Girls track & field: Farmington's Lorencz wins two golds
Before last weekend, no Farmington girl had ever won a state track and field championship.
That changed Friday morning when Nadia Lorencz followed up last spring's runner-up finish in the long jump by winning the event with a leap of 17 feet, 11 3/4 inches at the Class AA State Meet at Hamline University in St. Paul.
The leap was three inches better than the 17-8 3/4 turned in by runner-up Tatyana Pashibin of Southwest.
Lorencz won a second gold medal Saturday afternoon when she upset two-time defending state champion Jessica January of Richfield in the 100 hurdle finals. January broke her own state record in the event with a time of 14.32 seconds in Friday's prelims before being edged by Lorencz 14.36-14.39 in the finals.
For good measure, Lorencz added a fourth-place leap of 37-4 1/2 in the triple jump. She was the No. 1 seed entering the competition with a jump of 37-6 3/4, but that distance was eclipsed by the top three finishers.
"We knew she had the potential to have things fall as they fell. We knew she could beat Jessica (January) in the 100 hurdles if she ran her race, won the first three hurdles and put the pressure on her," Farmington girls track coach Tom Hart said. "Nadia was very emotional afterwards. She couldn't believe she did it. All of her hard work paid off, a lot of Saturday mornings and off-time she spent preparing for that moment."
Things didn't play out as well for another hard-working member of the team, senior Alyssa Parco. A four-year state qualifier and two-time state place-winner in the 300 hurdles, Parco was on her way to qualifying for the finals when she tripped over a hurdle on the final straightaway.
Parco's qualifying time of 44.10 seconds would have been good enough to place second in Saturday's finals. Those points would have also put the Tigers, who tied for fourth with 40 team points, in the running for second place in the team standings. Lakeville South defeated runner-up Alexandria 56 1/2-49 for the team title.
"(Parco) was down. It was one of the toughest things I've ever had to deal with, chatting with her after that race," Hart said. "She worked so hard at the race she loves, to have it end that way ... that wasn't the way she wanted to go out. It felt like someone punched me in the stomach."
Parco did get one last chance to showcase her speed at the state meet as she led off the Tigers' 4x400 relay Saturday. Freshmen Alicia Hett and Megan Graham followed before giving way to anchor Izzie Ferm, who brought the baton home in a time of 4:00.28 to earn the Tigers sixth place.
"We ran our best race at the conference meet and came across in 3:58. If we ran that again we would have placed a bit higher, but every one of those kids raced their guts out," Hart said. "I don't know how much more I could have asked of them."
Ferm, a sophomore, also placed sixth in the 400 with a season-best time of 58.16 seconds and eighth in the triple jump with a leap of 36-6 1/2.
"She did not jump well by any means and her 400 looked a little tired. She doesn't like the heat as much as she does the cool weather, that played a bit of a role in her performance," Hart said. "Still, she ran a personal record, so that's nothing to cry about. That was great."