The Unsung Hero

Laura Thompson & the Will to Compete

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The Unsung Hero

Sidney Poulsen, Staff Writer

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You don’t have to be the best at what you do, but if you’re putting in your best effort, then that’s all that matters. Senior Laura Thompson joined track and field as a freshman, originally as a jumper. Not knowing how much she would end up liking track, she decided to do summer cross country training in order to stay in shape, unaware of what lied ahead of her. “As a freshman, she was not one of the best; in fact, she ran with me in practice a lot of the time,” said coach Hazard. “What’s fun, her sophomore year is that she continued to get faster and better each week, and part of that is just her personality. She does what you ask her to do. She does it with all of her focus. You can just see her making these little steps, step by step by step.”

Halfway through summer training, Laura was already running with the varsity girls, thanks to the support and motivation of Head Cross Country Coach Wiech. However, Laura suffered from low iron deficiency her sophomore year. She had just made the varsity squad, but due to her health issues, she was unable to compete. The girls cross country team went on to win state that season and Laura was unable to experience this. However, this setback only helped fuel her between her sophomore and junior year. The expectations intensified for Laura. When she first began to run, the coaches expected for her to simply improve each week. Once she reached the varsity level, the pressure escalated and she was expected to run certain times for the team and their success.

Laura’s perseverance to run faster payed off during her junior year. She earned her spot on the girl’s varsity team for nationals and travels with the team to several other meets across the U.S. The team is surrounded by some of the best runners in the country. “Nationals, specifically, was insane,”  said Laura. “The whole thing was sponsored by Nike. On the Nike campus in Portland, we got a lot of free gear and spent a lot of time hanging out in the ‘athletes lounge’ which had ping pong and karaoke.”

Aside from cross country, academics have played an important role for Laura. She has been in advanced and AP classes throughout her four years at Broomfield, and has helped out as a tutor. “One of my friends and I like to compete with math grades,” said Laura. “It’s funny because Head Coach Greg once described the girls team weakness as Monster Island from one of the Godzilla movies, where we are all so competitive within ourselves to where we almost over train. We’re all so motivated and so hardworking that we compete with each other in the workouts.”

So what’s next for Laura as she approaches the end of her high school cross country career? Well, she still has another track season ahead of her, and with her brains, athleticism, and heart, she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.

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