Lauren Haberkorn Niehoff, ’08, is the oldest of six, and all six are Marist graduates. The roll call includes: Twins Joel and Ryan, ’10, Cody, ‘12, and twins Kyle and Luke, ‘14.
“I was five years old when my mom had her sixth kid,” Lauren said. Growing up in the St. Germaine Parish of Oak Lawn, Lauren saw her brothers go to many baseball games, so her dad began to get up early so he could spend some time with his only daughter. The two jogged every morning, so when Lauren started at Marist, in 2004, she decided she would join the track team.
Lauren joked that she was too uncoordinated to do any other sport, but in truth, she had a talent for running. She did well in a few 7th and 8th grade track meets, and felt the sport was a good choice for her. Indeed, track was a great choice for her. In 2005, when she was a sophomore at Marist, she was the Illinois state champion for cross country, and in track, she took second place in the 3200 meter race.
When she graduated from Marist, she went on to attend Butler University in Indianapolis, where she earned her doctor of pharmacy degree. She also found time to participate in track for Butler, and even managed a long distance relationship with her boyfriend (now husband) Kevin Niehoff, who also graduated from Marist in 2008.
“Kevin and I met our freshman year in Mr. Fabrizio’s religion class. We didn’t date until we were seniors, though. Kevin went to the University of Iowa, [where he also earned a doctor of pharmacy degree], and to see each other, we would come home on weekends. We got engaged after graduation and were married May 2, 2015,” Lauren said.
After the two returned from their honeymoon in Cancun, they began their life together, with Lauren working in a Target pharmacy, and Kevin at Walgreens. They live in Milwaukee, which they enjoy very much.
“As well as I did in athletics, I knew the focus was on academics, which is what I value most,” Lauren said. “And, I loved Marist. I talk about college, and I had a blast, but if you asked me which one I enjoyed more – college or high school – I would say high school. It was a fun time and my group of friends were great.
“I also loved Coach Patrick Quinn. He did such a good job. He treated me no differently from when I won state in my sophomore year than when I didn’t do as well my senior year. He was always fair. That is something that follows you. You don’t have to be number one.”
Lauren also remembered Coach Jennifer Haggerty, who understood how nervous Lauren was before her first state meet. “Jennifer Haggerty came into my hotel room, and found a passage in the hotel bible, and read it for me. I don’t remember the passage now, but I remember her doing that for me since I was so nervous. I run now for fun, and I am happy where I am at!”