Face of the game – Lauren Gibbert


Photo by Allyssa Olade

Story by Lauren Maynard, staff writer

Day in and day out. It’s all she knows. Her life depends on it, always has, and always will. She clears her thoughts and breathes deeply. She focuses exclusively on the trails which lie directly ahead. Her outside struggles vanish and all she feels is the hot breath of her opponents on the back of her neck. She is senior Lauren Gibbert.

“In middle school, I ran just to run, to stay in shape, just to have something to do; once in high school where Coach Hardy put me on the cross country team saying I had the endurance needed,” Gibbert said. “That’s where it all began.”

Throughout her ongoing seven years of participation in running competitively, Gibbert has learned not only the trials of the sport, but the benefits of pushing through it all.

“When I first started cross country, as a sophomore, I did pretty good, but then as a junior I lowered my times a lot and did even better,” Gibbert said. “Now that I’m a senior, with the past seniors off to college now, I’ve lost my motivation, but I am training harder than ever to gain it back and lower my times once again.”

Being a dedicated runner, Gibbert, along with her fellow teammates, spends her days in constant training.

“Each morning we come up to the school at 6 a.m. to run roughly 8 miles,” Gibbert said. “The sun is actually not even up yet when we begin our practices, which shows that it’s in fact too early.”

Not quite knowing her future plans, Gibbert will continue her running career, but isn’t positive if it will continue to be competitive. facesofthegame-gibby_AO-(9)web

“If I get a cross country scholarship, I will continue to run in college,” Gibbert said. “If not, I’m just going to run individually, rather than on an actual team.”

As well as the abundance of races Gibbert has participated in and won, she has achieved many personal ambitions throughout her career.

“I went to regionals my junior year and I also won Race for the Cure during my junior year,” Gibbert said. “Not only do I want to qualify for regionals again this year as an individual, but I want the entire team to qualify with me.”

Achieving her goals took not only her personal passion and plethora of training for the sport, but the drive and support of her family and friends.

“My biological family supports my love for cross country, and just running in general, very much and are always trying to supply me with what I need so that I can be the best I can be,” Gibbert said. “My cross country family supports me very much. They’re always pushing me to try harder and without them I wouldn’t be the runner I am today.”

Along with the physical benefits comes the characteristic attributes Gibbert has learned and applied in her everyday life.

“Running has taught me perseverance,” Gibbert said. “What it’s like to not give up, even when in great amounts of pain. You just have to keep going and finish strong.”