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Meet LJ from Johnston, Iowa

About LJ - Class of 2015

From: Johnston, Iowa

High School: Johnston

Academic Interests: Exercise Science, Psychology

Extracurricular Interests: Track and Field

Speed Demon

Before every track meet, LJ Lipscomb joins the rest of the team in their regular chant: “Ay zigga zumba zumba zay!”—starting slow and low and getting loud and fast. They begin to jump up and down in the air and a few start running around the outside of the huddle. Finally, they throw one of the smaller guys up in the air for one last screeching chorus.

“It sounds weird, but if you saw it you’d laugh,” LJ says with a laugh himself. “It’s fun. It gets you pumped up before the meets.”

The closeness of the team was one of the things that attracted him to Central College, when at first he was only looking at big universities. Someone advised him to tour a smaller school for comparison, and he had already attended a track camp at Central. “When I actually came and visited and looked at the classes, I liked it better than the bigger schools,” he says.

Since then, LJ has bonded with all the guys on the track team. In high school in Johnston, Iowa, the athletes tended to hang out within their same events. Now some of his best friends are on the throwing squad. He calls the Central team a family.

LJ is dedicated to running—his events are 400 and 800 meters—and his dream of competing in the Olympics in 2016. He believes Central can help get him there. “When I figured out I liked running, I started pushing myself and made huge gains and fell in love with it,” he says. “It’s something I can always go to if I’m stressed no matter what’s going on. It gives me peace.”

But the Olympic dream isn’t lifelong—and Central is taking care of the rest of his career, too. Although he hasn’t declared a major yet, he is considering exercise science with an emphasis in health promotion and a psychology minor.

His dad is the treatment director at the Newton Correctional Facility, and he’s attracted to that type of work. But he also likes the idea of coaching or personal training. In the end, he wants to do “anything that can promote the well-being of a person.”

When he’s not preparing for one of these two dreams, LJ just likes to sit down with his friends as they play video games or watch movies. Tired after practice and studying, they enjoy their time relaxing.

LJ believes these times on the couch, in the classroom and on the track will just keep getting better. “The first two years were good and this year is really good,” he says. “I’m just assuming it’s going to increase because I really like it here. It feels like home.”

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