All for one and one for all.
That’s the mindset Lauren Tamayo says she and her Hastings College teammates share as they head to compete in the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championship on March 3-5 in Brookings, South Dakota.
One of the best female athletes ever to compete at HC, the 21-year-old senior will be counted on heavily to keep the third-rated Broncos in the hunt as they strive to earn a top-four finish among some of the best teams in the nation.
Her career accomplishments speak for themselves:
— GPAC Champion in the heptathlon in 2021.
— 2022 Female Athlete of the Meet at GPAC Indoor Championships
— GPAC indoor meet record holder in the heptathlon
— All-American in the heptathlon with 4,773 points; and school record holder in the 100-meter hurdles.
Yet for all of her individual accomplishments, it is her team-oriented mentality that has endeared her most to her teammates and coaches alike. Without the two, her run of success just wouldn’t have been the same, she said.
“They’ve definitely helped me,” she said. “They help me want to be better and push further than what I think I can do. They see more in me and I see more in them.”
Head coach Ryan Mahoney certainly sees the impact Tamayo has had on the team’s success during her four-year run with the Broncos.
It was Mahoney and a former assistant coach who reached out to Tamayo her junior year at Ralston High School near Omaha with a scholarship offer that has benefited all parties since.
“She’s one of the most well-liked ladies on the team,” Mahoney said. “Everybody just enjoys being round her. She’s a nice mix: bubbly and cheerful all the time, but also a fierce competitor.”
As a club soccer player growing up in Omaha, Tamayo found sports to be something she was not only drawn to but happened to be good at.
A middle child in a blended family of six siblings, playing sports was always part of the picture from middle school on, she said.
“I played all the sports I could in middle school and high school: volleyball, basketball, track, and cross country,” she said. “All my friends growing up did sports, so it kind of fell into place that we would do sports also.”
She credits much of her success story at Hastings College to her surprising attraction to the small knit community of Hastings.
“I never thought I would like living in a super small town, but I really enjoy it,” she said. “Our track team is super close. We hang out outside (of practices and meets) and see each other every day. I’m never going to have something else like this.”
The relationships she and her teammates enjoy with Mahoney and his assistant coaches have helped strengthen their collective resolve to be the best athletes they can be each day, she said.
“They help give us the motivation to keep us going,” she said. “They all know us really well. I couldn’t be more thankful being on a team like this.”
And while she is driven to make her final indoor championship meet a memorable one, her efforts will not be marred by needless worry or pressure from within.
Having done her homework on her opponents and what it will take to beat them, she plans to just have fun with it, come what may.
“I compete to win, (but) I don’t feel any pressure at all,” she said. “I know what I’m doing. I’m just going to have fun and everything is going to follow through. I know it will.”