By Derek Noehren, Contributor
When Amanda Vorthmann set her goals for 2013 not even she had any idea it would be this good.
“I’m suprising myself, because when we were at Whitchita St. and my old coaches were there, they all said I’ve become so much faster, leaner, almost a completely different athlete,” Vorthmann said. “I was not expecting to break records, I had a couple records I was eyeing, but I didnt think I would be eyeing as many as I have.”
After the most recent weekend of competition Vorthmann is now the school record holder in three events: the mile, the 3,000 meters and the 5,000 meters. Friday at the Iowa State Classic, Vorthmann ran a 4:56.57 mile time, more than two seconds better than the mark set by Tara Biltoff in 1997.
The following day she broke her own 3,000-meter record that had been in place for almost a year. The meet at Iowa State marked the fifth time this year, and the sixth time in her career, that Vorthmann has set a school record.
The indoor season started with a record in the 5,000 meters at the Iowa State Holiday Preview on Dec. 8. Vorthmann ran a time of 17:39.73, more than 12 seconds faster than the record set by Kellie Ryan in 2006.
A month later at the Nebraska Wesleyan Invitational she cut a second off that time. Just two weeks later at Wichita State Vorthmann shaved off almost eight seconds more to put the current record at 17:30.66.
After all that success she still wasn’t satisfied. With a new record in the mile set this past weekend, Vorthmann took care of some unfinished business.
Prior to Iowa State, her best time in the mile was 5:02 and the school record was 4:49.
“I’ve run a 4:53 at practice in cross country so I know I can do it,” Vorthmann said Thursday before departing the next day for the Iowa State Classic. “It’s just getting into the right race and the right competition.”
Vorthmann said the right race is one in which she doesn’t have to lead the entire time. She feels much more relaxed with a competitior who can run the same time as her or faster.
“Being able to chase them down or be side-by-side, having someone to push me and not having to do it all on my own,” Vorthmann said about what helps her the most. “It’s one thing to have someone ahead of you mentally, but it’s another thing to chase someone who’s there racing. If you have someone else there it’s a lot better.”
Since transferring to UNO from Iowa Western in 2010, Vorthmann has been a two sport star for the Mavs in cross country and track. Fortunately for her, Marc Bierbaum, the cross country head coach, is also an assistant on the track team. Between Bierbaum, Assistant Coach Chris Richardson and Track Head Coach Steve Smith, Vorthmann is around the same coaches throughout the year and builds a familiarity and a consistent plan for success.
“Im very high milage (now), normally 70 miles per week and thats a normal week,” Vorthmann said about her training regiment. “At my old college I was only around 60 and that was high. I’ve increased a lot in terms of milage. It’s the same type of workouts, but the intensity and what’s expected is higher I feel the bar is moved up a couple levels.”
Along with Vorthmann’s prowess on the track, the Oakland, Iowa native has to balance several responsibilities on a day-to-day basis.
She has a 45 minute commute to campus the three days she has class. On the days she doesn’t have class she has to keep up with her training and spend some time managing a business.
“It’s called Amanda’s Sweet Treats,” Vorthmann said. “I do cup cakes, wedding cakes, graduation cakes, birthday cakes and what not. I’ve always loved to bake, it’s a way for me to relax and get some frustration out.”
Regardless of what day of the week it is, Vorthmann has always got a lot on her plate. Her ambition would be impressive whether she was just a college student or an adult with an everyday career.
“I have to get up, sometimes run, eat breakfast, drive to school, go to classes, have practice, come home and then do the whole thing all over again the next day,” Vorthmann said. “I feel like I plan more and have become more organized. I feel like I’ve been able to set more goals for my life and for my running.”