Winning the state 5A cross country title for Grapevine’s girls program has provided momentum for the spring track season.
Lauren Edwards was a member of that team in the fall and is looking for the same success on the track that she saw on the trails.
As a 1600m and 3200m specialist, Edwards has posted her personal best times for each event this season.
And expect those times to drop again before the season is over.
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Edwards turned in her best time in the 3200 (2-mile) a week ago at Northwest, running an 11:19.
She ran her best 1600 time at the Mustangs Relays early in the season.
Still, though, Edwards wants to qualify for the state meet, a goal which ended at the regional meet in Lubbock last year. She had gotten to regionals in both distance events.
“Definitely, I want to make it to state this year,” Edwards said.
Making the track season a bit more like the cross country season is certainly on the Mustangs runners’ minds.
“We have been training for years, as a team, to win the cross country title,” Edwards said. “With track season, we’ve got the same mentality. We can go out and win some races although many don’t think of track as a team sport. We all train together, we just run in different races.”
Running may be running, but Edwards said there is a difference between cross country and track.
“Cross country is my favorite sport because there’s more of a team atmosphere,” she said. “You are supporting each other for the same race.”
Besides the team scoring and running on grass and field versus a track, the differences for Edwards end at about that point. She said the track team is also using the team concept in their training to push each other and run faster times.
The other difference, which Edwards said helps tilt her preference toward cross country, is the distance.
The cross country course is close to a 3.2-mile event.
“I’ve always done long distance. I’m more of a stamina runner, being able to keep my pace for a long time. In the mile, you have to go faster and keep that pace constantly. In a 5K, I can think of it mile-by-mile,” Edwards said.
“I tried the 800 in middle school. It’s just not my race,” she added.
Still, with the track season in full swing, Edwards and the rest of the team will work to drive down their times and compete for a district title and maybe more.
The district meet will be April 11-12 at Lake Dallas.
“We hope to peak then,” Edwards said, and then hopefully get ready for another trip to Lubbock for the regional.
As a junior, Edwards said she would love the opportunity to run past the high school level.
“I’m running for the here and now. I’ll get my times down and then we’ll see where I can be next year,” she said.
Grapevine will compete at Dallas Jesuit this Friday.