Athlete of the Issue: Lauren Brown ‘23


To many, running is just horrible, period; nothing more than a terrible plot formulated by P.E. coaches to get kids moving. But for Lauren Brown ‘23, running is a huge part of her life: an escape from the stresses of life and a coping mechanism when she’s not doing her best. Her passion for the sport is reflected in her role on the Baldwin cross country team as both a captain and an outstanding teammate. 

Surprisingly, Brown wasn’t always a runner. She only started in 7th grade after her sister, Maddy Brown ‘21, encouraged her to pick it up. Though she was hesitant at first, Brown bravely took up this new challenge and worked to become the athlete she is now. 

The hard work she dedicates to the cross country team and running in general is commendable. During the week, Brown works at improving her times at school practices. She keeps her legs moving on the weekend too, even if it’s just taking a lap around her neighborhood. 

When asked if there was a particular motto she stuck to when running, Brown said, “It’s really a race against yourself. Don’t worry about anyone else and do your absolute best because that’s all you can really do.” 

When asked about motivation during races, Brown said, “Leaving without feeling proud of yourself is probably one of the most discouraging feelings. When you feel that once, you typically use that feeling as motivation for the next run.”

As captain, Brown admitted that she initially had doubts and felt pressure to measure up to her sister, who was a runner for Baldwin’s cross country team herself. Additionally, COVID-19 had prevented her from meeting any of the newcomers on the team. This was a huge barrier to Brown, who constantly emphasizes the importance of a team.

Brown said, “A support system is crucial to every runner’s development. Even though cross country is super individualized during racing, the practice aspect is 100 percent your team.”

     However, this obstacle did not stop her from becoming a supportive and well-loved leader. Brown explained that she often observes teammates getting “trapped in their own mind” and listening to “the pain of running” rather than its rewards. To help with this, she makes sure to be there for those who are on the brink of giving up, believing that it’s only when people push themselves that they really grow as runners. 

Brown’s leadership is essential to the team’s growth and overall dynamic. One fellow teammate, Aida Haile ’23, said, “She cares for every person on the team and will be the loudest person cheering for you during meets. The cross country team would not be as successful or fun without Lauren’s devotion.”