Lauren Gregory has no regrets whatsoever as she battled heroically
If you don’t at first succeed, try, try again. Gregory came to Arkansas as a big-time recruit but she certainly didn’t find instant success. The 3-time Colorado XC 5A state champion and four-time HS state champion on the track (2 x 3200, 1 x 1600 and 1 x 800) who was 3rd at NXN in 2016 had HS pbs of 2:10.94 for 800, 4:41.11 for the mile and 10:05.26 for the 2 mile.
Yet, when she first showed up at NCAAs in 2017 in cross country, she finished 252nd. The next year she went back and dropped out. As a sophomore, she did place 7th in the 3k indoors and 10th in the mile but she didn’t make it outdoors. As a junior, she was just 72nd in xc before Covid wiped out NCAA indoors and outdoors in 2020. So in her first three years of college, Gregory had never finished higher than 7th in track or 72nd in xc.
We compiled all those stats this afternoon thinking Gregory would be the NCAA champ but she came up a little bit short. Still, she had a spectacular weekend as remember she also split 4:31 in the DMR yesterday and took Arkansas from 6th to second.
When we asked her how what impact the DMR had on her today, she said, “Not at all. That’s what I wanted to do. (Coach) left it to my choice and that’s what I wanted.”
In terms of tactics, Gregory also had no regrets, “I’m not upset about second. I will take a race anyday and htat tactically I wouldn’t change a thing. I just didn’t have the final push,” said Gregory. “It’s just sad to be done. It’s just sad.”
“(Tactically) that’s exactly how I hoped it would play out.So when it got going, I was like, ‘Ok we’re going.’”
If Gregory had won today, it would have been interesting that a former NCAA 10,000 participant won her first the NCAA title in the mile. When we asked her what direction she’d be planning to do outdoors, she said 1500 and 5 was what she was thinking but acknowledged she may not be able to do either.
“I have some health concerns so outdoors is a maybe,” said Gregory who was visibly limping in the awards area and instead of walking away ended up jumping on a guys back and being carried away.
Lauren Gregory at NCAAs
Indoors: 10th mile, 7th 3k
Outdoors: DNQ (Dnf in regional 5k)
XC: didn’t compete (XC was held right after indoors. Did indoors)
Indoor: 2nd in DMR. 2nd in 3k.
Outdoor: 21st in 5k
Indoors: 3rd 3k, 4th 5k
Outoors: 5k - 5th. 10k DNF.
XC: No eligibility
Indoors: 2nd DMR. 2nd mile