(KMAland) -- The KMA Sports Hall of Fame is back for a fifth year. Throughout the month of August we will release the names, faces and teams that make up the 2020-21 class.
Today, that first name and face is one of the more accomplished hurdlers in KMAland history. Lauren (Anderson) Sinner captured numerous state medals during her track career, including a pair of state championships in 2006.
The Riverside alum won the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 14.84 and teamed alongside three teammates, including her sister Shea, to win that year’s shuttle hurdle relay championship. The 2006 alum tells KMA Sports one of her brightest memories, though, is the hometown pride she felt along the way.
“I loved our small hometown community,” Sinner told KMA Sports. “I really miss being a part of that. I miss knowing everyone. The support you get from a small town is great growing up.”
Sinner grew up in a family that spent plenty of time involved in athletics. Her father Mitch is a legendary former wrestling coach at Riverside.
“He was intense, strict and also loving,” Sinner said. “I remember one night I had a really bad volleyball game. I came home, and he handed me a jump rope. He told me to go outside and don’t come in until he told me to.”
Sinner focused much of her athletic pursuits at Riverside in volleyball and track. However, she started early in another sport.
“We first started with gymnastics,” Sinner said. “I think that sport really helped in every aspect of or our lives with the dedication and muscle memory. That just helped in track tremendously.”
Sinner’s success in high school track was almost instant. She placed second in the 100 meter hurdles at the state meet in her freshman year. She followed with a fifth place finish as a sophomore, and then broke the meet record during preliminaries of her junior year, going on to another fifth place finish.
Along the way, Sinner was also a three-time Drake Relays qualifier and eventually was crowned the state champion in her senior season, finishing ahead of her sister, who took second.
“I remember hugging my sister,” she said. “That was one of the coolest moments of my life, just having her there. My junior year, I just choked in the finals. I don’t know what happened or what was going on, but I choked bad. Coming back my senior year, I had to fight for that. I really wanted it.”
Sinner went on to a fantastic career at Simpson, winning an indoor conference championship in the 2011 55 meter hurdles while also competing in the long jump, triple jump, pole vault and multiple other hurdle events throughout her time at the Indianola school.
“College track was awesome,” Sinner said. “(Winning the championship) in indoor hurdles was so exciting. I was so close to going to nationals that year, but I was .02 seconds away from making it.”
Sinner has nothing but fond memories from her time growing up in the Riverside community. Living in a sports-mad household was one thing, but she believes the Riverside atmosphere and culture in the mid-2000s also helped her reach her potential.
“(Coach Steve Allen) was so great,” she said. “When I came on as a freshman, it was kind of a different dynamic. The girls (in my class) were so tight-knight, and we bought in to the coaches. I think that’s what helped us be as successful as we were. We had to buy in, we had to listen to our coach and we got it done.”
Sinner will be honored in this year’s KMA Sports Hall of Fame at a later date to be determined. Find previous Hall of Fame inductees and their stories linked here.
Listen to the complete interview with Sinner below.