Charlie Lawrence’s defense of his championship in the 3,200-meter run took an unexpected turn on a slippery patch of ice in late February.
Out on a jog as part of his winter training regimen, the Foley senior’s running path got slick.
“I slipped on some ice and my leg kicked back too far and it twisted my pelvis and jerked it up,” Lawrence said.
“My pelvis was way out of line and twisted. My lower-left back just killed.”
Lawrence made his 2013 debut at an indoor invitational Thursday at the Becker Fieldhouse after missing two indoor meets.
In his first two events back from injury, Lawrence won the 800-meter run (1:57.89) and the 1,600-meter run (4:30.25). He and the Falcons are back in action in a meet at 4 p.m. today at Princeton.
Lawrence is one of the cornerstones that can help Foley oust Waseca from its Class A championship throne. The Falcons took second place, 10 points behind the Bluejays, at the state meet in June.
“Charlie trains all year round and he’s an unbelievable kid who’s going to put everything into it,” said Foley boys head coach Dave Dahlstrom. “He gives his best effort whether it’s in practice or in a meet and that carries into his success.
“Those type of athletes are easy to coach because they’re so self-motivated.”
Of course, a team championship would probably be out of reach without a healthy Lawrence.
After his second-straight top-three finish in the Class A Cross Country Meet in November, Lawrence competed in the Nike and Foot Locker regional meets. He earned All-Midwest honors at the Foot Locker meet.
Lawrence’s winter training included up to 17 miles per day; indoor in the morning on the treadmill or in the fieldhouse, outside in the afternoon.
The injury happened in the closing weeks of the offseason before the first indoor events of the spring and Lawrence used the school’s facilities to complete his rehabilitation speed up his recovery.
“I wasn’t able to run for about a week and I was in the pool every day for about an hour at least,” said Lawrence, whose mom is Foley’s head cross country coach.
“My parents are both teachers and coach, so they have the keys. It’s kind of a perk.”
Added Becky Rasmusson, who coaches Lawrence’s distance running: “(Lawrence) keeps me up to date on how he’s feeling. Some days, he’s not feeling up to what’s on the plan or I’ll alter his workouts and I’ll put him on the bike. We’re lucky enough to have a pool, so we can get him in the pool.”
Lawrence will compete in cross country and track and field starting this fall at the University of Minnesota.
Lawrence won the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:22.92 in last year’s state meet and took eighth in the 1,600.
Junior Tyler Beehler is another tool the Falcons will count on to give them a chance at a state title. He took second in the 100-meter dash (11.15) and the 200 (22.40).
That was Beehler’s first season as a track athlete. Before his sophomore year, Beehler was a baseball player in the spring.
“The coaches talked to me and told me it would improve my speed for football,” said Beehler, who plays Legion baseball during the summer. “I wish I could do both. I didn’t know what to expect going into the state meet.
“I’d never done it before and I did well at it so it was exciting all the way around.
Sam Uderman took second in the discus (157-3) and 3/4 of Foley’s 4×100 relay team that took eighth place is back this season, including Beehler.
“If we work hard and everything, hopefully we’ll have a chance at winning the whole thing,” Beehler said.