Photo courtesy of Mamaroneckreview.com: Chapey crosses the finish line with her arms up after a fantastic race.
By William Young
Lauren Chapey ’16 had an incredible cross country season this past fall, becoming one of the nation’s fastest runners. She worked for timeless hours every day, whether it was running the necessary miles or doing strength training. Some of her achievements from this season include, but are not limited to: Westchester County Champion, 8th place finish at New York State Championships, 12th place finish at the New York Federation Championship (combination of all the classes), and 67th place at Nike Cross Country Nationals.
Chapey did not have the greatest junior year, however, which is partially what fueled the fire for this outstanding season. “Coming off a rough year of running last year greatly influenced my season this year,” Chapey said. “In order to not max out too early in the season and prepare for a long season, I approached my summer training a bit more cautiously this year.”
The cross country season began at the beginning of summer, where all the base training builds up endurance. “My training starts in early July, so I never want to train too hard in the summer and not be able to maintain my training through the late fall, so I paid less attention to my pace during runs and more about how I was feeling at each stage of training, and I found that my pace was actually faster by doing this anyway,” Chapey added. “I also focused some more on my strength training and staying consistent with it throughout the season.” With this training regimen, Chapey ran faster than ever before.
Chapey attributes a lot of her success to her coaches, Nick LaRosa and Robert Morrisey. They provide the necessary training dayin and day-out, helping Chapey get in the best possible shape, so that she can peak at the right time. “I would have absolutely no success in running without my coaches. They are the masterminds behind all my training, from long runs to interval workouts to days off. “Not only do LaRosa and Morrisey provide the training, but they also provide the race strategies and support on race day that she needs. “They help me plan out the best race strategy for each race and give me advice on how to tackle different elements of the course or the competition.” The two coaches have made everything Chapey has achieved this year possible, and without them things may have been very different. “Coach Morrissey and Coach LaRosa dedicate a lot to the sport, and it is their coaching that has gotten me to where I am today.”
The highlight of the year for Chapey was Nike Cross Country Nationals. In Oregon, only the top five individuals from New York, as well as all the different regions, qualify for this race. Nike treats the competitors very well, flying them out to Oregon (Nike Headquarters) for a week, giving them free apparel and allowing them to meet some of the top Nike athletes in the world. Then, on top of that, Chapey had the opportunity to compete against the best high school runners in the country. Chapey describes the trip, saying, “My experience in Portland and the time I spent at the Nike Campus Headquarters was simply indescribable. A race as deep and competitive as NXN is very similar to a college race, and so the experience and knowledge I gained from racing there is certainly something I am thankful for. ”
Chapey will run for Yale University in her undergraduate career. She hopes to run even faster and become a top collegiate athlete. However, this past cross country season is a time she will remember forever. “I cannot express enough how supportive the Mamaroneck community has been throughout this season and my high school cross country career as a whole. It is so special to be a part of Mamaroneck Athletics and the Mamaroneck community as a whole.”