Courtesy of Colorado State Athletics
FORT COLLINS, Colorado – Helping your child out of a college apartment is common for many, but jumping on the porch after celebrating your daughter making the national team for the Olympics isn’t, but it was with the Gales.
This Saturday July 3rd, State of Colorado Junior Lauren Gale was named to Team Canada for the Tokyo Olympics as a member of the 4×400-meter relay team. At 21, she is the youngest of the 57 athletes nominated to represent the Maple Leaf.
“Even though I knew I was in the top four [in the event]it was kind of a surprise though because there were also some super good hurdlers in the line, “said Gale before pausing and continuing.” However, it was still very exciting. I was on the porch with my parents when I saw the notice and we just got happy and started jumping all over the place. My mom started crying and I was like “No girl if you cry, I’m going to cry” so it was an exciting time.
Gale was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where she lived until the sixth year before the family moved to Ottawa due to her father’s appointment to the Canadian military. She attended the Ottawa Lions Track Club until the end of ninth grade before relocating again for the same reason, but this time to the United States and to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. She continued her track career at Discovery Canyon High School before arriving in Colorado State in 2018, where she continued to make her mark in the green and gold.
“The goal for the whole year was to put her in a position to qualify for the relay,” Colorado State assistant coach JJ Riese mentionned. “The season was really structured so that she was prepared and had gasoline in the tank to race in Tokyo. It wasn’t a surprise in itself, but it was still great to see her. rewarded for her hard work. “
Gale’s season didn’t look like someone holding anything back as she bolstered the school records she already had in the indoor and outdoor 400s. Instead of the Mountain West Indoor Championships which did not take place, she recorded a personal best 52.76 for second place in the Championships at the Peak competition which pitted her against a field made up entirely of Pac12. finally. She restored her outdoor record three times with a home victory at the Doug Max Invitational (52.24) then her fourth Mountain West 400 title (52.22) and finally her 13e-placing finish (51.96) in the NCAA West prelims. The last one was bittersweet as she raced in one of the best fields the event has ever produced with college record holder and eventual NCAA champion Athing Mu, but she finished in a spot of se qualify for the NCAA Championships.
“It was exciting to be so close, but it was also nice to take a few days off and refocus on training for the Olympics,” said Gale, in search of a silver liner. “I think having some free time and continuing to train has been a blessing.”
Glenroy Gilbert, gold medalist in the 4x100m relay at the Atlanta Games, is the head coach of Team Canada, which hopefully bodes well for Gale’s experience. Six more athletes have been named to the 4x400m relay team, leaving Gilbert and the staff a decision until the first round, which is August 5.e. Two others were in the NCAA this season with Kyra Constantine in Southern California and Natassha McDonald in Alabama. Constantine was third in the 400m at the NCAA, being part of the second and sixth 4x400m team in that NCAA West Prelims race with Gale. McDonald’s finished 11e in the NCAA 4x400m preliminaries and 12e in the 400m after taking first place in the NCAA Eastern Prelims. The team is completed by veterans Alicia Brown (31), Noelle Montcalm (33), Sage Watson (27) and Madeline Price (25). At the Rio 2016 Olympics, Brown, Montcalm and Watson helped Canada finish fourth. Aside from what she learns on the track, it will be a surreal experience for Gale.
“There are definitely athletes that I have enjoyed growing up and who are part of the team,” said Gale. “André De Grasse is part of the team. I took a picture with him 4 or 5 years ago and he signed my grandfather’s jersey, and now I’m competing in the same team as him . It’s really interesting and cool. “
In addition to his 400 school records, Gale is part of the school’s 4×400 record indoor and outdoor relay teams. From a conference perspective, she is a five-time champion, going 4 for 4 in MW 400 titles (Indoor, 2019-20; Outdoor, 2019, 2021) plus a 4×100 MW title.