FORMER HAVERFORD TRACK STAR TO COMPETE IN PARIS
Later this month Haverford's first woman track star, Tamara Lave '90, will be competing at the World Championships in Paris.
Tamara qualified for the US National Team for the World Track and Field Championships, which will be held at the Paris St-Denis stadium August 23-31. A Pittsburgh native who lives and trains in San Diego, Lave is the first female athlete from Haverford to qualify for a world championship event, and the first Ford (male or female) to compete in a senior world event since the late Seamus McElligott '91 ran in the World Cross Country Championships in 1996. Nine-time NCAA Division III champion Karl Paranya '97 competed in the Junior World Championships, but never at the senior level.
Tamara e-mailed her thanks earlier this summer to Fran Rizzo, Haverford women's cross country and track coach, for helping her reach such lofty heights, even though they spent only one semester together as coach and athlete. Rizzo guided Lave to Division III All-America status in the 10,000 meters in May 1990, after she had earned Middle Atlantic Conference individual titles and Top 25 NCAA cross-country finishes in 1988 and 1989. She still holds the HC record in the indoor 3,000 meters (10:12.4), which she set on Feb. 25, 1990.
Tamara believes the key to her selection was her 2:37:32 time at the California International Marathon in Sacramento last December. That race was a big step forward for her since she had been forced to drop out of the Chicago Marathon at 16 miles with a calf strain a month before. After only a week of recovery from that injury, she began to run again, and her California time was six minutes better than she had ever run before. Lave was the 35th finisher overall at Sacramento, fourth among women, and second among American women.
In an interview with Runner's World magazine, Lave attributed her improvement to "more tempo runs" and "running in the pool a few days a week." Tamara, now 34, also talked about the importance of combining her legal career (she's a public defender in San Diego) with running. For now, she doesn't see herself devoting full-time to running, though a leave of absence, like the one she took before the last Olympic Trials, doesn't seem out of the question.
U.S. Olympian Steve Scott recently called Tamara "one of the smartest runners in the San Diego area." Tamara thinks Scott may have referred to her approach to running which includes being "careful about taking time off and eating right and getting enough sleep, and understanding that running is about making steps, not making leaps." While that's no doubt the soundest of philosophies, even Tamara will have to admit she's taking a big leap to Paris and the World Championships!