Lindbergh High School’s Begany wins state championship in 300-meter hurdles

Begany takes track skills to University of Missouri

Lauren Begany

Lauren Begany

By STEPHEN GLOVER

Over the past two years, Lindbergh Senior High School’s Lauren Begany has garnered eight medals at the Missouri Class 4 Track and Field Championship.

But it took the final race of her high school career to reel in the most elusive accomplishment of all — a state championship.

“Prior to her last race, Lauren had won eight medals at state but had never won a state championship,” Lindbergh head coach Tom Gose told the Call. “On the last race of her high school career, she wins a state championship.”

Begany lined up for the 300-meter hurdles final last month with the third fastest time of the meet with 44.80 seconds. The senior hurdler was frustrated with her performance in the preliminary rounds and formed a strategy with Gose as to what needed to be done to improve her time.

“After the prelims, I kept wondering what happened,” Begany said. “My coach and I decided that I didn’t need to worry about my competition and just run my own race.”

Begany appeared to whip up a winning formula as she blew the field away in the final by nearly half of a second by turning in the third-fastest time in state history with 42.93 seconds. In fact, Begany’s time was just one-tenth of a second off the state record of 42.83 seconds, which was set by Makeatha Cooper of Grandview.

“I don’t even remember being tired at the end of the race,” Begany said. “My body kind of went on autopilot and was really in the zone that day.”

Begany also took runner-up honors in the 100-meter hurdles and the high jump.

“This year was really exciting,” Begany said. “I came in with the idea that I wasn’t expecting to win anything. It was really amazing because I wasn’t expecting this.”

Gose believes that Begany’s state championship in the 300-meter hurdles was the finale to a great career at Lindbergh.

“What a great end to a great career,” Gose said. “She’s been so enjoyable to coach. It’s been a great four years.”

Begany got her first taste of track in eighth grade, when she competed in field-day activities, which quickly grabbed the attention of the Lindbergh track and field coaching staff.

“I actually won a race during field day when I was in eighth grade,” Begany said. “The Lindbergh coaches asked me if I wanted to try out for track when I was in ninth grade.”

But there’s much more to Begany than her accomplishments on the track.

She scored an impressive 30 on her ACT and holds a 4.6 grade-point average.

She also is a member of the National Honor Society and plays the clarinet and saxophone in the Lindbergh High Jazz and Symphonic Bands.

This fall, Begany will follow in the footsteps of her parents, Allan and Bonnie, as she attends the University of Missouri.

She plans on majoring in Spanish and will also compete on the track and field team.

“I was really impressed with the Mizzou track program,” Begany said. “It’s really a gem of a program.”