Lauren Taksa of Mount Shasta, left, recently qualified for the International Triathlon Union Age Group Sprint Distance Triathlon World Championship to be held in Budapest, Hungary on Sept. 11.

Taksa, age 30, qualified for the World Championship by finishing 3rd in her age group at the Quad Cities Triathlon in Davenport, Iowa, the weekend of June 19. The Quad Cities Triathlon was the only sprint distance world qualifying race in the US this year and drew many excellent athletes.  

Now in her second full season of competing in triathlons, Taksa got her start in the sport at the 2008 Tinman Triathlon at Lake Siskiyou. Since then she has earned many podium finishes while competing in 10 more triathlons in California, Oregon, Nevada, and now Iowa.

Taksa first moved to Mount Shasta in 2003 with Chris James, left for a couple years, then returned in 2006. She was the second fastest woman in the 2009 Tinman Triathlon.

In May of this year, she finished 4th out of 643 women at the Aflac Iron Girl Triathlon in Las Vegas.

Lauren’s bio

• Born in Los Angeles, 6/6/1980. Father Chuck, Mother Jacquie, Brother John, Sister Alexis.

• Engaged to Chris James.

• Raised in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

• High School: Chadwick, Palos Verdes, Calif. Graduated 1998.

• Outstanding youth and high school soccer player. Also a standout on the cross country team and track team. (Last she checked she still holds her high school record in the 300m low hurdles).

• Graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2002 with a degree in Spanish.

• Currently works as a flight attendant on private jets.

• Hobbies: dining and drinking wine with friends, traveling, rock climbing, surfing, skiing, tennis.

• Pre-race meal: pasta with meatballs the night before.  Coffee and a Snickers bar on race morning.

• Interesting facts: Voted class clown in high school.  Won a car on the Wheel of Fortune.