Pequot Lakes alum Vanessa Lane found plenty of success as a Patriot prior to graduating in 2014, and is now finding success as a Jackrabbit.
The sophomore at South Dakota State University (SDSU) was a three-sport athlete at Pequot Lakes High School, scoring more than 1,000 points in basketball while winning four state championships and breaking several records in track and field.
When it came time for her to choose a collegiate sport, her answer was simple.
"I have always been pretty passionate about track since I was pretty young," Lane said. "I like how it is an individual team sport that also comes together to be a team sport. You can go out and do your events and get points in order to get the team to do better."
With a number of college options to choose from, she became enamored with the notion of becoming a member of South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings, S.D., thanks to a receptive group of coaches and future teammates.
"When I first came here, I just really liked the campus," Lane said. "When I met the coaches and the team, I really liked how close they were and how nice the athletes were. For being a Division-I school and a bigger university, it has a close-knit-family feeling for the team. That was a big deciding factor for me."
She has found some success at the collegiate level as well.
She was part of the school's 4x100 relay that won the Summit League championship, and recorded a number of top times, primarily in sprints. She also finished third in the heptathlon at the conference championships, earning a score of 4,635.
In the Summit League Indoor Championships on February 26 and 27, Lane finished seventh in the pentathlon, throwing a personal-best distance of 38 feet in the shot put and earning all-conference honors in the process.
All while struggling with a hip flexor strain she suffered the week before.
"It did kind of affect my long jump and high jump," Lane said. "Overall though, I was happy with my score and placement."
Now, Lane turns her attention to the outdoor season, which begins on Saturday, March 19 in Tulsa, Okla. As she spends her spring break conducting light workouts and resting her injury when she can, she cannot help but be excited for the coming season.
"I love the outdoor season," Lane said. "I like it a lot more than the indoor season, which I think a lot of track athletes would agree with, so I'm looking forward to that. I'm just hoping my injury heals up before that. I'm very thankful for the training staff here, because I was able to get as much therapy as I need. It has really sped up the recovery process."
In the outdoor season, she hopes to match or improve upon her top-3 performance in the heptathlon at the Summit League Championships on May 12-14. She also wants to compete in more open sprints and try her hand at javelin throwing.
With two years of eligibility left, Lane has several small goals she hopes to achieve before graduating with a degree in consumer affairs. Ultimately, however, she hopes to continuously improve as she moves toward her long-term track and field goals.
"I have my individual goals on certain times and things like that, but I just want to be able to keep improving and contributing in helping out the team," Lane said. "One of my biggest goals is to get to regionals or nationals for an event. That is extremely difficult to get to, but it is something I have always been striving for."