Athlete of the Week: Hayley Cardinal (Track)

Photo by Emei Thompson

This week I sat down with senior Hayley Cardinal of the Women’s Track and Field team. Cardinal recently came in first in the 400 meter hurdles in 1:07.11 at the Viking Invitational on Saturday. She is also one Lawrence’s best swimmers, previously having won the Lawrentian’s Female Athlete of the Winter Season. This is her first time receiving the award as a runner.

Gabe Chapman: You’ve been named Athlete of the Week multiple times for swimming. How does it feel to receive the accolade in a second sport?

Hayley Cardinal: I’m actually a bit surprised, in high school I definitely saw myself more of a track runner than a swimmer, but that switched once I got to Lawrence, which is funny to think about now, looking back. Swimmers running is not a typical combination so I’m excited that I’ve been able to perform as well as I can, even though I’ve only had a fairly short season running.

GC: How long have you been running hurdles?

HC: I started hurdling in seventh grade because my dad told me of all the field events, this one would be the most practical if I ever needed to run away from the cops or zombies. In some ways I consider hurdles to be the breaststroke of track, you have to be weirdly flexible and a lot of people are afraid of even trying it, but I love it even after 10 years of doing it.

GC: How does being a dual sport athlete effect the rest of your campus involvement?

HC: Swimming and track honestly help train me for each sport in their off seasons. With swimming being located at the wellness center, having track has allowed me to understand what most of the other athletes experience with their sports at Lawrence by being over at [Alexander Gym] so I feel more connected to that culture.

GC: How has it impacted your Lawrence experience overall?

HC: Swimming and track have been able to give me structure in my life and a way to deal with the stress of classes and work. I could honestly say the majority if not all of my friends have come from my sports teams and I couldn’t imagine being at Lawrence without them.

GC: Having almost completed four years as a student-athlete at Lawrence—and one who has achieved individual success and multiple awards, what are you hopeful about Lawrence athletics in the future? What would you like to see happen?

HC: I’m very excited to see our sports teams getting taken more seriously and the dedication that every student-athlete puts into their sport being recognized and respected. I look forward to seeing what the new athletic director will do to create a better balance and understanding on campus, especially since I’ve heard that there will be a large incoming class of athletes for next year. I think Lawrence can have it all: excellence in academics, in music and in athletics, and this will only help us get there.