Lauren Felknor's Best Marks
800 - 2:17.48
1,600 - 5:16.65
3,200 - 12:26
5k - 18:40
Q) Talk about the recruitment process - what other schools were you looking at, and how did you come to choosing the University of Nevada - Las Vegas (UNLV)?
I started looking at schools and filling out questionnaires right after state cross country junior year. I started getting contacts around that time from some schools, but it was nothing I was too interested in pursuing.
The first major contender I talked to was UCCS, which I was really excited about, and was honestly my number one choice for a while. I remember my coach (Greg Weich) texting me sometime toward the beginning of track season that UNLV was interested in me and to expect a contact from them soon. I didn't actually hear from them until a few months later, so I was really confused.
Later that summer I had a home visit with Angelina Ramos, and I immediately loved her and the idea of running on their team. I took my official visit early in September, and I felt so at home with the girls and the other recruits that I knew that was where I wanted to go. I had the option to go on other visits after that with some other programs, but I had such strong feelings about UNLV that I decided to commit!
Q) What do you plan to study at UNLV?
I plan on studying kinesiology because I hope to be a physical therapist someday. Depending on the course load and balance I have with running, I might double major with kinesiology and nutrition sciences, because I think that would give me a lot of options for careers. I actually just got admitted into the UNLV honors college so I'm really excited!
Q) What event do you see yourself focusing on at UNLV?
I plan on focusing on the 1,500 and potentially trying out the steeplechase at UNLV.
Q) You've had success in the 800 up to the 5k, which event would you say is your favorite, and why?
My favorite event is actually the 4x400 relay because the team aspect of it is so much fun and I love the girls on our 4x4 team. As for individual events, the 800 has always been my favorite, because I experienced a ton of improvement in it freshman and sophomore year, but I also took a liking to the 1,600 this past year after getting a little bit more experience with it.
Q) You've consistently made big improvements each year - what would you attribute to such consistency?
I would attribute my improvement to so many different reasons. I came into high school basically new to the sport. The first time I had ever run distance was 8th grade cross country, and even then I wasn't serious about it at all. Just figuring out the sport and strategies of racing definitely sped up my times, but the biggest factor I can attribute to my success was being surrounded by incredibly motivated teammates and coaches.
I can say with certainty I wouldn't be running college xc and track without the mentorship of the 2018 graduating class or the incredible coaching I received all around the board here at Broomfield. That and my decision to fully commit to the sport and dedicate myself to improvement after freshman year xc definitely helped me make huge leaps.
If I had to give advice to any new runner on how to improve, it would be to focus on pushing yourself in practice and not worrying about how you compare to other athletes. Stay committed and keep going!
Q) The first results we have on you on MileSplit is a 15:37 cross country 3,000, 105th place finish from the Boulder Valley Middle School Invite - what do you remember from this competition?
I actually remember that race so well. Our bus was super late so we got to the meet five minutes before the gun was supposed to go off. Everyone was freaking out and we basically just had to hop on the line after we put our stuff down, without any warm up (not that we really warmed up well in middle school anyway).
It was my first cross country race ever and I had no idea what I was doing. I had honestly never run more than a mile at once, and even then I probably walked in the middle. I definitely walked more than once, and I don't really know how I made it to the finish line. If someone would've told me that day that I would be running D1 cross country and track I would've laughed in their face.
Q) What got you interested in running in the first place?
I started running intramural track in 6th grade due to pure peer pressure from my friends (shoutout to Sophie Jones and Sadie VanWagenen, who are still my teammates!). I did not want to be there at all and decided my strengths were in sprinting (they were not). I thought it was fun to be outside and skip school a few times for meets, but I wasn't all that into the running part.
My brother started cross country for Broomfield his freshman year (I was in 7th grade) to keep busy after school, so when they started cross country at the middle school, my family and friends convinced me to try it out. As you can tell by the last question, I wasn't obviously a superstar. The next race we did, though, I was so excited because I didn't walk! I got addicted to the feeling of being better than I used to be and really started applying myself to the sport when I got to high school.
Q) Could you share any goals you have for your senior year?
For senior year track, I really want to start having more fun with the sport and put less pressure on myself. I started the sport to just have fun and keep busy, but once I started getting good I started putting so much pressure on myself to perform well.
I want to focus on improvement just like I always have, so my real goal is to just get faster. I remember on my goal sheet for freshman year track I wrote, "I don't have any time goals because I have no idea how good I can be, so I just want to get faster," and I want to take that attitude into senior track and not worry so much about everything else.
Q) What would your favorite high school moment be?
There are so many! One of my favorite memories was the Stutler Bowl 800 freshman year. The timing system had broken a few times so the meet was super delayed, and I was warming up for an hour and a half longer than usual.
Finally the timing system was back up and it was time for my heat to go. We got on the starting line and the gun went off, but we got called back to the start because the timing system didn't start AGAIN. I remember distinctly turning to the girl next to me and saying "I swear if we get called back to the start again I'm walking off the track and going home."
Luckily though, the timing system worked this time, and we were off. It was honestly a pretty average race for the first lap, and I was sitting somewhere around 5th in my heat. I was pretty out of it, but I remember thinking to myself "I didn't really come here for a 5th place finish," so with 250 left I kicked harder than I probably ever have in an 800 and ended up winning the heat and PRing by 5 seconds. My teammates and I walked to Dairy Queen after and got ice cream. It was so fun!