Wednesday 22 May 2019

Athlete of the Week – Lane Woodall

Princeton High School


When the right mix of talent and hard work come together the results can often be unexpected.

Anyone who doubts this theory has never met Lane Woodall.

Woodall is a senior member of Princeton High School’s track team. Despite having never competed in track before his junior year, Woodall has shattered all of head coach Mark McLamb’s expectations.

Woodall is also a member of Princeton’s cross country, indoor track and basketball teams.

Woodall is this week’s Mt. Olive Pickles High School Athlete of the Week. The High School Athlete of the Week is a partnership between Curtis Media Group and Mt. Olive Pickles to recognize local high school athletes who excel athletically, academically and through service to their community.

The recognized athletes are chosen by the athletic department and administration from their respective high schools.

Woodall spent the Spring of his freshman and sophomore years at Princeton as a member of the Bulldogs’ tennis team. He enjoyed participating in cross country and ultimately decided to give track a try.

“I just started running track last year,” Woodall said. “I kind of just came out last cross country season just to do something. I went out there, enjoyed myself and had some success. I decided I would run track in the Spring, and I had some success and I started taking it really serious this past Summer.”

McLamb admits that his expectations were low when Woodall first joined the track team. It isn’t often that a junior without previous track experience produces results right away. McLamb quickly learned that Woodall wasn’t just any junior.

“It normally takes years, and a lot of miles to develop as a good distance runner,” McLamb said. “I really didn’t have high expectation (for Lane), because you normally don’t see that much improvement in a year or two. I think it was the dedication and I always think the key components of someone becoming good is their ability to handle pain. Pain never became an issue. He’s got a little bit of talent, and that little bit of talent combined with the great work ethic has helped him to get to where’s at now. He’s the best distance runner by all means in our conference.”

Woodall has committed himself to running 10-12 miles every Saturday, maintaining a strict diet and excelerating his recovery time with ice baths. This regimen has allowed him to participate in the 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 meter relay events for the Bulldogs.

Last season, Woodall claimed the Carolina 1-A Conference championship in five different events.

“I feel a lot stronger now,” Woodall said. “When I first started I wasn’t very good with pain. My legs would be hurting. This year, I’m able to fight through it. You’ve got to go to practice every day with the mindset that you’re going to work hard.”

Competing on four different teams can often force Woodall into some scheduling acrobatics, particuarly in the Winter when he is a member of Princeton’s basketball and indoor track teams. He holds the school record for the 500 and 3200 meters in indoor track. Woodall also qualified for the state championship in the 3200 meters in indoor track.

Woodall also maintains a 3.3 grade point average while taking multiple honors classes. This past Fall, he was part of a group of volunteers that cleaned up the Bulldogs’ football stadium following home games.

“I would go straight from (indoor) track to basketball,” Woodall said. “Sometimes I would walk into the gym with my short, track shorts on and that definitely got some looks. I would try to get a quick meal, go to the locker room and change and go straight into the game. It can be tough and some days you don’t want try to do it all. If you focus, and pay attention in class, you can get it all done.”

Woodall hopes to continue his track career at the University of Mount Olive and study nutrition.

“I have a great love for running so I definitely want to continue doing that if I can,” Woodall said. “Last summer, me and my friends we really started paying attention to nutrition and focusing on what we needed to eat, and how it might help us. I just want to be able to try to help other people with their nutrition and help them try to get better.”

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