Hannah and Cody Lohrenz at state track meet
By Scott Bellile
As sophomores, young track and field runners Hannah and Cody have already broken school records and advanced to the 2015 WIAA State Track and Field Meet.
Remarkably enough, they are also cousins.
“We’re basically brother and sister, actually,” Hannah said.
Cousins Hannah and Cody Lohrenz traveled together to UW La Crosse for the state track and field meet on June 5, where Hannah ran the 1600-meter run and Cody sprinted the 400-meter dash. Cody made his first appearance while Hannah returned for round two, having competed in the 800-meter run and 4×800 relay last year.
Neither Lohrenz landed a spot on the podium, but Hannah and Cody proved they rank among Wisconsin’s top track athletes by placing 13th and 18th, respectively, at the Division 1 level.
Both made strides before state by breaking school records. Cody nudged the school’s 400-meter run record down to 49.66 seconds at the New London regional on May 26. Hannah, between last year and this year, set three records individually in the 800-meter run (2:18.05), 1600-meter run (5:11.67, set at the 2015 state track meet), and 3200-meter run (11:50.20), and one as part of the 4×800 relay (9:28.11).
The cousins grew up in Hortonville and attended school together.
“We’ve been close since…” Cody started, then paused before continuing, “Lord knows. I can’t even remember. She’s great.”
“They pretty much were in the cradle together, just about,” Cody’s father Kevin Lohrenz said. “They’ve been together their whole lives.”
In middle school each took up track and field. Hannah also picked up cross country.
“She really loves cross country a lot more than track,” Hannah’s father Bruce Lohrenz said. “It’s just her thing, you know, that distance thing.”
Hannah won several cross country meets this year and placed seventh at state for Division 1. Cody joined her on the team this year for the first time as conditioning for spring track season.
Although not the cross country meet champion or state qualifier his cousin Hannah is, Cody is described by his uncle Bruce as a “speed man” whose forte is sprinting on the track.
Cross country and track head coach Kevin Sours said Cody’s cross country season and winter training have given him extraordinary running form.
“He worked out like a beast during the wintertime in the weight room and on the treadmills,” Sours said.
Cody’s parents Kevin and Brenda, and Hannah’s parents Bruce and Becky travel to the cousins’ races together, where Brenda films video while Becky snaps the photos.
Hannah and Cody each viewed their 2015 state track experience differently. Whereas Cody was “horribly disappointed” with his performance, Hannah was proud of hers.
Cody placed 18th out of 24 in the 400-meter run preliminaries with a time of 50.84 seconds and did not qualify for finals the next day. He had hoped to lower his personal record time of 49.66 seconds.
“I’ve been running significantly faster all season, and like two days after regionals, got like a terrible cold,” Cody said. “Just kicked the crap out of me.
“But I did what I could this year and trained a ton in the off-season, and it kind of paid off, I guess,” he added.
Hannah placed 13th out of 24 in the 1600-meter run but achieved her goal of dropping her personal record (PR) time below 5:18.12, clocking in at 5:11.67.
“I keep wanting to PR and get better ever year, so that’s my main goal,” Hannah said.
She was happy she stayed upright during her race. Last year at state during the 800-meter run she tripped and finished last. She said she is still trying to get over that moment, and she had flashbacks of when she ran the same track this year at state.
Whether they are happy with their state races or not, the Lohrenz cousins can say they made the trip early on in high school.
Both said the biggest perks to having a cousin on the track team are they always have a close supporter wherever they go, and they always get to cheer each other on.