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Sorokko goes the distance, wins twice for Prep

Sorokko took first place in the 1,500- and 3,000-meter runs to win the meet's Outstanding Performer award at the Brooklyn-Queens Outdoor Sectionals for girls Sunday at Mt. Saint Michael High School.

It was no accident that St. Francis Prep carried the competition's top performer. The Terriers led after 10 events but were hurt in the field and throwing heats, and it was ironic that a program known for its distance running faded in the closing stages to come in third with 62 points, behind Archbishop Molloy's 72 and Bishop Loughlin's 78.

Molloy received an 11th-hour boost from its shot-putters, who gave the Stanners 10 points to break away from St. Francis Prep, but Molloy failed to pick up points in the 100-meter and 200-meter runs late in the competition, while eventual winner Bishop Loughlin nearly maxed out with nine points in the 100-meter and seven points in the javelin.

"We did better than we expected but fell short of what we wanted," said the superbly named Austin Power, Molloy's third-year coach. "We picked up a lot on Loughlin thanks to a total team effort. We just came up a little short."

St. Francis Prep's Sorokko usually comes up a little short at the beginning of races, but it is a strategy she uses to lull her competitors to sleep. Since she runs long distances, her style is to get into the middle of the pack, anticipate when the other runners are going to make their move, then break before they do, a skill she learned from her coach, Jim May.

"My goal is to follow the lead, and then after two laps I get going," said Sorokko, who plays third singles on the Terriers' undefeated tennis team. "When I'm in the middle of the pack, I can sense when the runners are going to go, and I just go before them."

Vance Jordan coaches Mary Louis' long-jumper, Valin Jordan. They are father and daughter, and if sports has seen its share of parent-child relationships go down in smoke, then the Jordans are not part of that statistic.

Valin Jordan qualified for her third straight city championship by winning her first outdoor championship in the long jump, soaring 16 feet and 2 1/2 inches. She is fifth in the state in the indoor-long jump, and injuries have limited her achievements in the outdoor competition, but nothing has stopped her in the classroom. She is attending the University of Miami on a full academic scholarship in the fall.

All her accomplishments make her father and coach proud and a little confused.

"You find yourself in a dilemma," Vance Jordan said. "You don't want to give her more attention then you give her teammates, but my daughter feels I don't give her enough time as it is. As a coach you try to work with everybody. I've been coaching her since she was 7, but now I have to share my time with 30 other girls. You try and do your best."

Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by e-mail at timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

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