Salute To Seniors: Lauren Rodriguez - Creekside

What was your most memorable race?
The 1600m at the district meet during my junior year. This was the first time my sister raced side-by-side with me that season after coming back from her stress fracture in her femur. We stuck together the whole race with two laps to go and then we started to reel people in. At one moment in the race we even made a “Rodriguez sandwich”, as my coaches like to call it. Kaitlin went around a girl on the right and I went around the girl on the left at the same exact time. We ended up reeling in all of the girls until it was up to the last 200 meters where we raced side-by-side until we crossed the line. She took the win though. 
What would you consider your biggest competition?
The region meet my junior year because it was me and then the four Chiles girls who are absolutely amazing! It was not only physically tough, but it was mentally tough also because they made it look so easy while I was trying my hardest just to hang on and keep a positive attitude. I ended up not making it out to state, but set a new PR. 
Out of all of your high school accomplishments which stands out the most?
Probably the same district meet where my sister and I ran side-by-side in the 1600m because it wasn’t just a great day for me, but it was a great day for her. Later on that night I won the 3200, so it worked out perfectly for us. She got to win the 1600m and I got to win the 3200m, and earlier that day we won the 4x800.  
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
Take the easy days easy so that I could fully recover for the hard workouts and get more out of the workouts. This would have saved me from a few injuries also. 
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
When I found out my sister had a stress fracture was really tough because I care so much about her that I would have taken the stress fracture from her if I could have and given it to myself. She loves running so much and it was so hard for her to have to be on crutches and not run that it just made me feel awful about running at first for a while. Although when hard workouts and races came around, I had extra motivation because I would think about her and how I wanted to run for her. 
What will you miss the most?
I will definitely miss the ALL my teammates.They are all amazing and I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish everything I have without them. All of their support and pushing me in workouts helped me tremendously. So shout out to the cross country and track team at Creekside! Also, I will miss my coaches. Coach Frank is the best coach ever and I am so lucky that I got him as a coach. Since I am staying kind of close for college I know that we will still go on runs together and stuff though. Also, Coach Navarro, Coach Gooding, and Coach Lane are all so great. I will miss them all so much.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes? 
No matter how old you are, freshmen or seniors in high school, you can always be a leader by making good decisions and leading by example. This will also set the tone for a good team.
What are your college plans?
Attending Flagler College with my sister where we will run as Saints. I am still unsure what my major will be though. 
Who would you like to say thank you to?
I would like to say thank you to my parents for all of the cross country and track meets that they supported me in. They came to every single event, besides one or two, to watch my sister and I race. They would also have to occasionally wake up early and drive us to practice at 5:55 in the morning and they did this without complaining. Also, a huge thanks to Coach Frank for taking so much time out of his life to be the outstanding coach that he was to us. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for him, Thank you to my brother, Tyler, for also taking the time to come to cross country and track meets to support us. He was so proud of everything we did and when he couldn’t be at a meet because of his busy work schedule, he would call to check up on us when he could. Thank you to my team mates and all the other coaches that helped me out during my High School career. Coach Navarro would pick me and my sister up almost every morning and sometimes he would even have to wait on me or Kaitlin because we were running late. He is such a thoughtful, patient, and caring person. Thank you to my boyfriend, Jimmy Clark, for always encouraging me to do my best and keeping me mentally positive when I needed it. Also, thank you for riding your bike beside me when I would run and for being at the finish line after every race to hold me up. Last but not least, thank you to Stacie Hernandez for getting me hooked on running in 5th grade. Her running club is what got Kaitlin and I interested in running because of the great experience she gave us.   
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