Lourdes senior is back on track

After missing the football and hockey seasons due to a broken leg, Rochester Lourdes senior Reed Bjork is returning to form for the track season. He is a two- time state qualifier in the 110 hurdles.

Rochester Lourdes won the Prep Bowl last fall and advanced to the Class A state boys hockey tournament in March at the Xcel Energy Center.

For Lourdes senior Reed Bjork, it was a good news, bad news deal.

Good news, obviously, because for a high school athlete, Lourdes was playing on the ultimate stage.

Bad news, because Bjork was on the sideline for both tournaments.

He doesn't plan to let that happen again.


"Winning state, that's my goal,'' he said.

Bjork remembers the day all too well —  Oct. 1. It was the fifth game of the year, an eventual 21-0 win over Byron at the Rochester Regional Sports Stadium. He was playing linebacker and went to make a tackle just as the Bears running back cut back inside.

"My (right) leg just buckled,'' he said. "I've never been in so much pain.''

Bjork broke his fibula, tore three ligaments and the tibia was shifted out of place. He underwent  surgery on the broken bones and also had pins inserted in order to put the leg back on track.

"After all that, I started thinking about football and hockey and all those things I was going to miss,'' he said. "When the doctor said my football season was over my heart just dropped. I wanted so much to be a part of the team.''

He was.

Bjork never missed a practice the rest of the season, and when the Eagles played Holy Family Catholic for the Prep Bowl championship in the Metrodome, coach Mike Kesler lined him up at wide receiver on the first offensive play of the game.

"We ran a toss at them, but on the other side of the field,'' Bjork said, "and completely away from any possible contact from my side. But just to line up and play in a state championship, wow, I had so many emotions go through my head. I just can't explain it.''


In hockey, Bjork said he probably wouldn't have been playing on the first line but would have seen plenty of time on the ice.

"I missed it,'' he said.

But now there's track and field, and Bjork is bursting at the seams.

"Can't wait,'' he said. "Hopefully, I'll be on the track (today) for the first time.''

Bjork is a two-time state qualifier in the 110 hurdles, where he finished seventh as a sophomore and 11th last year.

"He has state championship potential,'' Lourdes coach Jerome Garry said. "If he doesn't make it, it won't be for lack of effort. He's been all over, working like crazy to get back.''

He's been at the Rochester Athletic Club virtually every day.

At the end of October, Bjork got the cast off and soon started lifting weights in order to build up the upper half of his body.


Right before Christmas, off came the boot, and thus began a long rehab.

"After two months of lifting I finally was able to jog, and that was really exciting,'' he said.

Five minutes of light jogging turned to 25 minutes, and last week — finally — he was given the OK to start sprinting.

"I'm not going to push it,'' he said. "The first meet I'll do the open 200 and also run a leg on the 1,600 relay and I won't do any hurdling until the beginning of May. That should still give me time to get ready for sections.''

Despite the injury, Bjork said he never felt like packing it in.

"That never crossed my mind,'' he said. "In fact, I have a sheet with 15.1 written on it stuck on my bedroom door. That's been my inspiration.''

A 15.1 (seconds) would probably mean a state 110 hurdle championship.

"I see that every day,'' Bjork said. "It keeps me going.''

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