ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Lake-Lehman’s Abby Paczewski
Lake-Lehman junior Abby Paczewski broke a 10-year-old school record Tuesday in the 1600. Her time of 5:13 is the fastest mile run by a girl in District 2 this season.
For her achievement, she was selected The Citizens’ Voice Athlete of the Week.
Did you know that you could go under 5:17 (the previous school record) in the mile?
Well, at the beginning of the season, I wasn’t really planning on doing that. I wanted to do the 400 or the 800. But every meet, nobody really wanted to run the mile, so I said, “OK, I’ll run the mile.” And every week, I kept dropping my time down, and then I got to like 5:30, and my coach said, “You know, the school record is 5:17, and I kept dropping, and then last week I said, “I wanna break it.” And then I just did it.
Is there an expectation that, as a cross country runner, you would do the distance events?
I mean, it should be expected. In junior high, I always did sprints, then I came up to high school and he slowly started putting me in distance. And I never really liked to run that much, but then when I was put in distance, I started doing cross country, and now I just like to run.
So how does it feel to be a part of school history?
It feels weird, it’s really unexpected, but it feels really cool.
How do you think that time sets you up for the district meet this week?
I would have been intimidated last year. When I was looking at the times last year, and I saw how much faster they were, I never would have thought that I would be at that point, but you never know. Anything could happen still.
The mile is near the beginning of meets. Do you ever feel like you have to save some energy to be able to run in later events like the 3200?
No, because I was really trying to push myself in the mile, so if for some reason I couldn’t do another event, there were other people that could be put in it. But that’s just how our coach is. He tells us to worry about one event at a time, so that’s just how my mentality is.
You also compete in cross country and soccer, which are in the same season. How do you balance doing so many sports?
I mean, it’s hard, but I find a way to do it because I always feel like I have to be doing something. And when I’m not doing something, I kind of feel lazy and I don’t like feeling that way.
What are some of your goals for the rest of the season?
I wanna keep improving my times, and I hope to make it to states, either in an individual event or with my 4x800 team.
Getting to know Abby
Family: Mom Lauren, dad Todd and brother Max
Favorite school subject: Chemistry
Favorite movie: “Pitch Perfect”
Favorite TV show: “Gossip Girl”
Favorite food: Grilled cheese
Favorite sport as a fan: Basketball
Favorite team: Duke
Favorite thing about running track: How competitive it is, but that everyone’s still nice to each other in the end.
Most difficult thing about running track: Having to be mentally strong on days you don’t want to run. You have to push through it.
Biggest role models: Her parents
One word you feel best describes you: Determined
Up next: Abby will compete in the District 2 meet this week.
She plans on attending college after her senior year and studying to become a dentist or orthodontist.