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Grand Forks drowning victim remembered for spirit, enthusiasm

Andrew Torrey

When was asked to describe Andrew Torrey, Grand Forks Central High cross-country coach Sean Allan offered nothing but glowing comments.

"He loved to compete. He always came to practice with a smile and he put all the effort he could into everything. He lived life to the fullest," Allan said.

Torrey, a 23-year-old native of Grand Forks drowned July 1 while fishing near of Grand Forks. An outdoorsman his entire life, Allan said it was a shock to hear of the accident.

"I was really heartbroken," Allan described of hearing the news.

"Especially for the family, because I know how close-knit they are. I immediately thought of his two brothers, his sister and his parents.

"It made me hug my own kids. It's heartbreaking."

Michael Torrey, Andrew's father said his son pursued his interests with maximum enthusiasm and intensity.

"He was 100 percent all the time," Michael Torrey said. "It was all go."

He said it was typical for Andrew to bike 15 miles to go fishing, as he did on the day of the accident at a diversion pond of the English Coulee, about 14 miles southwest of town.

"That's kind of just who he was," the elder Torrey said. "Riding his bike to Turtle River to go fishing and go back."

Allan said Torrey has left a legacy on Central's cross-country and track teams as an outstanding teammate.

"When I think of him, I think of someone that came to be part of the team and (had) lots of desire all the time."

Allan has been coaching the Central cross-country team for 25 years. For at least 16 of those years, he says he has coached a Torrey—whether it was Andrew, his older brothers, Mike and Alex, or his younger sister, Rachel, a 2018 Central graduate.

"He helped build that tradition of our team when it was young," Allan said.

"He will always be part of that family."