A few weeks before the 2018 state track & field championships, Discovery Canyon’s Lauren Gale still didn’t feel like her old self, even though it was more than a year after hip surgery.
As a sophomore she won four gold medals, dominating the sprints in her first state competition since moving to the United States from Ontario, Canada.
But with 14 days to go until her final state championship weekend, Gale crossed the line with a 400 time that would have made her sophomore-self proud.
Gale ran a 54.77 400, giving her the top time in Class 4A once again.
“I hadn’t done that in a year since surgery and it just gave me a lot more confidence knowing I was ranked No. 1 in the 400 going back to it,” Gale said. "So I was definitely excited and happy to get back out there after that.”
Weeks later she sprinted to three gold medals and helped the Discovery Canyon sprint medley team to a third-place finish, earning her the title of Gazette Preps Girls’ Track & Field Peak Performer of the Year.
Gale was also named the 2017-18 Female Peak Performer of the Year at the inaugural Gazette Preps Peak Performer Banquet on June 6.
Though it was major surgery, requiring screws to be implanted in her hip, Gale said the physical recovery went smoothly. She went through extensive therapy and pool training, but said the hardest part was adjusting mentally.
“I thought I was going to pull something again, I thought I was going to pull my labrum or the metal screws would come out, so I was definitely cautious about my hip,” Gale said. “At the start I was walking a lot different, I kind of wobbled, but after I started jogging a bit it loosened up.”
Her state championship weekend was complete with a pair of PRs, as she sprinted to her record time in the 200 and the 100, although her time in the 100 was wind aided, and therefore did not count toward her official time.
But when it was all said and done, Gale walked away from her Colorado track & field career with 11 state medals - placing no worse than fourth in any state event.
Prior to moving to Colorado, Gale also found success in her home country.
“When I was in Canada the year before I moved to Colorado, my coaches at Ottawa Lions definitely kicked up my training for sure,” said Gale, who goes back to compete with that club during the summer. “Freshman year in Canada in I came in first in state for the 300 hurdles, the 200 and 400.”
Now in fine form and with high school behind her, Gale is hoping to compete for Team Canada at the World Youth Championships this summer, and will begin her college track & field career at Colorado State next year.