FLAGSTAFF, (AZ) – January 14, 2020 – HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite has announced that Lauren Paquette, an Olympic hopeful at 5,000 meters, has joined the team. Paquette, a graduate of Baylor University, has been one of the nation’s top 5,000 meters for the last several years. She set her personal best at that distance, 15:14.45, in 2016 and nearly equaled the mark in 2019, running 15:14.64. She was fourth at the 2018 USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships and will look to improve upon that performance at June’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track and Field.
Paquette said she is beyond excited to join HOKA NAZ Elite.
“Joining this team is extra special for me because as an athlete who has trained solo for the majority of her professional career, I have come to respect and appreciate the power of the team and am so grateful and relieved to have teammates to share the road with,” Paquette said. “My goals for 2020 are to better myself as an athlete physically and mentally, to learn more and ask more questions, and to make the most of this amazing opportunity I have been given. I would also love to return home from Eugene this June carrying an American flag.”
HOKA NAZ Elite head coach Ben Rosario said Paquette is the perfect fit at the perfect time.
“We are reaching the point where we always wanted to be, that being that nearly all of our athletes are true Olympic hopefuls,” Rosario said. “Having been fourth at the 2018 USATF Outdoor Championships, Lauren is certainly in that category and after hopefully putting athletes on the U.S.Team in the marathon, and ensuring our international athletes make their Teams, we can to go to the U.S. Track and Field Trials in June with Lauren and the rest of the crew fit and ready to go.”
HOKA Director of Global Sports Marketing, Mike McManus, shared his thoughts on the signing.
“We’re thrilled that Lauren has joined the already talented mix and believe she will be a further asset in the upcoming Olympic Year.”
The HOKA NAZ Elite roster currently includes six athletes who will compete at the upcoming United States Olympic Marathon Trials; Stephanie Bruce, Scott Fauble, Scott Smith, Aliphine Tuliamuk, Kellyn Taylor and Sid Vaughn. Nick Hauger and Danielle Shanahan, like Paquette, will focus on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. The team also features three international athletes hoping to represent their respective countries in Tokyo; Matt Baxter from New Zealand, Canadian Rory Linkletter and Great Britain’s Alice Wright.