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Accelerating To a New Dimension

March 31, 2005

By Scott MacDonald

Andriane Lapsley entered her junior season at Georgia Tech as a talented track performer who had yet to earn all-conference honors. After numerous top-eight finishes at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships in several different events, she finally found a winner-the 60-meter dash.

“I wasn’t thinking about winning or losing,” said Lapsley after capturing her first ACC title in the 60m. “I just got on that start line and ran as fast as I could, I didn’t look at the clock on the track or anything, just that finish line. And when I won, I was more happy for coach [Nat] Page, because he was the one he saw this ability in me.”

Lapsley, a native of San Antonio, Texas, began training for the 60- and 100-meter dash during her sophomore season, giving up a lot of training for her passion, the jumps. The coaching staff believed that if she concentrated on the sprinting events, then she would eventually scamper ahead of the competition. She did just that.

“Andriane has established herself as one of the top sprinters in the ACC,” said head women’s coach Alan Drosky. “She had a great indoor season, winning the ACC title in the 60-meter dash and finishing second in the 200 meters.”

Lapsley finished the indoor season with Tech season-best times of 7.39 (100) and 24.05 (200) at the Alex Wilson Invitational. She also ran the fourth best time for the indoor season in the 60-meter high hurdles (8.41) at the indoor ACC meet, finishing sixth in the finals.

Her times in the 60- and 200-meter dashes for the indoor season rank third in the indoor all-time season-best times.

“She has proven that she’s not just one of the top sprinters in the conference, but one of the top all-around athletes,” said Drosky. “She has scored at the conference meet for us in the sprinting events, hurdles, triple and long jump events.”

During her sophomore season, Lapsley was told that she could become an ACC champion if she concentrated on sprinting. With her first love being the triple jump, she wasn’t quite sure about that decision and did not even know if she was that fast. But, a comment by assistant coach Nat Page made her believe.

“He told me that he felt I could win an ACC title in the 60- and 100-meter dashes,” said Lapsley. “He was so confident that he said that if I didn’t, he would assume full responsibility because it would’ve been his fault for not getting me ready. My goal was to earn All-ACC honors with a top-three finish, so when he said ACC champion, I began to believe him. And when I won, I was happy for the both of us.”

Coach Page and Lapsley began training for the sprinting events during the ’04 outdoor season. She went on to qualify for the NCAA East Region Championships in the 100- and 200-meter dash events, finishing 16th in the 100.

“It really opened my eyes when I was able to qualify for regionals in the 100 and 200 events,” said Lapsley. “I’d only been training for those events for a short period of time, so I started to think that coach Page was right, I could really do this.”

Lapsley was also a key ingredient in Tech’s success in the 4×100-meter relay last outdoor season. The Jackets posted a school record time of 44 seconds to finish third at the NCAA Region Championships and qualify for the outdoor NCAA Championships. There, Lapsley ran the third leg of the 4×100 and helped Tech finish in sixth place, earning All-America honors.

“She just keeps getting better and better and we’re [coaching staff] all anxious to see what she’s going to do this outdoor season,” said Drosky.

The junior sprinter continues to shine early in the `05 outdoor season. She won the 100-meter dash at the opening outdoor meet at the Alabama Relays, in Tuscaloosa, with a personal-record time of 11.58. That mark was good enough to qualify her for the NCAA East Region Championships, May 27-28, in Randall’s Island, N.Y.

After a washed away Florida Relays last weekend, Lapsley and the Yellow Jackets, will host the first of two home track meets this weekend, Saturday, April 2, at the George C. Griffin Track. The outdoor meet will run all day and will be free admission.

“I feel like it’s a good opportunity for the student body at Georgia Tech to see how good our whole athletic program is,” said Lapsley. “We don’t just have good football and basketball, we also have good track and field, swimming and diving and tennis teams.”

Lapsley will try and capture her second ACC crown at the outdoor ACC Championships, April 21-23. The meet will be held at Florida State in Tallahassee.


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