The CMS-ence of Lauren Longo

The CMS-ence of Lauren Longo

Senior Lauren Longo has been a part of several hard-working teams during her four years as a biology major at Scripps College. She has carved out a role as a defensive stopper on the CMS women's basketball team, which has used its blue-collar team defense to win or share the last three SCIAC regular season titles. She also spent the past summer with a team of oncologists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, who are hard at work researching stem cell transplants in pediatric cancer patients.

Over Longo's four years with the Athenas, the program has tallied 75 wins and only 20 losses, including an NCAA Tournament Second Round appearance in 2017 and a combined 47-7 record over her sophomore and junior seasons. A year ago, CMS led the SCIAC by a large margin in team defense, allowing opponents to score only 51.3 points per game, 10 points fewer than the second-closest league team, as Longo used her defensive prowess to carve out a substantial role in helping the Athenas to impressive team numbers. 

Longo feels that standing out on the defensive end of the floor starts with the mentality to embrace the effort it takes to be successful.

"I think defensively, it's about choice," said Longo. "It's about choosing to work 110 percent every single play. It's not necessarily about the stats; it's about the hustle, it's about the grind, it's about just really locking in mentally. I think that's what makes us so successful as a program, and individually as defenders."  

In Longo's view, the teamwork on the defensive end is emblematic of the overall team culture that has led to a 75-20 record and three league championships.

"It's just the willingness to work for each other, the willingness to put yourself outside of yourself for the team first," Longo said of the program's impressive resume. "I think people have always done a great job as the years go by of emulating that. We just have such a great culture here. We're all pretty close on and off the court, I think that helps a lot, and people want to work for each other."

Those same qualities are things that Longo brings to her life off the court as well. She serves as the Scripps president for the CMS Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, working on ways to improve the student-athlete experience for all 21 Stag and Athena varsity programs. She was also part of a five-person team of Keck Science students at the Van Arnam lab which presented their research at the American Chemical Society's Southern California Undergraduate Research Conference in April. 

The summer spent at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center was also a very rewarding part of Longo's undergraduate experience, which she hopes to eventually lead to a career as a physician. Her work at the "Fred Hutch" also led to her senior thesis on the comparison of outcomes between HSCT donor sources for pediatric patients with hematologic malignancies.

"That was an awesome experience for me," Longo said. "It really challenged me academically, and I think it was something that will continue with me past college, using that experience to help me in my future in medical school."

Before medical school comes along, Longo will try for one more SCIAC regular season title and potentially a return trip to the NCAA Tournament. Regardless of the final outcome, the experience of being a CMS student-athlete is one that we will always take with her, once she trades her basketball playbooks in for medical journals. 

"It's just been so much fun," Longo said. "It's been one of the best decisions I've made to become an Athena, to be here for four years and experience this with all my teammates."

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