Athlete Spotlight: Waukee State Champion Lauren Nelson Signs with UCM

Lauren Nelson, who was the Iowa State Champion in the Pentathalon last year, has signed to become a UCM Jenny after her final season as a Waukee Warrior. Read below to find out how she picked the University of Central Missouri, what she plans to focus on in college, and more!

What schools were you considering for your collegiate track & field career?
Central Missouri, South Dakota State University, and Winona State in Minnesota

How did you end up picking the University of Central Missouri?
I found that they had a great multi program and I felt if I was going to be going to school for multi this would be the place. They also have an amazing coach, Kip Javrin, who was very supportive during the process of choosing a school. In addition, my coach Erica Douglas was also able to help point out the benefits of being a multi at UCM.

What was it like visiting UCM? 
Although I did not go on a official visit, I was able to go and meet coaches and some of the athletes. Being able to do this helped me decide that I wanted to make UCM my home next year. It had a friendly atmosphere that was inviting and somewhere I could picture myself living for the next 4 years.

How did your coaches, teammates, friends, and family respond to your decision to become a Jenny?
They were all very supportive of my decision to become a Jenny. My coach, Erica Douglas, helped a lot with trying to find the perfect school that I would best fit at. My family helped to encourage me along the process and showed a lot of support with my decision.

You have competed in many different events throughout your career as a Warrior, including hurdles, high jump, discus, and even cross country. What events do you plan on focusing on in college?
I plan on taking what I have learned in all those events and being a multi event athlete at UCM. I have found that I enjoy doing all of these events and multi would be the best suit for me. 

What advice do you have for others who are interested in looking at Division II schools and schools outside of Iowa like UCM? 
I would make sure you are talking to your coaches, they have the most experience with this, and they can help to guide you to the right school that would fit your needs.

What are you hoping to accomplish during your time competing for the Jennies?
I'm hoping to be able to compete competitively at the collegiate level and improve upon myself every year. 

To view more of her high school stats, check out her athlete profile here!