After winning three golds at the 2008 state track and field meet, there wasn’t much more Lauren Pickens could do this year -- except she did.
The sophomore took first for the second straight year in the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter dashes Saturday at the state meet in Wichita, breaking a record in the process.
Her time of 56.62 seconds in the 400 broke a 25-year-old Class 2A state record.
“It was a little bit different this year,” Pickens said. “It was quite an experience.”
Last season, Pickens raced on the heels of the death of her classmate Kylie Terronez. She said then the races were for Kylie, and this year she still was running with a “heavy heart.”
Pickens said she “could feel something there” before the race.
“It meant a lot for me to get the golds again for her,” Pickens said.
The 400 probably was her most impressive event, besting the times of runners from Class 1, 3, 4, and 6A.
Each of her times in the three events were better than anyone in 1-4A, except Tyler Sloan of 4A Sumner Academy who tied her in the 100.
“I knew I had to get up there and give it my all,” Pickens said.
Her biggest competition in 2A came from senior Whitney Taylor of Ellis.
Taylor finished second in the 100 and 200 last year to Pickens, and did so again this weekend.
Pickens only beat Taylor by .06 seconds in the 100 and .25 seconds in the 200.
“She gave me quite the run for my money,” Pickens said. “Before the race she said, ‘Let the best one win’. After the race, she shook my hand and gave me a big hug.”
Halfway through her high school career Pickens can’t count her gold medals on one hand.
And now she is taking a break.
After two weeks off from running, Pickens will participate at Texas A&M’s track camp.
“I’ve heard some really nice things about it,” Pickens said.
If she does well at A&M and continues her success next season, she can bet college coaches will start talking to her about their respective schools.
For now, Pickens is only thinking about the present.
“I don’t know what the future is going to hold for me,” she said.
If it’s anything like the past, her opponents could be in trouble.
Other PBHS results
The boys’ and girls’ team each competed in four events.
Aaron Topham - 8. 3200m run, 10:31.32.
Kendall Wiebe - 15. 3200m run, 11:12.78.
Isaac Burnett - 11. Discus, 126-4.
4x800m relay, eighth - Jacob Simmonds, Sheldon Wiebe, Josh Klarmann, Topham, 8:32.22.
Lauren Pickens – 1. 100m dash, 12.38. 1. 200m dash, 25.58. 1. 400m dash, 56.62.*
4x100m relay, 15th – Mikayla Winter, Michaela Methvin, Traylee Woodruff, Danielle Savage, 55.08.
* 2A state meet record