Oregon High School graduate Lauren Beauchaine believes momentum played a huge part in her freshman cross country season at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
She was looking forward to creating a new wave of momentum after an injury prevented her from competing in an indoor track and field meet.
COVID-19 caused Beauchaine’s comeback to be put on hold.
The 2019 Oregon grad was planning to compete in the Eagles’ outdoor track and field season, but the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced on March 16 that the spring sports seasons would be canceled due to the spread of the coronavirus.
UW-L was set to host the Ashton May Invitational on April 4 to kick off its outdoor season.
“Coming off a strong track season in high school, I was ready and motivated to show how much I had improved,” Beauchaine said. “I was surprised. It was just starting and we thought it would be over by the time the outdoor season began. A lot of people had big hopes for the season, especially the seniors I was close with.”
Beauchaine had a senior season to remember at Oregon.
She won the 3,200-meter run at the Badger South Conference Meet and Sun Prairie Regional and Lake Geneva Badger Sectional. Her time of 11:06.75 at the sectional broke the 35-year school record.
Beauchaine went on to finish eighth at the Division 1 state meet in the event, breaking her own school record with a time of 10:57.43.
A four-time letterwinner in cross country and track and field, the former Panther made an immediate impact at La Crosse last fall.
Beauchaine competed in seven of UW-L’s 10 meets on her way to honorable mention all-WIAC honors. She clocked her best time in the 5,000-meter run (18:40.65) in her first meet and won the event with a time of 19:05.6 in a dual against Luther on Oct. 25.
Beauchaine took 14th in her first 6,000-meter race (25:53.3), then shaved off more than two minutes (23:43.9) at UWL’s Tori Neubauer Invitational. She placed 16th (24:26.0) in the event at the WIAC Championships on Nov. 2, helping the Eagles to a runner-up finish out of eight teams.
“I’d like to make the regional and national teams next year, especially since I was one spot away from making those teams last year,” she said. “I’d love to compete against some of the best athletes at the national level.”
Any and all WIAC athletic activities, including team practices, are still suspended indefinitely. Coaches can still interact virtually with their athletes, much to Beauchaine’s delight in preparation for her sophomore cross country season.
“Our coaches have been in contact with each of us,” she said. “They’ve done a great job taking individualized approaches to our training. They’ve put together week-by-week plans to get us prepared for cross country, but the training isn’t too intense right now.”