Lauren Madine’s racing opportunities were very limited in 2020. But this young middle distance athlete from East Down AC really made them count. Her superb performances including blistering sprint finishes were electric and set pulses racing on the sidelines. All the more impressive as Lauren juggles her athletics alongside eventing, another very demanding and time-consuming sport.
Please note that U15 2020 UK rankings are used in this brief synopsis. This includes Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. Irish 800m/1,500m rankings for this age group are not available and sadly with the pandemic, Irish U15 championship races did not take place in 2020.
Lauren had set herself up for the track season by winning the Ulster Schools Cross Country Championships and going on to win the Irish Schools title.
In the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena, Lauren sprinted to gold in the Northern Ireland and Ulster Age Group Championships over 800m following it up with silver in the 1,500m the next day. Her 800m time of 2:16.71 still is the fastest she has recorded over the distance.
In a delayed summer season she did the 800m/1,500m double in the Northern Ireland and Ulster U14-U17 Championships held at Belfast’s Mary Peters Track. In the longer distance, she unleashed a ferocious kick to win in an outstanding time and new PB of 4:41.63!
To add some context to these performances. Lauren raced 800m once indoors and twice outdoors in 2020. Her indoors time ranks her 3rd in her age group in the whole of the UK! Her outdoor time 12th. She raced 1,500m indoors once for a UK ranking of 3rd, her outdoor effort ranked her 4th! It leaves us pondering ruefully what might have been, should there have been more races available. It usually takes a few in succession before an athlete hits top form.
Lauren is truly a star shining brightly in 2020.
2020, Lee Maginnis