Track star sprints her way into Gennies record book

Only halfway through her college career, Dana Lee, ‘17, has already made her name in Generals’ Track and Field history


Lee is the second athlete in Genera;s’ history to be names an All-American twice. Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info.

Caroline Blackmon

Accolades and honors are nothing new for track and field star Dana Lee, ’17. She has set five school records in the first half of her career at Washington and Lee and has earned All-American Honors twice while qualifying for Nationals two years in a row.

Despite the individual success, Lee always puts the goals of the team above her personal goals, says Head Coach Dana Freeman.

“Dana is a quiet leader and leads by example,” Freeman said. “She is not one to be loud and in your face but is always there to support her teammates.”

For Lee, even though she started competing in track and field her freshman year of high school, she didn’t develop a love for it until she came to W&L.

“My favorite part of my career at W&L was my entire freshman year because it was the year I discovered my passion for track and field,” she said.

Lee is a short sprinter, meaning she runs events that are 400 meters and under, and also competes in the long jump and triple jump.

“I’ve never been a distance runner, so I was definitely more interested in running the shorter events,” Lee said. “The jumping events were really interesting to me because they were completely foreign to me, and I was interested [to see] how far I could get in them.”

Lee qualified for NCAA Nationals for the long jump in 2014 and 2015 for both the indoor and outdoor meets and became an All-American for the outdoor long jump in 2014 and the indoor long jump in 2015.

“Earning All-American honors at Nationals meant a lot [to me] because it felt like all of my hard work had paid off in the end and I felt that I had grown closer to my coach,” Lee said.

She also shattered five records at W&L. For indoor track and field, Lee has broken the records for the 60 meter sprint and the long jump. For outdoor track and field, Lee has broken the records for the 100 meter sprint, the long jump and the triple jump.

“Breaking the indoor long jump record meant a lot because it is my favorite event and was my first major accomplishment in college,” she said.

Despite all of these awards, Freeman says that Lee is a very humble team-player.

“She carries herself in a way that you would not know that she is one of the most decorated track and field athletes in W&L history,” Freeman said.

For Lee, competing with her teammates is one of the best parts of being on the track and field team.

“I have made strong friendships with my teammates and coaches and have learned so much more about track and field and life from them,” Lee said.

Lee hopes to include track in her future plans because of the impact that it has had on her life.

“After college I’m not sure what I’ll be doing, but I hope to still be somewhat involved in track whether [I’m] coaching or competing,” she said.

Freeman has loved seeing how Lee has developed since her freshman year and is looking forward to seeing what else Lee does in her career at W&L.

“Dana has a great attitude,” Freeman said. “She works hard every day in practice whether we are running, jumping or lifting. She is always pushing herself to be better.”

The men’s and women’s track and field teams travel next to Winston-Salem to compete in the Camel City Invite on Jan. 29.