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From Midget to Bison: Jordheim commits to track and field at NDSU

Lexi Jordheim, a senior at Dickinson High, has competed in high jump for the Midgets since 7th grade. (Dickinson Press File Photo)1 / 2
Lexi Jordheim, a senior at Dickinson High tests out her future school's colors of yellow and green by wearing an NDSU t-shirt. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press) 2 / 2

Dickinson High senior Lexi Jordheim has been a talented track and field athlete at Dickinson High for years. She was pulled up to compete at the high school level in seventh and eighth grade and now, ahead of her senior season, she has committed to North Dakota State University to compete at the collegiate level.

"I wanted to play volleyball until (the 2016) state track meet," Jordheim said. "I ended up doing really well and love the season and love the environment of all the different athletes. There's so many different people at meets. It's awesome. So I always knew I wanted to do a college sport. I didn't know if it was volleyball or track. (That) year, stepping off the podium, I knew that's what I wanted to do."

After being in contact with NDSU coaches since the tail end of the 2017 season, Jordheim signed on to be a Bison on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Jordheim started competing in track in seventh grade. She was pulled up to the high school level to compete in the Western Dakota Association regional meet. The following year, she competed the entire season at Dickinson High as an eighth grader.

"They threw me in hurdles and high jump and long jump and said, 'That's what you're going to be good at,' so I did that," Jordheim said. "I wasn't loving it so freshman year I told the coach, 'You know, I'm going to try pole vaulting.' He said, 'OK. You can do that but you're not the typical pole vaulter.' I'm by far the tallest pole vaulter in the state."

At 5-foot-9, Jordheim has a lot more length to sling over the bar than other competitors, but that hasn't stopped her from being one of the best in the state.

"Lexi really found her niche in track and field," DHS girls track and field head coach Greg Jung said. "When she started we had her on the track but she really found her passion in the jumps. ... It's just her determination. She doesn't cheat herself on any jumps."

Last season she vaulted her personal best of 10 feet 9 inches, a height that remained the best in the state for the rest of the season.

In high jump, she was ranked second in the state with her highest jump at 5-foot-3.

However, Jordheim's junior season was snapped short of the state meet after breaking her leg while pole vaulting in the WDA meet, the same meet NDSU coaches attended to watch her perform.

Two days later, Jordheim underwent surgery to have nine screws and a plate put in to hold the break together while it healed. She's scheduled to have them removed by the end of the month, giving her full mobility of her ankle again.

During her senior season, Jordheim said she wants to hit the 12-foot mark in pole vault, which would break the school record of 11 feet 1 inch. In her sixth year of high jump, she's hoping to clear 5 feet 5 inches.

"I just want to get stronger. I want to hit the weight room a lot harder," Jordheim said. "Last year I didn't do much training running-wise. I just did a lot of technique things. Now that I have the technique somewhat down, I want to be running and get faster down the runway and stuff like that."

Jordheim, who wants to study architecture, also took into consideration the academic opportunities at NDSU before making her decision.

"Sports are important to me, but also the rest of my life, I'm not going to be doing sports," she said. "I need to have an education. Touring the academic departments at NDSU, I loved them."

Even taking her injury and recovery into consideration, Jung said he's excited to see what Jordheim brings to her final season in the orange and black.

"I think she's going to have an incredible season," he said. "Signing this letter of intent to be able to compete at a Division I school will just give her confidence."

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