woodbury, SR., Track and Field
Oladipupo “Ladi” Lawal was part of the Royals’ 4x400-meter relay team that placed second at the Class 2A state meet last year. He said he wants to win the 300 hurdles and the triple jump this season. Lawal, who will run for Iowa State next year, also competes in the long jump and remains on the 4x400 relay.
How did you get into running? My ninth grade year, some older guys on the team saw me in the gym just playing basketball. They told me to run track, and I joined, and I’ve just been dedicated to it ever since.
What goes into that commitment? Track is a very tough sport; you have to be a little bit crazy and obsessed to actually like it. It’s just a lot of hard work, practice and dedication.
Any prerace rituals? Right before a race, I’ll turn and face the opposite direction of where the race is going, and I’ll just try and clear my mind. And after that, I’m ready to go.
How do you balance school and track? The most important thing is to remember that school is the one that’s more important. During the meets, we’re gone for about six hours and maybe even eight hours. So when I’m not running, I’m able to do my homework then.
What do you like about Iowa State? When I visited down there [in Ames], I just liked how it’s a very large school, but it’s also kind of just secluded. And the school offers the courses that I want to take, and it also has one of the highest graduation rates in the country.
What do you like to do outside of track? I like to play a lot of chess. I’m part of our school’s chess club.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? When it comes to something, you won’t get it right away. It’s going to take lots of preparation and practice. Nothing ever comes easy. If it does come easy, it was never worth it.