Suburban Life Athlete of the Week: Lainey Paul, York, track and field, senior

York senior Lainey Paul

Name: Lainey Paul

School: York, senior

Sport: Track and field

Why she was selected: Paul set a new school record of 7.17 seconds in the 55-meter dash, and also won the 200 and pole vault at the West Suburban Silver indoor meet. She was voted the Athlete of the Week in an online vote.

Here is her Q&A with Sports Editor Joshua Welge.

Was that 55-meter dash record a mark you had been targeting? What was the key to getting it?

Paul: Honestly when I am competing I never have a target goal of what I want to run. My only goal is to win the race. I’ve found that when I am not stressing myself to run a certain time I end up doing better than I imagined.

How did you feel about the conference meet otherwise?

Paul: I am super happy with how the conference meet went. Unfortunately I was sick the week before the meet and I missed a lot of training. So I am proud that I was able to bounce back to score some points for York. Overall I think the team did an amazing job, and everyone put their all out on the track.

Coach told me you’ve broken eight records over the last two years. That’s crazy! What do you think when you hear that? Is there one record you are most proud of?

Paul: When I think about the records I’ve broken it is almost surreal. I am so grateful for my coaches and everything they have done to give me the opportunity to break those records. Also I would say I am most proud of breaking the pole vault record because it has been a goal of mine since freshman year to break it. I have gone through a lot of ups and downs with vaulting, but breaking that record made it all pay off.

How did you get into track? Have you done other sports? What interested you in track to stick with it?

Paul: I started track in middle school and immediately knew that it was my passion. I played soccer and did gymnastics for a long time, but once I got to York I knew I wanted to focus on track. I believe no other sports bring the level of competitiveness and pressure that track does, which makes getting a PR or winning a race very rewarding.

Coach also said you’re the hardest working athlete she’s ever coached. What is your “offseason” like and where do you get your work ethic?

Paul: My offseason consists of both sprinting and pole vault practices. Along with that I typically lift around four times a week. It is a lot of work, but without offseason training I would be nowhere near the level I am at today. Many things impact my work ethic, but I would say the desire to succeed and make my loved ones proud is what keeps me motivated.

What are your goals for outdoor season?

Paul: My goal for outdoor season is to keep improving and become a better athlete than I was last year.

What are your college plans? Do you plan to run track? Do you know what you plan to major in?

Paul: Yes! I am running and vaulting at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where I will be majoring in psychology. I am super grateful for the opportunity to compete collegiately and cannot wait until next year.

What’s your favorite TV show or movie?

Paul: My favorite TV show is Gossip Girl.

What’s your favorite subject in school?

Paul: My favorite subject is the psychology class I am taking right now.

What’s your favorite food or meal?

Paul: My favorite food is sushi.

Joshua  Welge

Joshua Welge

I am the Sports Editor for Kendall County Newspapers, the Kane County Chronicle and Suburban Life Media, covering primarily sports in Kendall, Kane, DuPage and western Cook counties. I've been covering high school sports for 24 years. I also assist with our news coverage.