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CROSSING THE FINISH LINE

She didn’t have a clue about track or cross country when she walked on the field, motivated by little more than an impulse to try something new — and the feeling that running was something she might be good at.

Michaelanne Laurent sure was right.

Laurent wrapped up her senior year at Coronado High School by winning championships in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs at the state track and field competition.

"I was really happy with state," Laurent says. "I haven’t gotten first in state before and neither has anyone at Coronado. It was a good way to end my high school running career."

Laurent holds school records in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200, and she will continue her running career at Brigham Young University. It turned out to be a pretty good career for a runner who needed help from her classmates just to get a tryout at Coronado four years ago.

"At first they wouldn’t even let me on the team because I turned in my athletic packet late, but my friends talked my coach into putting me on the team," she says. "And here I am."

The decision to allow Laurent on the team is one that Coronado track and cross-country coach Mark Tondryk doesn’t regret.

"She has brought the team leadership for three years," Tondryk says. "She works harder than anyone — boys and girls. She’s a good all-around kid, and she always does the right thing. Michaelanne takes the harder path, which makes the team better."

The example set by Laurent has been noticed by her younger teammates.

"Michaelanne inspires me because she works so hard," says Coronado sophomore Ally Ruggles. "She always uses her potential to the fullest and makes me look forward to all my goals."

Laurent’s training has taken up a large part of her time, but over the years she has learned to balance her life.

"I don’t have a sixth period, so I stay at school, eat my lunch and do homework in the library before practice," she says. "After school, I run, teach violin for an hour to little kids, eat dinner, do homework and sleep. My schedule is very set."

Laurent says she loves to write, hang out with friends, hike and travel. She admits that running prevents her from joining any clubs because they are at the same time as practice, but she challenges herself by taking AP classes and editing for Coronado’s Literary Magazine.

"My priorities are my religion, family, school, running, then friends," Laurent says. "I like testing my limits and working my hardest. I have to tell myself to keep going even though I don’t want to because I know it’ll be worth it in the end."

Laurent won the 3,200 at the state meet May 22 at Del Sol High School with a time of 11:19.32. She won the 1,600 with a time of 5:06.01, and was third in the 800 at 2:15.92.

She accounted for 26 of Coronado’s 41.5 points to lead the Cougars to a third-place finish in the girls 3A division.

It’s a good thing she acted on that impulse to try something new as a freshman.

"You never know what you’re going to be good at," Laurent says. "Just try your best at everything and put yourself out there. Then you’ll be able to achieve."

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