BUCKHANNON -- West Virginia Wesleyan senior Lauren Cvechko will be representing the Lady Bobcats this week at the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships in Bradenton, Fla.
The Buckhannon native is set to compete in the heptathlon on Thursday and Friday.
Cvechko is a two-time Mountain East Conference MVP on the women's side, and has a host of school and league records on her resume.
She is the West Virginia Wesleyan record holder indoors in pentathlon, high jump, 60-meter hurdles, and the long jump. Outdoors, she is the record holder in the heptathlon, and the 100-meter hurdles.
Cvechko also played soccer at Wesleyan her first three seasons, and was a member of that program's NCAA teams in 2014 and 2015.
Cvechko's ascension as the premier female track athlete in the league has been a unique story. During her first two years as a Lady Bobcat trackster, she was a role player on two title teams in 2014 and 2015. At the 2015 MEC Championships in Charleston, she only scored four of the 268 Wesleyan points. Her transformation began in the winter of 2016.
"A lot of the credit of what she has done goes back to her work in the weight room, box squats, box jumps and cleans. She made major jumps in every area of the weight room," retiring Wesleyan track and field head coach Jesse Skiles said. "A lot of credit also has to be given to her training partners Ali Crawford last season, and fellow multi-event star Jordan Lynn this season (after Crawford's graduation)."
Skiles also noted Cvechko's long-time boyfriend Niles Dailey; a star Wesleyan hurdler in his own right, has been a positive influence in terms of work ethic and commitment according to Skiles.
After contributing to the first two titles as a role player, Cvechko led Wesleyan to MEC titles in both 2016 and 2017. Both of these events were held at Wesleyan, and she combined to score 73 points in the two title runs (37 points in 2016, and 36 points in 2017, where she did not participate in the heptathlon).
Cvechko enters the NCAA's ranked 15th in her event. She broke the 20-year old school record of Amy McCall last season. The old record was 4438, and Cvechko tallied a 4495 in March of 2016. The meet perhaps signaled her arrival as a star in the college track world.
This season, she has blown the record out. She topped 4700 in a return trip to Charlotte in March, then went over the magic 5000 mark in early April, tallying 5012 points at the prestigious Tennessee Relays.
On Thursday, Cvechko will compete in a four events; the 100-hurdles, the high jump, the shot put, and the 200. Day Two on Friday will include the long jump, the javelin, and the 800.
Also of note, is the fact that Cvechko is part of an amazing trio of collegiate heptathletes produced by the Buckhannon-Upshur program of Coach Jackie Zuliani. Chelsea Carrier had a stellar All-America career at West Virginia University, while Cvechko's high school teammate Emily Godwin has had a strong career the University of North Carolina.
"I am looking forward to competing at a high level with the best track athletes in Division II, I have very high expectations for myself and feel that I can produce an even bigger number than 5012 points," remarked Cvechko. "I am very blessed to be able to have this opportunity and overjoyed I can give Coach Skiles another All-American for his last track season at Wesleyan."
(Photo courtesy of Lauren Cvechko)