position as Payson's Trails and Outdoor Recreation Coordinator.

Racking up prestigious honors is becoming commonplace in the McMullen household. In mid-April, her husband Craig -- who met Mary while the two were attending the University of California --as named the Shikar-Safari Wildlife Officer of the Year.

Craig McMullen is a supervisor for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The McMullens have two sons, Nate and Nick, who are active in local youth sports.

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