Three months ago, a girl sat at a table in Glorietta, NM, writing out a list of goals for her freshman year.
Among those goals, one stood out as loftier than the rest. Tiffany Lambert wanted to do what no female cross-country runner from Wayland had done since 1995. She wanted to qualify for the NAIA National Meet.
When asked what made her set such high goals, Tiffany said, "I just heard everyone talking about how cool it would be to make it, and I decided I wanted to go."
So underneath this quiet, determined young runner, who is Tiffany Lambert?
Tiffany was born and raised in Hawley, TX. She lived with her parents, Don and Valerie, and her younger brother, Wesly. She lived there for fifteen years before moving to Gilmer, TX.
Tiffany started running in seventh grade, when her coach came up to her and said, "Lambert, youíre running. See you at 6:30 tomorrow morning."
She did very well, winning many of her one-mile races.
She continued to run throughout high school. In cross-country, Tiffany made it to Regionals all four years, and qualified for state her senior year.
She also ran track. Her senior year, she was Region champ in the 800 and the mile. This qualified her for State, where she finished second in the mile, and third in the 800.
Tiffany graduated from Harmony High School, where she was salutatorian, and then came here to Wayland. She is majoring in religion and hopes to pursue a career in missions.
Last Saturday, along with her teammates, Tiffany competed at the Sooner Athletic Conference meet at OBU, in Shawnee, OK. It was cold and rainy that morning. As Tiffany stood on the line facing a grueling 3.1 mile course, she knew that she couldnít hold anything back. Only two teams would advance, and only five individuals, so the odds were not in her favor.
"I was nervous," Tiffany said. " I felt pressured to make it, but it was my own pressure. If I hadnít made it, nobody would have been disappointed but me. But I would have known that I hadnít reached my goal."
Tiffany came across the finish line in fifth place. Of the 80-odd girls competing in the SAC, this freshman from Wayland beat all but four. She made the All-Region team and will represent Wayland at the national meet in Kentucky, on November 22.
When asked how she felt about her race, Tiffany said, "I wasnít terribly excited or proud or anything, because thatís what I expected to do. Thatís what I had come to do, and I did it."
Itís been said that a little confidence goes a long way. This is certainly true for Tiffany Lambert. Her confidence is taking her all the way to the NAIA Nationals.