Lara joined NE Distance for the 2013 Fall season, choosing to coach at Woonsocket Middle School as she began to pursue post-collegiate running. She ran collegiality at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, establishing a nationally-recognized running presence that had her reach the 2008 US Olympic Trials “B” Standard in the 10,000 meter run. Prior to joining NE Distance, Lara was a consistent scorer for the Huskers at the Big 12 Conference championship events while being a four-time qualifier for the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship meet and a three-time qualifier for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. She also boasted a 33:56 personal best and was the top American in the 10,000m at the 2013 Penn Relays. Lara earned her Masters in Organizational Development and Leadership from Shippensburg University, where she also finished up her NCAA collegiate eligibility in the Spring of 2012, earning NCAA Division II All-American status in the Distance Medley Relay.
With NE Distance, Lara also represented the Saucony running brand. She, along with fellow Shippensburg-grad Katrina Spratford, led the women’s side of NE Distance. Although she battled through injury through most of her time in Rhode Island, she had been able to big up a few key results, including a runner-up finish to Katrina in the 2013 Ronald McDonald House of Providence Women’s Classic 5k.
Following two years in Rhode Island, Lara moved to Ohio in 2015 where she joined the coaching staff of the University of Cincinnati Bearcats as an assistant coach in the distance events. In her first year, she worked closely with the men’s cross country program, developing all-conference selection Toby Loveridge and guiding the Bearcats to a fifth-place finish at the American Athletic Conference Championship; this marked the first time Cincinnati placed in the Top Five of the conference for three consecutive years since the 2004 season. On the track, Lara worked with the Lady Bearcats in helping both the 4×1,500 meter relay and distance medley relay break school records.
In 2016, Lara was promoted to the position of Assistant Coach for the Women’s Cross Country and Distance programs with the Bearcats. She continues to practice the same teaching methods that she utilized years earlier with NE Distance and the Woonsocket Middle School program. NE Distance is proud to call Lara an alum and looks forward to seeing her growing success as a coach and runner!