Enderson goes for perfect record

By By Paige Fieldsted

By Paige Fieldsted

Lauren Endersen is working hard to keep her streak alive-a streak of nine years with a perfect GPA. Endersen, a senior in biology, is hoping to finish out her undergraduate degree with a 4.0 GPA, which she has maintained since junior high school.

Not only has she managed to get straight A’s, but she has also worked hard to build an impressive track and field record. Endersen, a member of the U’s cross country team and track and field team, recently won the Mountain West Conference 10,000-meter race and was named to the third-team All-American cross country team.

She was also named to the Academic All-American team. With a 4.0, Endersen was the highest of the athletes recognized-not exactly an easy task when trying to complete medical school prerequisites and study for the MCAT.

Endersen’s mother, June, said her motivation to be a good student was sparked at a young age by dinner time conversations on various topics and being read to as a child.

“Lauren has always been curious and inquisitive,” June said. “She is very organized and self-motivated to keep herself on schedule.”

Endersen said that getting into medical school and continuing her streak aren’t the only reasons she works to keep a 4.0-keeping her presidential scholarship is a large part of it as well.

“I just feel like I have such an opportunity,” Endersen said. “I know students struggling to pay tuition and work through school and I’m getting it for free. I feel like I should make the most of it while I’m here.”

The hardest thing for Endersen about keeping a 4.0 is not the tests or advanced physics classes, but rather the expectations of others. She says it’s stressful to always have that expectation to do well.

“It’s hard when you go to take a test and everyone says, ‘You’re going to do great. You always do.'” Endersen said. “It feels like you’re letting people down if you don’t do amazing.”

For Endersen, her love of human anatomy and her desire to help people made the decision to go to medical school relatively easy.

“I’ve always loved biology and been curious about how things work,” Endersen said. “And being able to combine that with helping people and making a positive impact is great.”

Helping other people has always been Endersen’s focus. She has worked as a certified nursing assistant, completed several Alternative Spring Breaks and is working as a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness.

“She is a very compassionate person and has always enjoyed helping others,” her mother said.

Track head coach Kyle Kepler said Endersen’s passion and focus will help her no matter where she ends up.

“She has a passion and focus that allows her to lock out everything else and focus on one thing,” Kepler said. “There are few people that have that kind of focus. Lauren is one of those people who will have a street named after her one day. She is that intelligent and that driven.”

The road to athletic and academic success hasn’t always been easy for Endersen. Injuries, time management and pressure from herself and others are just a few of her obstacles.

After a hip injury kept her from finishing the 10,000-meter race at the MWC championships last year, Endersen was able to turn around and win the same race the next season.

“It was so surreal to win,” Endersen said. “My goal was really just to finish.”

Another challenge that Endersen faced this season was a scheduling conflict with races and taking the MCAT. Unable to fly out to any competition the week of the test, Endersen was forced to choose between running the 5,000-meter race to qualify for regionals and the 10,000-meter race.

Endersen chose to run the 10,000-meter race to help her prepare for the conference championships.

“It was hard because I really needed to run a 10,000-meter race before conference,” Endersen said. “But because I chose that, I mis sed out on going to regionals with some of my teammates.”

Despite the scheduling issues and stress she faced, Endersen was able to score 39 points of 45 on the MCAT, a score that puts her in the 99th percentile of all test takers.

A few days after watching Endersen win the 10,000-meter race at conference, Kepler received a text from Endersen. She told him about her MCAT score and thanked him for allowing her to have time to study and train on her own when she needed.

“You don’t see a lot of athletes do that,” Kepler said.

As for Endersen, she recognizes the people who have helped her get to where she is today.

“I have a great family, an amazing team and coaches that understand how important academics are to me, that I have to thank,” Endersen said.

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Lauren Enderson