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The one to beat this time

By AARON PAITICH, Special to the Star Tribune, 04/13/13, 3:06PM CDT


Farmington's Nadia Lorencz knows it won't be easy to defend her titles this year.

Photo: Jim Lindquist


After winning the 100-meter hurdles for the Class 2A state title last year, Farmington’s Nadia Lorencz tried to keep her composure in the public eye. She wouldn’t contain her emotions much longer than that.

“Then once I got off the field to go back to long jump, I just started crying,” said Lorencz, who committed to Michigan State last month. “I could not believe that it happened. It was a great experience.”

It wasn’t just that Lorencz won the event. She had to beat Richfield’s Jessica January, who was the two-time defending champion and state meet record-holder. Although Lorencz won the long jump championship shortly after — giving her two individual state championships — the taste of the second victory wasn’t nearly as sweet as the first.

“It didn’t even compare to the hurdles, because Jessica was doing those,” said Lorencz, who beat January by just 0.03 seconds with a 14.36 time in the hurdles. “That’s always been my goal — to beat her.”

Lorencz finished runner-up in the 100 hurdles and long jump at the Class 2A state meet in 2011. Leaping into championship status was something special.

“It was an awesome experience,” Lorencz said. “There was a ton of competition at the state meet, so to walk away knowing that I got two firsts, it was just awesome.”

Lorencz captured the long jump title with a leap of 17 feet, 11¾ inches. She also finished fourth in the triple jump at 37 feet, 4½ inches. The senior visited several other schools, including Minnesota, Wisconsin and Utah, but ultimately felt the most comfortable in East Lansing. She will also be competing in the heptathlon there.

Lorencz was also one of the state’s top high school gymnasts, but she decided against competing this winter after hurting her back last year. She didn’t want to risk more injuries heading into the track season.

So she spent most of her winter in the weight room. After all, the rest of the state will be trying to dethrone her.

“Once you win, I think there’s always pressure,” Lorencz said. “I would love to repeat but I know that it’s not going to be easy because there are a lot of talented girls who are coming after the same thing as me. I can’t ease up now. If anything, I have to work harder.”

Junior Isabelle Ferm, a top athlete in her own right, also returns to the Tigers this spring. She placed sixth in the 400 last year with a time of 58.16. Ferm also finished eighth in the triple jump with a leap of 36-6 ½.

Ferm is also on the 4x400 relay team that took sixth place at state last year, along with returners Alicia Hett and Megan Graham, who are both sophomores now.

The Tigers have taken fourth place at the Class 2A state meet for two consecutive years. Lorencz is proud to be a part of a Farmington program, growing in both quality and recognition over the past few years. Alyssa Parco, who graduated last year, qualified for state multiple times during her tenure as well. Now Lorencz and a new crop are making their mark.

“It feels so good because I know that there are younger athletes that are just as talented here,” Lorencz said. “This is going to help them get looked at. I think it will give other people opportunities here — in other sports as well — because they’re not going to underestimate us.”

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