Dorfman eyes the perfect ending at Deerfield

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For a high school track athlete, making the state meet is the ultimate achievement. It validates all the preparation — the running, the lifting and the jumping.

Deerfield’s Hayley Dorfman came so close as a junior in 2012. She finished third at Class 3A sectionals in both the 100-meter dash and the high jump, just shy of qualifying for the state meet.

“It was helpful as it made me push myself more this year,” Dorfman said.

During the indoor season, she did make the state meet in the high jump, placing 10th. But talking to Dorfman, it’s easy to believe that she has unfinished business this outdoor season.

At the Lake County Invitational at Grayslake North April 25, she ran the 100 with flash and purpose, yielding a fifth-place result (in 12.94 seconds). Stronger than a year ago, Dorfman’s prelim time of 12.69 was third-best, 0.30 seconds slower than the day’s best time, ran by Highland Park senior Nyjah Lane (12.39).

“Her fitness is incredible,” Deerfield coach Jeff Beaumont said. “She focused on a lot of strength work with weights and she’s in top shape.”

The high jump has been a bit more tricky for Dorfman. Because of the cold, rainy weather this spring, practicing has been a challenge. Competition has also been scarce — the Lake County event was one of the only invitational meets of Deerfield’s track season.

Having jumped since freshman year, Dorfman has a lot of experience. But she said the lack of consistent work this season has been challenging.

“It’s getting warmer so it’s getting easier, but the cold weather has made it hard,” Dorfman said.

What helps is competing in the 100. Rather than being forced into inactivity while she waits for other girls to jump, Dorfman keeps her mind and body fresh.

“I feel like it helps me concentrate better instead of sitting there and thinking about my races,” Dorfman said. “It helps me stay warmed up without having to go through warm-ups over and over.”

Her jump of 4-10 in Grayslake was good for seventh place. Although well short of the 5-2 mark Dorfman jumped at last year’s sectional meet, it was progress toward another run at state.

That achievement would provide the perfect cap to this year — and her career.

“My goal since freshman year (was) to make it to outdoor state,” Dorfman said. “I just want to go.”

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