LAPORTE — Before Lauren Anglin ever put on track spikes, she wore dancing shoes.
From age 3 until seventh grade, the LaPorte junior put in several hours each week at a dance studio. She then developed snapping hip syndrome, "dancer's hip," and she decided to pursue other endeavors. Her parents, having seen her beat her younger brothers in races, suggested track.
"My parents were like 'you're really fast, you should try track,'" Anglin said. "I did it in eighth grade and I realized I was pretty good. Once I became better at it, I started to really love doing it and the adrenaline I got from track."
Anglin has participated in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter sprints and also a leg of the 400 relay for the Slicers but has since dropped the 200 and 400. She originally thought she had shin splints, but after developing a burning sensation in her legs, an MRI revealed stress fractures.
"Officially, I have one in the right leg, but I'm pretty positive I have one in the other leg, too," Anglin said. "It's definitely a battle, but I love the sport so much I'm at the point where I just want to push myself through it. Once I get on the line, I don't think about it and adrenaline sets in. I'm basically running on adrenaline through meets."
With the help of calf sleeves, kinesiology tape and her neon compression socks, she powered her way to a fifth-place finish in a loaded Duneland Athletic Conference meet and then a sectional championship in the 100.
"She sucked it up last season and got through the injury," LaPorte coach Corbin Slater said. "It was extremely painful for her to run, but she was able to finish out the year. It flared up again this year, so we've been a lot more conservative with her. We knew we had enough depth where we can just focus her on the (400 relay) and the 100 and knew she had the potential to produce like she has."
Slater implemented a "less is more" training approach with Anglin.
"We kept a lot of data throughout the offseason and the more rest and recovery she got, the faster she'd run," he said. "She saw that data and started believing and trusting the process. She does very minimal work in practice but is getting a lot of results still. We took stuff from some coaches in Illinois that have had success with the philosophy and it made sense for her to follow it. Like any day after a big meet, she'll take off completely."
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At times, it's hard for Anglin to fully embrace the mindset, but she's seen the benefits. She owns a personal record of 12.81 seconds, improving upon a 13.22.
"If the shins start to hurt, I stop myself," she said. "I only do what I know I can do. It's very weird sometimes since my friends are out there doing the workouts and I feel bad because I feel like I'm not doing enough. I know it's best for me in the end though."
Finishing seventh at last year's sectional proved to be a strong motivator all season for Anglin.
"I've really pushed myself since then and I know I want to be the fastest I can be," she said. "Last year, my best friend Nichole (Flowers) went to state. She did so well and I had hard time not being able to go with. She talks about how fun it was and that's what I want to do."
Flowers, a long jump state contender, follows Anglin in the 400 relay. The Slicers set the school record last season at 49.37.
Slater credits Anglin's desire to help the relay as a reason she pushes through her shin issues.
"(It) has kept her in it on days she feels her shins more than other days," Slater said. "She's all about team and that's all you can ask for as a coach. She has a very long, bounding stride, almost like a gazelle. It always looks like she's not in the race, then she catches up. I tell her all the time from 30 meters on, she's accelerating faster than any other girl. Every time out has been a confidence booster for her."
In the 100, Anglin is angling for a 12.5-12.6, a finals qualification and possibly a state call-back.
"The Region is full of phenomenal sprinters," she said. "I chase people down and if I have those girls in front of me, I can push myself to run a new PR."