girl athlete

Influential Aspirations

Marian senior Lauren Harris is grateful for everything she’s learned from being involved in both her club and high school track teams. “I have met amazing people who became my friends, I’ve traveled all over the country during the club track season, and I have been given the opportunity to commit to the admissions process at Princeton University.” She plans to get a degree in a STEM field, become an entrepreneur, and help increase the amount of diversity in the STEM professions.

Harris loves being a part of Marian’s team. “Whenever I’m feeling down during the school day, I can look forward to track practice because I know the girls will have a funny joke or silly dance to lift my mood. We are always there for each other to have a laugh with and to push each other to new personal records.” She’s motivated by a desire to reach her goals and by her support system. “It always feels good to achieve a new personal best, but I know that there is always an opportunity to do better if I continue to work hard.”

A few years ago, she was having extreme difficulty breathing during and after practices. She was diagnosed with asthma as well as a vocal cord dysfunction, which closes her airway when she runs. “There is no known cure, so I learned breathing exercises to try and force my vocal cords to work correctly. It takes extra concentration and mental effort to breathe in a way that comes natural to most; but with practice, I have been able to better control my breathing and continue to do the sport I love.”

At Marian, Harris is an officer in the National Honor Society, President of Marian’s Diversity Board, and a member of the Science Club and the Young Medicine Club. Outside of school, she’s involved in the greeter’s ministry at her church. She also enjoys baking as well as playing the ukulele and the piano.

Greg Golka, Marian Cross Country and Track coach said, “Lauren is an elite athlete, but her athletic success is simply an extension of the kind of person she is. She is active in her church, has a strong sense of family, and she has been a leading voice in the Marian community when it comes to issues of diversity and inclusion. Lauren is a person of integrity and compassion.”

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