Friend’s memory spurs her to victory
Peabody-Burns High School track and field athlete Lauren Pickens won the 100-meter dash, 200, and 400 for the third consecutive year.
The junior sprinter didn’t just win, she dominated. She won the 100 with a time of 12.20 seconds and was several feet in front of Lexi Riedel of Trego Community High School at the finish line.
She won the 200 with a time of 25.38, which was six-tenths of second faster than Riedel, who took second.
In the preliminaries in the 400, Pickens ran a time of 56.58, which was the second fastest time of the tournament and a meet record. She ran a 57.02 in the final again defeating her hard-luck opponent Reidel by more than two seconds.
Pickens attributed her break-neck speed to an increase in her training regimen.
“This is the first year I’ve trained during the summer, during the winter, and throughout the spring,” Pickens said. “It paid off big time.”
Pickens also has powerful motivation to succeed.
One motivation is to represent Peabody; she said that she gets asked all the time where Peabody is located.
“Just because you’re from a small town doesn’t mean you can’t be fast,” she said. “I like representing Peabody. I like representing the school.”
Pickens’ other motivation is much more powerful. Saturday was the two-year anniversary of the funeral of her best friend, Kylie Terronez. Terronez was killed in a car accident when Pickens was just a freshman. Pickens planned to go to the funeral instead of competing at state in 2008 but the Terronez family persuaded her to run.
Pickens said Terronez was on her mind throughout the meet this year. On Friday, after prelims, Pickens’ emotions got the best of her, bringing her to tears.
On Saturday, Pickens said Kylie was there with her, cheering for her best friend to run fast just as she had when Pickens and Terronez were on the same relay teams in junior high.
“I can hear her now,” Pickens said after her final race in the 200 final. “She’s cheering and jumping up and down.”
Isaac Burnett – 7. Discus, 138 feet, 6 inches. 8. Shot put, 44-6.5.
Aaron Topham – 8. 3200, 10:28.52.
Josh Klarmann – 12. 800, 2:06.72.