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Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Matt Lorenz could be in store for a busy week.
Of course, he would welcome it. The Hawks senior has spent the entire fall season competing in both golf and cross country.
A potentially memorable week begins Tuesday when Prairie plays in a Class 4A district meet at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course in Cedar Falls. If the Hawks are lucky enough to nab one of three team state berths, more golf will follow the Mississippi Valley Conference Cross Country Super Meet on Thursday in Cedar Rapids.
“It’s a pretty big week,” Lorenz said. “I think it will be fun, especially if we make it to state. I’m looking forward to both cross country and golf.”
Lorenz has been a key contributor in both sports. He earned his third all-MVC honorable mention honor last week, posting an 81.14 18-hole average, which ranks third on the team. He is one of the Hawks’ top runners as well, helping them place third at last year’s state meet. He was sixth on the team, coming in 55th overall with a time of 16:48.
Prairie Coach Erik Columbus said Lorenz is a “triple threat,” noting he is a good student as well.
“He has very high standards,” Columbus said. “He demands excellence in everything he does.”
Balancing two activities in the same season and academics can be stressful. Lorenz praised head coaches Columbus (golf) and Bill Schwarz (cross country) for being flexible, knowing where he needs to be daily.
“It takes hard work,” Lorenz said. “You have got to enjoy both. You have to love what you do, because it is hard.
“I love both sports. I couldn’t see myself picking one or the other.”
Free time is scarce for Lorenz, who also was a member of Prairie’s state baseball championship team in the summer and the Hawks’ state title track team last spring. He also plays basketball. He learned a lot from doing double-duty in the past.
“He’s had a better understanding of how to budget his time,” Columbus said. “This year, he has been more comfortable.”
During the fall, he arrives at school before 7 a.m. Lorenz gets a run in, working a little lighter if he has cross country in the afternoon. On days he goes to golf, he’ll have a more strenuous run with more mileage and then run again in the afternoon before golf. When he has cross country, he will head to the golf course afterward to hit range balls or work on his game.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a busier senior,” Columbus said. “He’s very responsible.”
Lorenz attempts to rest in the evenings, utilizing his time at school for homework.
“I try to get a lot of it done while I’m at school, so I can use that time (at home) to relax,” Lorenz said. “I try to get as much time to relax as I can because I’m doing a lot during the day and need both.”
Lorenz has had his share of highlights this season, including Prairie’s runner-up finish at the annual CRANDIC golf meet, which came at Airport National, the Hawks’ home course. Lorenz said he enjoyed the cross country team’s victory at the Prairie Invitational to start the season.
Both may pale in comparison if Prairie could budge its way into the top three at the competitive district.
“I think the key is staying relaxed and not getting caught up in the heat of it,” Lorenz said. “We have to have four guys playing close to their best golf and if everyone plays the way they can we could have a shot at it.”
Cedar Rapids Washington, Cedar Rapids Xavier and the host Tigers are among the favorites to move on to the state tournament Friday and Saturday at Tournament Club of Iowa in Polk City. Cedar Rapids Kennedy could challenge for one of those berths.
“It’s about who shows up,” Columbus said. “Obviously, we’d like to be in that top three. You still have to execute.”
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