When Lauren Vasquez began high school at Rosary Academy, she thought the extent her sports participation would be on the school’s cheer team. But the Royals track and field coaches had other ideas. After convincing her to attend tryouts, Vasquez found herself as one of the program’s key athletes in the triple jump, long jump and 4 x 400 meter relay events.
Vasquez unintentionally was following in her older sister’s footsteps, as Brianna Vasquez competed in the 400-meter event and the 4 x 400 relay for the Royals. Now a senior, Vasquez enjoys both the differences and similarities in being a cheerleader and a track and field athlete.
“Every meet, whether I’m doing a jump or the relay, I always have people there cheering me on,” says Vasquez, “and the friendships and bonds I’ve made with all of those girls, I’m going to miss that.”
In her final year as a Royal, Vasquez hopes to achieve personal records in each of her events, including breaking the school’s triple jump record. Her biggest obstacle is her own mind and the moments she lets self-doubt creep in.
“I over think a lot, and that stops my progress,” says the 17-year-old. “When you over think and don’t just let yourself jump, you get mind blocks. If I get that, I tell myself to jump and remember everything I’ve learned in practice.”
As a track and field jumper who competes individually for a team, Vasquez has learned plenty about patience and teamwork.
“Lauren brings years of experience, leadership and energy to the track program, and her positive attitude radiates throughout the team,” says Rosary track and field coach, Laura Hamann. “Due to her determination and drive, she is one of our top jumpers and is a great role model for the freshmen and sophomores. We are excited to see what else she will accomplish her senior year.”
Outside of athletics, Vasquez is active in serving the Rosary campus community through a number of organizations. She is the Social Chair for ASB, the president of the PAL – Peer Assistance Leadership chapter on campus, a Rosary Ambassador, a member of Campus Ministry, and a member of the Let It Be and Make a Wish clubs.
Vasquez would like to compete in track at the collegiate level if the opportunity presents itself, and is looking forward to studying kinesiology in preparation to become a physical therapist. The Yorba Linda resident has learned from her father that, “through hard work, you can achieve anything,” and that prayer can be the best way to calm an anxious spirit.
“Because I get nervous before my competitions…I find that when I pray more, I feel calmer, and I do better,” says Vasquez. “Even through the ups and downs I’ve had in cheer and track, God has always been there.”