Athlete of the week: Hannah Fordahl, Zimmerman, track: Bursts of energy
by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Power and velocity generate considerable energy and Hannah Fordahl is blessed with a nice blend of both, along with fluid coordination and a keen mind. She parlayed those qualities into a productive sports career at Zimmerman.
The versatile, 5-foot-6, 150-pound athlete graduates with school records in soccer career goals and the shot put, 11 letters in three sports, two state appearances as a relay sprinter and one medal there, and one section team championship.
Her tenure at ZHS ended at track sectionals last week when she placed fifth in the discus and 100 dash.
“I am definitely going to miss it. I’ve been in sports my whole life, so, now what am I going to do?” said Fordahl. Asked what else she enjoyed most about ZHS, she said, “How close everyone was.”
Through that long career Fordahl has been as durable as they come, never hurt, never missing a game. Also a straight-A student, she was ZHS’s pick this year for the Athena Award given to top metro area female student-athletes.
Fordahl made all-conference three years in track. She twice anchored first-place 4-by-100 teams, and twice placed second in the shot put. (The top relay, and top three in individual events, are all-conference). At conference this year she placed second in shot put, fifth in the 100 and sixth in discus.
“Hannah has been a great performer. She has a lot of strength and speed, and a huge work ethic,” said coach Jennelle LaBlanc. “She is a great leader, too.”
Fordahl picked up a state medal in 10th grade for fifth place in the 4-by-100 relay, after placing second in the section. Her junior year, she helped the tracksters capture ZHS’s first section crown in any sport, placing first in the 4-by-100 and eighth in the 200.
Her personal-bests in track are the school record 35-2 1/2 in the shot put, 96-6 in the discus, and 13.13 in the 100 dash.
Fordahl is the all-time goal leader in Zimmerman girls soccer with 30, including 12 this year when she made all-conference. She is a four-year starter.
“Her greatest asset was speed,” said coach Jeff Downing. “From the forward position, she was able to run by opponents, and found herself in front of the goal frequently.”
He added: “Hannah had a very competitive spirit that kept her going even when games were not going our way. She always gave her best effort!”
While she’s had more team success in track, Fordahl calls soccer her “favorite sport, by far.” With her prep career done, she has joined an adult team (along with Thunder teammate Val Belanger) to play in Blaine this summer.
Fordahl also started two years in basketball, at wing and guard in 10th grade, and post on a small team in 11th grade. She elected not to play as a senior, instead serving as a student manager and stat-keeper for the boys team, which got her another “state” trip as the boys won their sectional.
Fordahl plans to limit college sports to intra murals because she wants to study abroad as part of her college experience.
THE FORDAHL SCORECARD
Personal file – Age: 18 … Family: parents Dan and Nancy; brothers Adam, 17, and Isaac, 13 … Sports: soccer, track, formerly basketball … Other activities: DECA, National Honor Society, prom committee, formerly Link … Academics: 3.98 GPA … College plans: St. Thomas, major undecided
Favorite stuff – Class: Exploring Foods … TV show: “Law and Order SVU” … Movie: “Finding Nemo” … Music: Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean … Food: Chipotle fare, especially steak taco … Drink: caramel cooler at Caribou … Team: Twins … Place she’d like to visit: Hawaii (again)