Lauren Peterson with Furman University (Photo Courtesy of Furman Athletics)
There wasn't much that Lauren Peterson didn't accomplish during her high school cross country and track & field career in Minnesota. She won two state championships in the 3200m, one in the 1600m, several top-ten finishes at the state XC meet, and even a Hamline Elite Meet win in the 800m.
She started her collegiate career at Furman University but recently announced her transfer to the University of Utah. We recently caught up to talk about her running career, and to see what the future holds for her.
How did you first get your start in running?
In fifth grade is when I began to run with my dad because I decided to do youth track. My favorite events in youth track were the longer races (400, 800, 1600). Sixth grade was my first year of middle school cross country and from there I ran high school track and cross country starting in seventh grade. When I was little I used to swim, dance, and play soccer but once I started running in middle school I realized I loved running and that I didn't want to do anything else.
What were some of your favorite high school running memories?
One of my favorite high school memories was winning the 4x4 my senior year at Rosemount. As a team, we were having a great season and the goal was to top that all off with the state team title after winning true team state. At state, it all came down to the 4x4, if we didn't win we would lose the team title. Despite all of us running prior events we all went out and did our best and surprised ourselves by running a season-best of 3:51 and secured the state title.
Rosemount - AA Girls 4x400m Champions
While at Farmington, you got to run with another elite runner in Anna Fenske, what was it like training and competing with Anna?
Anna and I learned a lot from each other and pushed each other to a new level of running that we wouldn't have been able to achieve without one another. I'm grateful to have had a great teammate and friend throughout my time at Farmington.
See more Fenske & Peterson Content Below:
2018 XC Championships Interview | 2017 NXN Heartland | 2018 Roy Griak | 2016 State XC
In your final Minnesota high school race, you won the 1600m and 3200m at the state meet, how did it feel to cap your high school career that way?
It was always a goal of mine since freshman year of high school to win the 1600m. I was very grateful to finally achieve that my senior year and defend my 3200 state title from sophomore year. I still get chills thinking about this state meet because without the supportive coaching staff and positive team culture at Rosemount this wouldn't have been possible.
Lauren Peterson 2019 3200m State Champion
How did you originally choose to run at Furman University?
I chose Furman because of the coaches, team culture, and academics. They had some big goals to accomplish and that was something I wanted to be a part of as well.
You recently announced that you're transferring to the University of Utah, how did you come to this decision?
The University of Utah has plenty of options and pathways to follow within my major whereas some of the schools I was looking at didn't have my specific major because it's a new area of study. The coaching staff and team culture resonated with me as well. On top of that, I love the outdoors and Utah has some great places to hike and train in the mountains.
Did you have other transfer options? or was your heart set on Utah?
It was a tough decision to make because I had some great schools reach out throughout the transfer process. For the most part, I had my heart set on going out west for school so it came down to the best academic fit for me.
What are you most looking forward to being on the University of Utah team?
I'm looking forward to meeting my new teammates and all the opportunities I'll have within the University and Salt Lake City! I'm also looking forward to competing in the PAC 12 because of the tough competition.
What do you want to accomplish for the rest of your running career?
I want to be an All American in cross country and track, but currently want to get back to running personal bests and enjoying the process.
Outside of running, what are you majoring in? What do you want to do with that degree?
I'm majoring in environmental and sustainability studies which focuses on addressing the causes, consequences, and policies associated with climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. I haven't chosen a specific focus within the field yet so I'm not sure where I will go with this degree.