Everyday Champion - Lauren Denfeld
Senior women's Track and Cross-Country runner Lauren Denfeld holds the school's record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase and was the first woman for Oregon State to compete in the event. Now Denfeld is beginning her final year on the team, and is bringing experience, dedication and leadership to her fellow runners. Lauren took some time out of her busy schedule to talk about life on and off the track.
Q. How does it feel to hold the school record for the 3,000 meter steeplechase, and be the first woman in Oregon State history to compete in it?
It’s great. It’s been a lot of fun to do that race, since I was a hurdler in high school. I have no doubt in my mind my record will not last long. We have a lot of people who are very talented and hopefully I will continue to improve as well. But it’s a great feeling and that is my focus for the spring and I am really looking forward to improving on my time.
Q. What is one record you would like to break this year?
I have personal records I would like to break in both the 3,000 and 1,500 meters. As far as exact times, I haven’t set those for myself yet. But I will. I like to have some benchmark for myself.
Q. When did you start running?
I started running track in middle school and then I stopped doing it because it interfered with soccer, which was sort of my main thing growing up. I picked up track again in high school and did track, basketball and soccer, so I was busy being a three sport athlete. But track was what I had the most success with, so that is why I chose to continue doing it at Oregon State.
Q. What is your major and what are you looking to do after your time at Oregon State?
I am majoring in marketing and I am getting a minor in Spanish. I am thinking about going to graduate school to get my MBA at some point.
Q. Have you done any internships or study abroad?
I worked with people in marketing firms this summer. I worked mostly with account executives mostly who had multiple clients. A lot of it was working as liaisons between clients and the creative/ advertising side of the operation. I think that it is something I am really interested in doing.
I haven’t been able to do study abroad because of running. I would like to, but running is something that is a main priority, and study abroad is something I’m willing to forgo.
Q. What has been an obstacle you’ve had to work around being a student-athlete?
I think especially with our sport, because we won’t have to meet every day and do everything together, there is a lot of stuff solely on you, like getting up at crazy hours to run, or getting all your miles in. So you have to be very self disciplined and have good time management. You are the only person who has to get up there and do it, because you don’t always have a coach telling you what to do every day.
Q. Who is your support system for running and school?
It is my team and my family too. I am really lucky in that I have a family who is totally supportive of it. There are a lot of student-athletes whose families don’t understand the time commitment. But my mom, dad and sister have been so supportive. And of course, no one understands what you are doing like your teammates do. They are a huge support system on a daily basis. You know they are doing the same things you are, so they keep you motivated.