Michael Dohrmann ’12 overcomes hurdles

BY JON PRESSMAN ’14
Sports Editor

Track isn’t a contact sport… right? Well, it depends who you ask. This year, en route to his goal of qualifying for the NCAA National Championship, Mike Dohrmann ’12 managed to shatter the bones in his arm while competing in the 55-meter hurdles at Bucknell University. Just one month later, Dohrmann was back on the track, his arm surgically repaired, his legs ready to roll.

Back in high school, Dohrmann had a passion for soccer, but began running track his junior year of high school, after being introduced to the hurdles by the father of one of his friends. Dohrmann and hurdles proved to be a quick recipe for success, as he picked up a pair of silver medals in the 110, and 300-meter hurdle at the Pennsylvania state meet for private schools.

Dohrmann roared back his senior year, replacing silver with gold in both events, and tying the Friends’ Central school record in the 110-meter hurdles.

“Having early success and a Division I coach really helped me to excel in the hurdles, and I trained relentlessly to win that gold,” said Dohrmann.

Like many others, Dohrmann considered Centennial Conference rival schools, and had intended on attending the nationally ranked Haverford College.

“I was heavily recruited by Haverford and had planned on going there most of my senior year of high school,” Dohrmann recalled. “I was also given the opportunity to walk on to the team at Bucknell, but I ended up choosing F&M over both of these schools because I felt I could make the most impact here both athletically, and in pursuing my academic interests.”

In his four years here in Lancaster, Dohrmann has gone beyond the scope of his high school imagination, and his legacy will certainly be remembered in years to come. Earlier this year, Dohrmann co-founded the Financial Services Honor Society, and is the current President of this newly founded organization.

“The purpose of the Financial Services Honors Society is to help sophomores, juniors and seniors acquire internships and jobs in the financial services sector while building professional acumen through networking with alumni and technical training,” Dohrmann said.

And Dohrmann has both the means, and the network to help younger students achieve this goal. Next year, Dohrmann will be working in asset management for Prudential Financial Inc. at their world headquarters in Newark, NJ.

Even though Dohrmann will be leaving F&M physically, he will remain connected in several ways. Dohrmann will be remembered by the track & field team as the man who sparked the team to nearly double in size since his freshman year, and for every runner to be clad in brand new practice uniforms, which they can now store in their newly acquired locker room.

Despite his academic success, Dohrmann considers his greatest accomplishment being named team captain his junior year, and continuing that through his senior year.

“I take it very seriously that people entrusted me as their captain,” Dohrmann said staunchly. “It’s been an honor to be a part of the process of the success of F&M’s track & field team, and I look forward to the younger guys taking the team to do even greater things.”

Dohrmann has enjoyed the amenities that accompany being a member of the track team, and has taken considerable pleasure in watching the cross-country team go from finishing last, back when he was a member of the team in ’08, to finishing fifth in the conference this year. Dohrmann has built numerous friendships with his fellow runners, and is always motivated to work harder on and off the track by teammates Brian Rivera ’13, Tim Tillman ’12 and Austin Zimmet ’14.

Being inspired by so many great people has helped Dohrmann get where he is today. Through numerous injuries and struggles, Dohrmann has turned to coaches, family and friends for reassurance.

“I’d like to thank Tony DeSabato, Lance Jones Sr. and particularly, Chris Goodling (F&M hurdles coach),” Dohrmann said. “They have had a big impact on cultivating me from start to finish—literally. Lastly, my parents have helped me tremendously through the good and the bad. They have always been there for me, and my dad (being a college coach), claims that I inherited my talent from him.”

But there is one person on the team that has helped Dohrmann in a way that no others can. All-American hurdler and best friend Nils Michaelis ’13 has given Dohrmann competition, something to aspire towards. Michaelis has trained with Dohrmann over the last three years, and the two have developed an unbreakable bond. At meets, members of the other teams peg Dohrmann and Michaelis as a pair, and if one is missing, his absence does not go unnoticed.

In two weeks, Dohrmann will compete in his last Centennial Conference Championship. With Michaelis injured, Dohrmann is looking to bring home the gold in both the 110, and 400-meter hurdles, and to cherish his last moments with his best friends—the Franklin & Marshall track & field team.

Questions? Email Jon at jonathan.pressman@fandm.edu.

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