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The strong, silent type

BURBANK -- Ask Kim Lorimer about her cross-country prowess and the

Glendale Community College women’s runner is likely to say very little.

It’s not that Lorimer doesn’t have a lot to brag about, it’s just her

soft-spoken nature and refreshing modesty prevents the Burbank High

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graduate from extolling all of her virtues.

Although Lorimer -- a freshman -- may be subdued off the cross-country

course, her success for the Vaqueros this season has resonated throughout

the sport’s national community.

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“She is just very shy,” said GCC Coach Eddie Lopez. “She just doesn’t

go around and tell people what a good runner she is. That’s just not her.

“But once she gets into a meet, that’s when she comes alive.”

What Lorimer may not be able to say about herself is filled in by

Lopez.

“I don’t like to be too overconfident, but I think she has a chance to

break a few records by the time she leaves Glendale College,” Lopez said.

“The one thing that sets her apart is that she’s so mentally tough.

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When she’s racing, nothing can distract her. And that’s something you

just can’t teach.”

Lopez also said Lorimer has a dedication rarely seen in an an athlete

so young.

“I’m trying to teach a lot of our runners to be like her,” Lopez said.

“If I were to ask her to go out and run 20 miles a day she would do it.

She is that dedicated.”

That dedication has allowed Lorimer to emerge as one of the top female

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community college athletes in the nation this season.

Last week, Lorimer finished fourth in the community college state

championships at Fairbanks Park in San Luis Obispo. Lorimer ran a

personal-best 19 minutes 1 second over the three-mile course.

That effort earned her a first-team Community College All-America

honor.

She was also named the Western State Conference Cross-country Female

Athlete of the Year.

“Some times I can’t believe I’ve done so well this season,” said

Lorimer in her patented reserved style. “I just guess I have improved a

lot since I have been in college.”

Although Lorimer admitted competing in the California meet -- against

the top female runners in the state -- was challenging, she has had

tougher competition.

“I think when I was at Burbank and had to run against the Foothill

League, that was harder,” said Lorimer, who finished third as a junior

and fourth as a senior in league. “The Foothill League has some great

teams and real good runners.”

*

Lorimer had her share of success in high school. Along with fine

performances in league, she also captured the city title in the 1998

All-City Meet.

“I wasn’t feeling all that good for that meet. I think I just got

lucky,” she said.

But throughout her tenure at Burbank High, Lorimer thinks she wasn’t

able to devote as much time as she would have liked to running.

“I was really tired all the time in high school,” Lorimer said. “It

was hard to try and do all the running I had to do and do all of my

schoolwork.”

But at GCC, Lorimer feels she has enough time to devote to running and

her studies.

“Also, I think I’m more dedicated now,” she said. “It is just more

flexible here and I like that a lot.”

Although the cross-country season is over, Lorimer is not done running

for her freshman season. She is training for the upcoming track season

and her presence should give the Vaqueros a big boost.

Lorimer said she hopes to compete in either the 1,500 or 3,000 meters.

“I don’t know about the 10,000, that’s pretty scary,” Lorimer said.

If all goes well for Lorimer, there is a good chance she’ll land at a

good four-year university once she leaves GCC.

Lopez said he is already hearing from some colleges following

Lorimer’s big year in cross-country.

“They already want her,” Lopez said. “I have already heard from some

pretty good colleges who are interested.”

Until then, Lorimer will continue to compete for the Vaqueros, and

continue to let her accomplishments on the cross-country course do most

of her talking.


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