Class of 2010
Laura Olson Botkins was a standout track and field athlete while at Lyons High School before she graduated in 2000. Laura also participated in soccer all four years of high school, being named Wayne County All-League during the fall of 1999. But it was in track and field where she truly excelled. She was chosen All-League in 1999 in both the pole vault and 100 meter dash. Laura was also Section V Champion in the pole vault that year, first at the Meet of Champions, qualifying her for the state meet. During her senior year indoor season, she was the Section V Class Champion and the overall Section V Champion in the pole vault, qualifying her for the indoor state championships. Also, during that indoor season, she qualified for the National Championship meet where she placed seventh overall. Laura was the first athlete from Lyons to participate at the National level. During that season, she set the overall Section V record in the pole vault, as well as being named to the Rochester Winter Track League All-League Team. The following spring she was once again All-League, Section V Class Champion, and overall Section V Champion in the pole vault and once again a state meet participant. That summer she competed in the USATF Junior Olympics where she finished 20th overall in the national championships. Laura was selected as Lyons Female Athlete of the Year 1999-2000.
After high school Laura continued her outstanding track and field career at Division I University at Buffalo. During her years at UB, Laura broke the indoor pole vault record 12 times and the outdoor pole vault record 8 times which she still holds. She also set a new stadium record, breaking the record set during the World Games held at UB stadium in 1992. She was named All-East in both her junior and senior years, winning the ECAC Indoor Pole Vault Championship in 2004. Laura was the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Champion and conference runner-up three times in the pole vault. During her junior season, she placed third in the Eastern Regionals, qualifying her for the NCAA National Championships where she placed 13th from among 26 competitors. In her senior season, she was one of 15 athletes nationally that qualified for the NCAA Indoor National Championships. The following spring she was 2nd at the Eastern Regionals, qualifying her once again for the NCAA Division I National Championships. During her collegiate career, she won many invitationals, as well as setting numerous stadium and facility records. Laura was also New York State Empire Games Open Pole Vault Champion in both 2002 and 2005. In 2005 she set the meet record which was broken this past summer.
Laura didn’t just excel in track and field; she also excelled in the classroom. In 2004 she was the recipient of the SUNY Chancellors’ Scholar Athlete Award, was a member of UB’s honor society, and Alpha Kappa Delta. She was also a member of Pi Theta Epsilon at D’Youville College where she recently completed her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. Laura currently resides in Cheektowaga, New York, with her husband Nick.