Last weekend in Ocean Breeze, Staten Island, Lauren Gay (10) faced off against the fastest runners in New York for the State Championship. She set a new personal record in the 55m dash of 7.38 seconds.
This season, Gay won the 55m dash and 55m hurdles in the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) championship and the Ivy League Championship. These two times qualified her for the State Championships.
“Lauren’s performance this year has made her more than deserving of recognition,” Indoor Track Coach RJ Harmon said.
Gay also finished second in long jump in the Ivy League championship and third in long jump for NYSAIS.
Of the three events Gay competes in, her favorite is the 55m hurdles. “To run the hurdles requires a lot of attention and focus on technique,” said Gay. “I love the fact that there is always room to improve and it’s also really satisfying for me to complete a hurdles race without tripping over a hurdle.”
At States, Gay faced approximately 40 other girls in the 55m dash. “It was a new level of competition and I found it enjoyable to compete against everyone,” Gay said.
In the 55m hurdles, Gay clipped a hurdle for the first time all season but still managed to earn a time of approximately 8.7 seconds.
Lauren’s running form and drive to win are what separates her from the rest of the pack, Harmon said. “Relaxed muscles are effective muscles and Lauren is a relaxed runner,” he said.
Gay embraces challenges and always possesses the utmost focus mentally and physically, Harmon said. “She has a fire inside of her to compete.”
Gay’s success is a direct product of her hard work and mindset in practices and races. Gay said that she always tries to maintain a positive mindset, but inevitably gets anxious before her meets. “It’s the good type of nervousness that makes me run my best,” Gay said.
Last year, Dana Jacoby (12), former NYSAIS champion, Ivy League champion, and States qualifier, took Gay, a freshman at the time, under her wing. “Since Dana also competed in 55m hurdles, she was able to share her experience with Lauren and give her tips,” Harmon said. “The two pushed each other past their limits all season long.”
Even though she is only a sophomore, Gay has made incredible strides and assumed a leadership role on the team. “Lauren is a key component in keeping the team together and happy,” said Maya Freeman (12) said.
The whole team had a successful winter. “Everyone on the team was amazing and I had the best teammates who helped make running track fun everyday,” said Gay.