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February 20, 2013

Lantz setting the pace in the mile

Olivia Lantz is far from your typical track star.

In a sport where success is often the result of specialization and the benefit of top facilities, the Manchester Essex standout has risen to the top in a much different fashion.

Where many of her competitors run year-round, Lantz has a more balanced approach to her athletic pursuits, supplementing her winter track dominance with soccer in the fall and lacrosse in the spring -- sprinkling in long runs during those seasons, of course.

And unlike most other runners in the state, Lantz doesn’t even have a track to call her own, as the Hornets’ team generally trains outdoors while occasionally using Gloucester’s Field House.

This would all be news to those that the sophomore has already dominated in the mile in her young career. After placing fourth in the New England Championships as a freshman last March, Lantz has built off that success this winter.

Last weekend, she broke the Division 4 state meet record in the mile with a 4:58.39 finish, topping the previous mark by more than four seconds.

This weekend, she’ll look to build off that in the state meet.

After that, she hopes, a return trip to the New England Championships. And, if all goes well, she hopes to take the next step to the National Championships.

“I don’t know if there’s a trick to it,” Lantz said. “I think it’s really just having a goal and having my coach help me toward my goal, that really helps me to push to reach that goal. We’re really lucky to have such good runners in the Massachusetts area because then it really helps you to be more determined to get that good time, because you know girls around you are going to run those times and you might eventually run against them.”

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