Eldon senior Lauren Imler has made her mark in her time as a Mustang. Quite literally.

Eldon senior Lauren Imler has made her mark in her time as a Mustang. 

Quite literally. 

The senior’s name can be seen in the record books for three different events in track and field and she has stayed on the move participating in various clubs and activities the past four years. 

In addition to track and field where she has broken the school records twice in the 800-meter run and as a member of the 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams, Imler has also played basketball, softball and ran cross country. Imler has earned All-District, All-Conference and All-State honors in track and field and has also earned All-Conference honors in cross country. Imler was also part of a track and field program that finished fifth in the Class 3 state meet a season ago, the highest finish at state in program history and one place away from a state trophy.

“My favorite thing about Eldon is the importance of being a family. In track and cross country we are always cheering each other on,” the senior noted. “We even have pasta parties, which is where we go to a teammate’s house to east pasta and play games.”  

Meanwhile, Imler has stayed busy with the National Honors Society (NHS), SkillsUSA and Future Health Professions, a new club at the school. Before her senior year, Imler was also involved with Future Farmers of America (FFA), Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and softball. 

Unfortunately, Imler is one of many seniors who had their final spring season and the potential to create lasting and cherishable memories taken away by the COVID-19 pandemic in the final few months of their high school careers. Fortunately, there were already great memories to look back upon. 

“My favorite memory is running the 4x400 because as we are running, the whole track team is scattered around the field screaming at us to go faster,” Imler remarked. “We care about winning, but we car more about having fun and being a family. The track team is my second family and I will never forget all of the memories I have with them.” 

Q: Was there anything you were looking forward to, especially this spring, as you started to get ready for your final high school season? 

A: I was really looking forward to our new 4x400 team and running with my sister. She is a freshman this year and she would have helped contribute to breaking the 4x400 record again and getting another state medal. I only got two weeks to run with my sister and to show her what high school track is about. I was ready for the cramped bus rides to the meet, the loud track, warming up as a team before the meet, sitting in the tent laughing and dancing with my friends and so much more. I am truly fortunate to be able to continue my track and cross country career into college. I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t get my last memories of track and I am thankful I get another four years to make up for this loss.

Q: Is there anything you love about track and field or anything this pandemic made you realize and what were your thoughts when you found out the season would be significantly delayed and eventually cancelled?  

A: When there was talk about school and track being cancelled, I honestly had no feelings because I didn’t think it would be true. When I found out it was possibly our last practice, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t get to run with my best friends anymore. This pandemic made me realize what I am going to miss next year and my heart truly aches. I can’t express how I feel besides sadness and loss. I can’t believe I own’t get my last season with Eldon. I did not get my last cross country season due to health issues and I thought I would get to make up for it in track, but now I can’t even do that. 

Q: What has the quarantine been like and were there any steps you took to stay sharp incase there was an opportunity to compete in the future? What was it like to represent Eldon, now looking back?

A: At first I was hopeful we would be back and get to at least compete in the last meets of the year. Then as things got worse and they pushed the date of going back to school further into April, I began to lose hope. I still ran down my gravel road, stairs and did different training techniques that we did in practice. Running for Eldon was a big accomplishment. The seniors when I was a freshman set a great example of how to run with pride and to make other teams fear the name on your jersey. I was ready to teach the freshmen the same thing. Eldon takes pride in being kind and being a family, but when you stick an individual in a jersey and tell them to beat the person next to them, they will give their best and show no mercy. I will miss coming together as a team and cheering everyone on. And, I will miss my goofy, loving team. 

Q: Anything you would like your teammates and coaches to know?

A: I want the juniors through the freshmen to know that even though I won’t be around next year, I am still rooting for them. I want them to continue to show people what it means to come together as a team and compete. Take losing as a lesson, don’t let it bring you down and instead let it teach you how to win next time. Know that I would rather be in pain from running at practice than sitting at home doing nothing. Run fast in remembrance of us and show no mercy. I will try to make it to meets to watch you guys compete. For the first time, I will be in the stands cheering for each of you. And for the first time, I will be around the track telling each one of you to run faster. I know you guys won’t let me down and will continue on winning and changing the program. I will miss all of you. 

I want the seniors to know that I wish them luck in their futures and will do my best to keep in touch with them. I am so sorry we didn’t get to run this last season together and get to make more memories. I hope we can get together and make some last memories after this chaos is over. 

And lastly to my coaches, thank you for teaching me what it is like to be a part of something big. Each one of you has contributed to my success and I wouldn’t get the chance to continue my success without you guys. I will miss your pep talks before the 4x400 and telling me what I have to do in order to win. Thank you for always believing in me and knowing my potential. I will be around to laugh and help teach them that practicing handoffs is important!