Photo above is courtesy of Mark Foyer and the Half Moon Bay Review.
Today we chat with the fastest returning 400m. runner from the CCS meet last year, Half Moon Bay junior, Lauren Irish. As a sophomore, Lauren won the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) title in the 400m. with a time of 59.38. A week later at the CCS trials, she improved her time to 58.09. Her breakthrough race came at the CCS finals in Gilroy HS where she finished in 2nd. place behind senior Kristen Houp of Valley Christian in a lifetime best of 56.36. She has been running well this year participating on mostly relay teams as she prepares for her debut this year at the Arcadia Invitational.
1) How did you get your start in Track and Field and Cross Country?
I always played sports when I was younger and usually my favorite part of the other sports was the running/sprinting, so I thought I'd try track.
2) When did you first realize that you had the talent to succeed in Track and Field?
In middle school I did pretty well, then in 9th grade when I started getting pretty good times I started to get really into it and get motivated.
3) Was the state meet on the radar last year before the season?
Not at all. I was hoping to make it to CCS, but I didn't expect to improve my time so much in one season.
4) What would you say was your best race of the season last year? What about this current season?
CCS Finals. I think my best race this year is still yet to come. If any, an 800 in our dmr at Chabot.
5) What are your current PRs for 100, 200, 400, 800?
100-12.99 200-25.5 400-56.36 800-2:19(in a relay).
6) What did you do differently training wise in preparation for this season?
I biked a lot during the fall/winter. Other than that I wasn't really able to train because i was still recovering from knee surgery I had last June.
7) Favorite race? Favorite meet? Favorite competitor? Favorite workout?
I love relays, especially the dmr. Running it at Twilight in San Rafael is always a blast. But the 400 is my favorite individual race. I like doing 200's for workouts. I can work on my speed for 400 while also getting a tough workout breathing wise.
8) During your time on the high school track and team what athletes would you say were your inspiration or athletes you looked up to (could be from your own team or other teams)?
Last year racing against a senior Kristen Houp was intimidating but it made me set goals for my junior/senior years. If i can run the same times she did as a junior and senior, i would be very happy. From our team, Frank Lima, because he has a very good work ethic and you can always tell how much he enjoys the sport. Plus he jumps 6" 6' in the high jump, which is crazy.
9) Tell us a little about your coach and what he has meant to your development as a runner.
My coaches have always helped me to stay focused and work as hard as I can. Pretty much, I wouldn't accomplish anything without them.
10) What was your first state meet experience like last year? How do you think it will help you for this current season?
Most intimidating experience of my life. I was very nervous last year, so if I make it again I will hopefully be able to keep my mind on the race and not get caught up in the moment.
11) What races are you really looking forward to the rest of the season?
Arcadia, this Saturday. I know there will be really good competition and I am hoping to get a pr and try and stay close to the front finishers.
12) Anything else you would like to add.
Its a great sport and in pretty much all cases the other athletes I meet make it even better. I am also so thankful for all the support i get from my family and friends.
Thank you very much Lauren. AJC