Basalt High’s Ava Lane keeps track season going, breaks two PRs in Alabama races
The soon-to-be BHS senior will race in Oregon this weekend
Still in peak shape coming off the high school track season, Ava Lane decided to step outside of her comfort zone and take part in the RunningLane Track Championships.
Held Saturday at Milton Frank Stadium in Huntsville, Alabama, it brought together some of the top prep runners from across the country.
Results can be found here.
“Doing races out of high school, outside of the normal races, is so important. Not only for dropping your times but also for your mental health to not put so much pressure on one certain race,” Lane said. “I love going to different places and getting a lot of perspective. There are a lot more runners than just the girls in Colorado, so I think it’s a really fun experience. It can be humbling at times, because you get to see girls that aren’t just in your 3A state race.”
Lane, a standout athlete for Basalt High School who just wrapped up her junior season, left Alabama very much satisfied with her performances, which included personal bests in both races. The highlight was the girls 800-meter run, where Lane was able to compete in the championship race and finished eighth with a time of 2 minutes, 13.83 seconds. She was the top runner from Colorado in that race, with Isis Grant of Georgia winning in 2:08.22.
“There were so many talented runners in that, so that was an insane race,” Lane said of the 800. “Just a cherry on top from states. There were some really fast girls in that heat and it was fun to be a part of a faster group of girls than I normally would be.”
Last month at the Colorado high school state track and field championships in Lakewood, Lane finished fourth in the 800-meter run in Class 3A in 2:14.82. Her junior BHS teammate, Katelyn Maley, won that race in 2:13.27 for her latest state title.
Lane was 10th (5:10.49) and Maley fourth (5:00.06) in the mile at the Lakewood finale.
The dynamic duo have been nearly joined at the hip since joining the Longhorn teams — both also are standouts in cross country, where Maley is the two-time defending state champion — but Lane saw the Alabama races as a way to venture out on her own for once.
“I’m just so grateful for her running with me. She has always been able to push me beyond what I thought I could run,” Lane said of Maley. “As much as I love running with Kate, I probably at some point need to learn how to race on my own and do warm-ups on my own and have a little bit of individuality there. Learn to find my own way a little bit, but I wouldn’t be able to do it without her in the first place.”
Even though she wasn’t in the championship heat for the mile in Alabama, Lane was almost more ecstatic about that result than the 800, which she had been putting more attention toward during the high school season. Lane ran the mile in 5:03.82, a significant bit faster than what she ran in Lakewood, placing her seventh of 18 runners in her heat.
Air Academy sophomore Bethany Michalak won the championship race with a time of 4:44.46 in Alabama.
“I’ve been focusing a little bit more on the 800, so I was really happy to get in the low five-minute range. From here my goal would be to break five minutes, since I’m so close,” Lane said of the mile. “I was really happy with two PRs at the end of the season, so it overall was a successful, fun trip.”
Lane hopes to carry this momentum into another national race this coming weekend, this time in Oregon, before possibly taking some time off.
Prior to August, when BHS cross country practice will get underway for the fall season, Lane plans to put some time in visiting a handful of schools as she dives into the daunting college recruitment process.
“I would love to run in college and be able to see what else is out there. If these girls are running crazy fast times, I know those college girls are going to be pretty quick,” Lane said.
“At the moment it is my dream to run in college. I just love the competitive aspect of the sport and I love the places it takes me and I meet so many new people. Everything that surrounds running is such a wholesome and crazy experience.”
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