CROSBY -- Crosby-Ironton senior Andy Forbort has been called a bionic man and for good reason.
Forbort, a member of the Rangers' cross country, basketball and track and field teams, has spent as much time on the injured list as he has on the playing field.
Adversity would best describe Forbort's athletic career. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament as a sophomore, causing him to miss the track season. That summer he developed tendinitis in the knee, ending his training for the cross country season.
In the winter, Forbort had a bout with fainting and after an electrocardiogram it was found he needed to refrain from running for a while.
Forbort did get to run track that spring, only to find out during the section and state meets that he had a stress fracture in his leg. That caused him to miss cross country training last summer.
This winter Forbort decided to go out for basketball, only to find himself on crutches again after tearing his ACL once again.
"The minute I found out it was the ACL my main focus was track and I started working on therapy," said Forbort. "You can't do much with lifting weights but I did motion exercises and I went in the pool for cardiovascular exercises.
"After about eight weeks I was able to start doing weights. I just started lifting and riding bike. Right about 10 weeks was the first day of practice but I couldn't go all out. I did different exercises and continued to lift weights.
"When I came back it was the day before our last indoor meet. I went in, took the (strength) test and passed it. They gave me the choice to run and I did because I wanted to break the 4x800 indoor record and we did that."
When Forbort isn't on the sidelines he's running down the competition. His freshmen year saw him at the state track and field meet in the 4x800-meter relay. Forbort, along with Mike May, Tim Borden and Mike Holtz, placed fifth. As a sophomore the cross country team went to state, as did the basketball team.
Last year Forbort went to state in the 1600 and 800 runs. He placed sixth in the 800.
"He's going to continue to lead the team as a motivator and as a scorer for the team," said Rangers track and field coach Rob Palmer. "I anticipate that he's going to qualify for state again. The 800 is his major goal.
"We expected him to come back but not until late April. We are worried about his knee, but he's dedicated. We've been avoiding the 400 run. Last year he ran with the 4x400 team but as hard as he's going in the 800 there really isn't much point."
Despite all the adversity Forbort has found motivation to prove he can still compete with the best. Next year he's going to attend either the University of North Dakota on a track scholarship or the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
"I have high goals," said Forbort, who has a 3.89 grade-point average. "I just use all this for motivation. Someone has to go through it and I just enjoy playing sports.
"Sometimes I think where would I be? I ran a two flat 800 in 10th grade and at the time that would have put me in state. I can't look back, though."
Last Thursday at the Crosby-Ironton Invitational, Forbort proved he was back, helping the 4x800 team capture first place as well as taking individual honors in the 800.
"I ran the anchor leg and we just wanted to keep it close," said Forbort. "We were down 60 to 65 meters when I got the baton. I just gradually caught the guy. With 150 meters left I passed the guy and I beat him by five meters. In my split I had a 2:01, which is the best I've done for my first meet."
Other notable performances:
Track -- Aitkin's Mark Weimer finished first in both the triple and long jumps at the Aitkin Invitational.
Baseball -- Travis Leiviska of Aitkin struck out 17 batters to help the Gobblers beat Isle 9-2. Teammate Ryan Fowlds was 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored.
Isaac Smieja of Little Falls was 3-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBI to help the Flyers over St. Cloud Tech 10-6.
Golf -- Justin Kelley of Pine River-Backus shot a 39 to take medalist honors in a dual meet with Wadena-Deer Creek.
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