Senior Swan Song: Lauren Lapporte

School: Cherry Creek High School

Q) What was your most memorable race/throw/jump/vault/moment?

My most memorable moment was at the Arapahoe Warrior Invite in 2019 as my team and I went in with a mentality of having fun and opening the season up on a good note. It was really special to run that race with Riley Stewart out front and Shelby Balding at my side, just as we did in workouts.

It represented handing off the torch to the future of the program. It also allowed me to gain perspective and take a step back to realize how far I had come over 4 years: I went from running a 26:37 my freshman year to a 19:32 on that same course.

Q) Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

My biggest competition over the past four years has probably been Anna Swanson from Grandview or Kira MacGill from Arapahoe.

We always joke about it when we are on the line or warming up, but it has been awesome to regularly compete against girls who you know will push you, and even get a friendship out of it!

Q) What was your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment was qualifying for the 3200 at the 5A State Track Meet last year. It was something I never thought I would be able to do, so it was a culmination of three years worth of hard work and my coaches believing in me.

I'd also like to note winning runner-up as a team in 2018 and 2019 for state cross country as nothing feels as good as doing well as an entire team, especially when you know all the sacrifice that went into that moment.

Q) If you could do it all over again what would you change about your career in high school?

If I could do it all over again, I would not change a thing. I am extremely grateful for the experiences I have had and for all the people I have met. Cross country and track have taught me more about grit, determination, and relationships than any class could teach.

Q) What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

The most difficult obstacle I had to overcome was crazy pre-race nerves. Especially junior year, I would put a ton of pressure on myself to perform and that resulted in me getting super-duper nervous before races. At the state xc and track meet last year, I was literally puking in a trashcan before the gun went off, it was that bad. It's still something I struggle with, but I've realized that there's no need to be nervous: you've done this many times before and now it's time to show all your team's hard work and do it for each other.

Q) What will you miss the most?

I will miss my teammates the most. I've established some of my closest friendships from the sport and the memories we've had together are some I will forever cherish.

The pasta parties, Kool-Aid hair dye sessions, pre-race rituals, gutting out intervals, and the car "lineup" at 7:45am. The overwhelming support from my teammates has fostered an unmatched sense of community and I have no idea who I would be without them all.

I hope I was able to be a role model to the underclassman, just as I looked up to upperclassmen like Devon Peterson from my freshman year.

Q) What advice would you give to younger athletes?

My biggest advice to younger athletes would be to only gauge your success on what you are doing. Don't compare yourself to other athletes and other times: you are YOU.

It's really important to find happiness in the sport that is not directly linked to a desired time on a stop-watch.

So set goals, but know that if you don't achieve them, that does not mean you were unsuccessful. Also, trust your training and find out why you run: I run for my teammates and know that they are depending on me to endure the mental toughness factor that each race brings.

Q) What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

Cherry Creek has the best coaches in the state. Our coaches are incredibly understanding, compassionate, invested, and really know what they are doing. All the coaches are exemplary members of the community who students and athletes alike can lean on, whether I am having a life talk with Coach Dusto or lunch with Coach Goeglein and Coach McDavid. Although they coach us to become better athletes each day, they have instilled in us how to be better people each day. I would not be half the person I am without all of them in my life.

In regards to performances, our coaches have helped me realize my untapped potential. They believe in me when I am on the verge of quitting a set of 1k repeats and they are screaming at the top of their lungs at 7am meets for the 3200m. They sacrifice time away from their families to be there with us and have taught us the virtue of "greater later": do things that make you a better person and athlete each day, and eventually it comes to fruition.

Q) What are your college plans?

I am currently unsure whether I will run in college, but I am seriously considering a few offers. I plan on going the pre-law track by double-majoring in political science and international business.

Q) Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

First, I would like to express my sincerest thanks to Coach Dusto, Coach Seppala, Coach Lohman and the rest of the Cherry Creek coaching staff. Thank you for believing in me, teaching the value of mental toughness, and for your unwavering support.

Thank you to my parents for coming to my meets and providing endless support.

Thank you to everyone I've toed the line with and for making Colorado girls' distance running some of the highest caliber in the nation.

Finally, thank you to my teammates, past and present, for creating the team culture and friendships we have.

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