Running for state in multiple venues ; Lange voted state Beta office; prepares to run for state track title

Running has become a way of life for Lauren Lange.

The running she does actually comes in two forms: the real kind with one foot in front of another, and then there’s the kind where running for an office will allow you to speak your mind to offer a program for the benefit of all.

Lauren is a junior at Erath High School, and is just a little more active than your average student. She is active in her school Beta Club, runs Cross Country, runs Track and Field, has been a Cheerleader since the seventh grade, and has been taking Trampoline and Tumbling classes the way most little girls take dance lessons. And, yes, she used to take dance lessons, but the tumbling classes were more important to her.

Tumbling competition for Lauren has taken her across the state and the nation. Tumbling competition for Lauren has also taken her to St. Petersburg, Russia and to Amsterdam twice to compete internationally in a type of mini-olympic competition. She has had to do all the work, but it has also helped that her Russian coach, Dimitri Poliaroush, knows what is needed to compete on the international level. Lauren trains with Poliaroush in Lafayette.

For Lauren, being active in the school Beta Club is almost the key to life. “I started going to Beta conventions when I was six weeks old. My mom (Angie Lange) was (and still is) the Beta sponsor and used to take me along with her all over the place. Beta is all about service to the community, and, of course, you have to keep your grades up.”

Some of the Beta activities Lauren and the Erath Club have participated in recently include Toys for Tots, newspaper drives for the Barras Ranch, collecting canned goods to use for area food banks, working as teacher assistants when Dozier Elementary held their open house, and helping to clean up after the various hurricanes.

You could say Lauren has an active lifestyle. But, you’d be wrong. She really runs through life. Literallly. up at 4:30 a.m., she is out the door running the 3.2 miles from home to school. From there, it depends on how she feels as to whether or not she’ll do a lap or two or more around the school track to limber up. All total, she guesses she puts in about 25-30 miles per week on the road in her running shoes.

“Running is relaxing for me,” said Lauren. “It gives me something to do, and helps to keep me in shape for my trampoline and tumbling work. In the fifth grade, I ran the Fourth of July road race and have been hooked on it ever since. My dad (Keith) gets up with me every morning to go out with me; but he follows me in the car. Sometimes he’ll read the newspaper while I’m running the track at school, and most of the time has the music turned up so I can hear it while I’m running. I don’t use an I-pod to listen to while I’m running.”

This spring, track and field hold the most interest for Lauren as she will be competing in the 3200 meter race, which breaks down to about a two mile run.

Getting back to life in Beta, Lauren was recently elected the State Secretary for Louisiana. Holding a state-wide office is nothing new for her; in the seventh grade, she was state president of the Jr. Beta Club for the middle school level. In the sixth grade, she placed first in the state in Public Speaking, following that with second place in the state for seventh and eighth grade years.

Her club at Erath was instrumental in her new state position, as the students all took an active roll in helping her to be elected to office. The Beta students put on a skit at the state convention to showcase their candidate. For Erath, this meant 60+ students were on-stage cheering, chanting, and performing a prepared skit that they choreographed. While Lauren could be the candidate, she could not compete in the skit performance.

The support from her school club earned second place honors for the Campaign Skit and also a second place honor for the Campaign Banner. Austin Mouton placed in the top ten in Current Events and the squad placed in the top ten in T-shirt design and Chant. “I’m really proud of all of my friends and the hard work they put in to prepare the skit,” said Lauren.

Lauren’s Campaign Board placed first in the state. Centered around the YouTUBE experience, Lauren showcased her credentials in tube-like television screens. She also utilized the Burger King moniker of having things your way in the Beta Club system.

The state position Lauren holds is responsible for the design, content and layout of the newsletters that go out to all of the Beta Clubs across the state. “We do all of the work,” said Lauren, “and then it goes in to the state moderator for content approval. Since I’m also the secretary for Erath High School, I have to write up our article to be sent in to be included in the next newsletter I design for everyone to see.”

The next competition for Lauren in Beta will be the nationals in Orlando to be held in June. The school is anticipating taking 44 students to nationals with an approximate cost of $500 per student, according to Mrs. Lange. Donations, fundraisers and most anything else will be used to help defray the travel costs.

The Erath High School Beta Club sponsors include Amy Noel, Emily Zegura and Angie Lange.

Now that you’ve been up early with Lauren; run the warm-up trip to school; attended school all day and are probably thinking it’s time to shut it down. Wrong! Running for Lauren is simply a way of life. She has routes planned out that will take her any distance from two, three, four, five, six or eight miles in length.

All of it is a prerequisite for competition in something, whether school or elsewhere. Coming home about 8 p.m. from roadwork is about average according to her mom. Then, it’s time to consider the next Beta convention topic of “Circle of Winners.”

Where do you think she fits in with the next Beta topic? Or, better yet, do you think you could keep up with her?

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