Shaffer hitting her stride

Name: Lauren Shaffer

School: Portage Area

Age: 16

Grade: Sophomore

Sport: Cross country

Athlete of the week achievement: Shaffer placed first among 187 Class 1A and 2A runners at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association Cross Country Meet at California, Pa. When including Class 3A runners, her time of 19 minutes, 53.31 seconds was sixth best among 411 runners.

Season update: Shaffer will compete in the District 6 Class 1A championships on Saturday. She finished second in the meet last year.

Coach Lance Hudak’s quote: “Tri States was a perfect tune up for Lauren one week before districts. She went to Cal U and beat the best A-AA runners in the WPIAL in rough conditions on a bear of a course. A natural four-sport talent who understands that hard work does pay off. An incredible student-athlete from a wonderful family, Lauren makes Portage proud.”

Favorite teacher: Mr. Josh Burkett

Favorite subject: Biology

Favorite movie: “Dirty Dancing”

Favorite food: Swiss steak

Favorite song: “Somebody to Love” by Queen

Outside interests: Baking, spending time with my friends

Favorite professional team: Pittsburgh Pirates

Pro athlete most admired: Josh Harrison

Best athlete ever competed against: PIAA Class 1A cross country state champion Isabel Sager of Loyalsock

Most influential person on my athletic career: My parents

Proudest athletic achievement: Placing second at the cross country state championships.

How I got my start in cross country: “I started running the local 5K’s in Portage.”

Future goal: Play a sport in college