In the midst of intense competition, Valencia High School (VHS) varsity track runner Lauren Nguyen is an inspiration for the entire team.
The new track season began on March 12, and Valencia High School’s track field has been filled with numerous inspired and motivated athletes training to reach the goal of an undefeated season. Among them is Lauren Nguyen, one of the best distance runners at VHS. Nguyen told JSR that she began her running life for a very simple reason.
Nguyen explained, “I never considered running at first, actually. I’d done soccer in my freshman year, but my dad, who did running in his high school years, [told] me to try out for sprints. I made the sprint tryouts, but my dad kept telling me that I’d be better at the 800 meter and told me I should try it out. So I did.”
What was once simply something to pass time before soccer practice has now become a huge part of Nguyen’s life. To Nguyen, running is now a lot more than what she thought at first. She believes that running is about how tough one is.
She told JSR, “I ask myself all the time — who’s tougher? Who are you, what do you wanna be, and what are you doing to get there? Are you doing today what you need to do to be what you want to be tomorrow?”
Nguyen’s dedication to and affection for running has resulted in great achievements in the past including being in the top seven for Cross Country finals and CIF, the California Interscholastic Federation, second place for many 800 meter races, and much more. Her running life has become something important to not only herself, but also to her fellow runners.
Leara Dominguez, Nguyen’s co-captain, expressed, “She’s different from other runners in that she gives 100 percent, and even at her lowest points, she still pushes through the tough days. And she doesn’t complain about it either. To me, Lauren’s the leader of the team. And I couldn’t be any more lucky to have anyone else by my side leading our team.”
Many underclassmen runners in the distance team also have been inspired by Nguyen’s dedication and perseverance.
Chelsea Marasigan, a frosh-soph division runner at VHS, told JSR, “Lauren is an amazing role model and mentor for the girls on the team. When’s she’s panting really heavily [during workouts], it’s very concerning as a friend. But at the same time, it motivates me because of how powerful of a runner she can be.”
Nguyen isn’t the fastest runner on the team, but she has other qualities that make her a great runner.
Coach Ed Garcia expressed his belief that “winning is not always taking first place for an individual, because an individual can win in many different ways.”
Nguyen has proved Coach Garcia’s belief by contributing to the team by sharing her optimism, stability, and dependability.
Nguyen, according to her coaches, is “an aggressive runner who also runs with her heart.”
“I can’t wait to see what she will do this track season and her senior year. Once she winds up, watch out because she’s going to take off and roll,” said Coach Sarah Garcia.