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Recognizing the RunStrong senior class of 2021

The LMH Health RunStrong team would like to recognize our high school senior runners for their participation and support of our program. Many of these athletes were a part of our first training class that was held in the winter of 2019. They also played a crucial role in the development of our comprehensive assessment and video analysis of running mechanics. They volunteered their time and talents to make sure our team was ready to meet the needs of runners of all ages and abilities in our community.

We can’t share enough how proud we are of all the accomplishments of these athletes and wish them the best as they start their next journey in life. Their positive attitudes and strong work ethic will be missed in our classes. Congratulations to the Class of 2021! 

Braiden Bangalan

Braiden is a four-year participant on the Lawrence Free State cross country and track teams. He ran distance for the track team and was a strong leader, especially for the Junior Varsity runners. He was an alternate throughout his senior year for the state-winning varsity cross country team and is known for his positive attitude and strong work ethic. His teammates recognize all the work he put in to move up from one of the slower C team runners to one of the best JV runners on an extremely competitive team. One teammate shares his favorite memory of Braiden was when he finally met his goal of breaking the 18 minute 5K at the league meet his senior year. After seeing Braiden run a 17:30 time, he ran down to the finish line and shared a hug and celebrated this monumental moment with him.

The RunStrong team recognizes Braiden for attending all sessions throughout winter training, even if it meant going to a different class time with other runners. He approaches each exercise and drill 110% and never gives less than his best.

Braiden will attend the University of Kansas, majoring in global and international relations, political science, and Chinese with a minor in Russian. 

Brock Cordova

Brock Cordova

Brock Cordova

Brock is a four-year participant on the Lawrence Free State cross country and track teams. He completed in two state cross country meets and was a part of the 6A cross country state championship team his senior year. While competing in track, he was a part of the 4x800m team that placed 8th his sophomore year and won the gold medal 4x800m win at the 6A state track meet during his senior year.

Brock’s mother, Cathy, shares that her favorite memory of Brock is the gold medal win at the state track meet. After not being able to compete their junior year due to COVID, all the boys stayed focused and believed in and encouraged each other to run their race.

“It was great to see their hard work and dedication to the sport and their team really shine,” Cathy said.

She also values the group of parents and guardians who supported these athletes and the lifelong friendships that resulted from long hours at both cross country and track meets.

The RunStrong team recognizes Brock for the 110% effort and leadership that he brings to every training session.

“The thing I will remember most about him is his crazy mobility. What his shoulders were able to do in an overhead position was both enviable and terrifying at the same time,” shared RunStrong trainer Jacob Loucks. “He is an amazing athlete.”

Brock will attend the University of Kansas next year where he plans to major in engineering. 

Chase Ramirez

Chase is a four-year participant on the Lawrence Free State cross country and track teams. While running for Free State, he became a leader for the underclassmen and was able to PR in the last race of his high school career while cheering on his team for a league championship. His mother shares that her favorite running memory of Chase was when he first reached his 5K time goal his junior year and was not aware he had met his goal until she told him. Her second favorite memory was watching him PR the final race of his senior year.

The RunStrong team recognizes Chase as one of the most improved athletes in the program.

“When Chase first started with us, he could not complete one pull-up and required a lot of coaching to complete a proper deadlift with very light weight,” shared Nami Stone, RunStrong trainer. “By the end of his training time, Chase was able to complete at least five pull-ups and was lifting the same amount of weight in his deadlifts as our most elite athletes. He truly deserves the honor of Most Improved and his positive attitude and smile will be missed.”

Chase will attend Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) majoring in public health and minoring in Spanish. 

Ethan Sharp

Ethan Sharp

Ethan Sharp

Ethan is a four-year participant on the Lawrence Free State cross country and track teams. While competing with Lawrence Free State track, he ran in two state meets earning a top ten finish in the 4x800m relay his sophomore year and a state championship in the same relay his senior year. During cross country, he earned top ten state meet finishes his junior and senior year (placing 4th his senior year) and was a part of Free State’s first boys team to earn a state championship his senior year. At the Sunflower League meet, he tied the school record, making him one the fastest 5 runners in Free State school history. Ethan’s mother shares that her favorite running memory was seeing three of the boys tie or break the Free State school record at that league meet. 

The RunStrong team recognizes Ethan for his amazingly positive attitude and strong work ethic. He continually pushes himself and isn’t afraid to test his limits. The energy he brings to training sessions makes it both fun and challenging for his teammates.

Ethan will attend the University of Kansas next year, majoring in finance and economics, and minoring in Spanish. Go Jayhawks! 

Maura Shire

Maura Shire

Maura Shire

Maura is a four year participant on the Lawrence Free State cross country team and three year participant on the track team. While running cross country, she made major improvements her junior year to become the first alternate on the state-bound girls team. She was a strong leader her senior year following a difficult year of COVID, not always knowing if competition would happen. Her mother shares that her biggest enjoyment was watching the evolution of a young girl who joined cross country for the social aspect and became a spirited competitor. She was able to watch Maura improve with each race and learn running strategies to be successful in her running career. She especially loved watching Maura run at Rim Rock.

The RunStrong team recognizes Maura for her hard work and determination to be the best. She took instruction very well and never gave up. Maura is a positive mentor for the younger female runners and always takes the time to check in on a fellow athlete. Her smile and fun personality will be missed.

Maura will attend Oregon State University, majoring in biology (pre-veterinary) and minoring in Spanish. 

Lauren Sinclair

Lauren Sinclair

Lauren Sinclair

Lauren is a four year sprinter on the Lawrence Free State track team. She competed in the 100m and 200m dash and the 4x100m relay team. During her senior year, Lauren was able to achieve personal records (PR) in all her events. Her mother shares her favorite running memory of Lauren was when her 4x100 team qualified for the KU Relays during her sophomore year. Unfortunately, the Relays were canceled during her junior and senior years, but that meet and the opportunity to run on the KU track was unforgettable.

Our training team will remember Lauren for her determination. She always asks for coaching techniques and ways to improve her PRs. She is a strong leader for the younger classmen and always comes in with a positive attitude. She is also known for having a different set of nails each training session but isn’t afraid to break one for the sake of training.

Lauren will attend the University of Arkansas and is looking to major in Exercise Science in the hopes to become an Athletic Trainer. Go Razorbacks! 

Christopher Stone

Christopher Stone

Christopher Stone

Christopher is a four-year participant on the Lawrence Free State track team, a three-year participant on the soccer team, and one year participant on the cross country team. It was during COVID that Christopher decided to end his time with soccer and focus on running his senior year, which was met with great success. In his first ever cross country season, Christopher was able to join his teammate in breaking the school record and placing 2nd in an extremely competitive Sunflower League meet, then placed 3rd the following race at regionals. When faced with the challenge of losing his shoe within the first ½ mile of the state meet, Christopher did not give up. He persevered and placed 10th overall, helping his Free State Firebird cross country team win their first ever state championship.

Christopher’s parents share their favorite running memory was watching him race to the finish line at the league meet to place 2nd overall and break 16 minutes for the first time. After a quick celebration with his teammates (who ran arguably the best boys team race in meet history), he ran to find his mom and share that he had broken the school record.

The RunStrong team recognizes Christopher for his ability to bring fun to the training space with his music choices and sense of humor. He is also known for his 110% effort and for leading others by example.

Christopher will attend the University of Kansas where he will be joining the track and cross country team. He plans to major in biology (pre-med) with a minor in psychology. Rock Chalk!

 


About the author

Nami Stone is a physical therapist with LMH Health Therapy Services.