Princeton Native Millert's Love of Track Sparked Lawrenceville to Banner Season
By Bill Alden
Lindsay Millert didn't have the option of specializing in any single event when she took up track as a seventh-grader at the Princeton Charter School several years ago.
With a small team of only 15 kids, each athlete had to wear many hats in order for the squad to compete at meets.
Millert, who started with sprinting events and the shot put, took her versatility with her when she went to the Lawrenceville School.
After dabbling in basketball and considering field hockey, the Princeton resident dedicated herself to track and doing whatever events the team needed.
Ending her Lawrenceville career in style, Millert set a slew of school records this school year in leading the Big Red to indoor and outdoor state Prep A track titles.
In reflecting on a year which has seen her set school records in the hurdles, long jump, and shot put, Millert said that her introduction to track at Princeton Charter got her headed to the record books.
"I had fun right from the start even if I didn't know what I was doing," said Millert. "I remember that the track team took a trip to the Penn Relays in the seventh grade and that was awesome. I had never seen anything like that and I became obsessed with the sport. I ran in the 4x400 relay at the Penn Relays as a freshman at Lawrenceville and that was great."
Another seminal moment in Millert's journey to track stardom came when she was on a junior semester abroad at the Island School in the Bahamas.
"We had a 48-hour solo' where I was totally by myself," recalled Millert, whose basketball career at Lawrenceville ended during her sophomore year after tearing her ankle ligaments for a third time in two seasons.
"I decided during that exercise that I wanted to do track in college. I'm built for many events so it was natural for me to try the pentathlon and heptathlon."
Upon returning to Lawrenceville, Millert was thrilled to find that a former Princeton decathlete Mo Warren had joined the Big Red coaching staff. Under his tutelage, Millert started training for the multi-sport disciplines.
In the pentathlon, the athletes compete in the 60-meter hurdles, the high jump, the shot put, the long jump, and conclude with an 800-meter race.
Last winter, Millert competed in the event at the National Scholastic track Championships and took fifth, earning All-American status.
With her love for track, it is not surprising that Millert thrives on the juggling act she must perform in order to train for the multi-sport events.
"I work on three events each day during a five-day training week," explained Millert.
"I may do a running event and work on the jumps. On other days, I'll work on my throwing and hit the weights. I kind of do my own program. Coach [Bill] Schroeder knows I will push myself."
Schroeder, for his part, had little doubt that Millert would work to get the most out her considerable natural ability.
"Lindsay is a very hard worker," said Schroeder, who has been coaching the Lawrenceville girls' track team since 1993.
"She is 5'11 and very sculpted; she has a real athlete's body. She has very good speed for someone that size. She started working in the weight room this winter and she really took to it. She was very strong coming into this season."
Millert's versatility and strength were key factors underlying the success of the Big Red squad this spring which saw it go undefeated and win both the state Prep A title and the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) titles.
"We really needed her strength this year," asserted Schroeder, who typically used Millert in the long jump, hurdles, shot put, and 100 dash. "Girls' track is getting more competitive every year. She really came on strong for us."
In addition, Millert's spirit rubbed off on her teammates through her role as one of Lawrenceville's co-captains.
"She displayed leadership qualities," added Schroeder. "She was modest and the girls' looked up to her. She didn't shy away from strong competition, she relished it."
Millert, for her part, relished the chance to be a team leader. "I was lucky enough to be a co-captain," said Millert. "It was so much fun. At times it was nerve-wracking. We had such a talented team that it would be a shame for us to lose."
Millert will be looking to have fun this fall with another talented group when she heads to Williams College, a Division III powerhouse.
With her All-American status and school-record performances, Millert had the option to perform at the Division I level through the Ivy League but she found Williams to be more conducive to her multi-faceted approach.
"When I went to Williams, everybody was so welcoming," said Millert. "I looked at the Ivy and Patriot League schools and they were more perfunctory. You can get burned out at a Division I school and get to the point where you don't love the sport. I love track and I know I always will at a place like Williams."
As she looks forward to her Williams experience, Millert plans to apply lessons learned at home and reinforced at Lawrenceville.
"My parents have always told me that the best way to learn is through experience," said Millert. "Lawrenceville was the perfect place for me; it had so many things to offer. I did 600 hours of community service; I went to Guatemala and the Island School. Lawrenceville can be a bubble but if you go for it, you can experience so many things."
When it comes to her track career, Millert went for it like few others in Lawrenceville's history.