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Athlete of the Week

Hurdler meets her goals

Franziska Loetzner competes in 200-meter hurdles. Photo by David Yarnell (click for larger version)
June 30, 2010 - Franziska Loetzner flew over each hurdle inching closer to her goal.

When she reached the end of the 200-meter event at the Oakland County Meet she finished at 30.25, tying for the eighth grade record at Clarkston Junior High School.

Loetzner started in hurdles last year during seventh grade and began running in first grade.

"I wanted to focus on hurdling this year because I know I have a good future in the event," she said. "I know because when I run hurdles I feel good. I know this is what I want to do."

Loetzner set her sight on setting a new school record. She admitted it made the season hard. But not even falling in her first meet slowed her down.

"My motivation was to get up and I just wanted to win," she admitted.

"She won the race. She was very determined to win and improve," said mom, Lisa. "She was so focused on the race she took step by step and looked at the next hurdle."

Throughout the season she had help from teammates and coaches as she focused on cutting down her time second by second.

"I took my time and really worked on it," she said going into the last meet.

She also helped her 4x400 meter relay team - Kelly Fitzpatrick, Kacey Robinson and Amanda Wakefield - to take fifth place. They were two seconds off from setting a new school record.

Franziska will continue running and training during the summer. She is also getting ready for the volleyball season and is focused on making the freshman or JV team. She currently plays for Oakland Elite Volleyball.

Her plans for the summer also include visiting friends and family in Germany and going camping.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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