When Lakeview junior Lauren Schattinger was a youth soccer player, she scored one goal. It came on a breakaway. It also came after the referee blew the whistle.
“I was running down the field and everyone else stopped,” she said, laughing.
After struggling to find her niche — “I played every sport under the sun when I was a kid and I was terrible,” she said — Schattinger brought home a flyer on track and field.
“My parents were like, ‘Lauren, are you sure you want to do this? You know what happened with softball. You know what happened with soccer,’” Schattinger said. “And I was like, ‘Yeah, I really want to do this.’”
She first tried distance running. (“I would go on runs and I was like, ‘I can’t do this. This is ridiculous.’”) Then, in seventh grade, she started sprinting. A year later, she began working with sprint coach Robert Andrews of Speed and Skillz, who was the first to see something special in her.
“He said, ‘You have the potential to be great at this,’” she recalled. “It’s not just something you can have fun with.”
By the time she was a sophomore, Schattinger was one of the best sprinters in the state.
As a junior this spring, she won district and regional titles in the 100 and a regional crown in the 200. Then, at the state meet, Schattinger posted career-best finishes in the 100 (second) and 200 (fourth).
“I felt like I did the best I could in both of them,” said Schattinger. “It was an exciting day and I’m very happy with everything that happened.”
Schattinger has made a lot of sacrifices for the sport — she’s often training while her friends are hanging out — but said that strategy is her decision, not anyone else’s.
“I fell in love with [track],” she said. “Everything in my life revolves around it.”
Did she ever expect to be so successful?
“I never expect to do the things I do in this sport,” she said.