Hutchinson’s running star Isabelle Schmitz hopes for back-to-back championships

10 September 2022

HUTCHINSON, Minn. — “It has always been a dream for me since I was in middle school.”

In her last race as a sophomore, Hutchinson’s Isabelle Schmitz overcame a lot.

“There were some times when we were a little worried, like, how state was going to actually go. But, in the end she kinda pulled through and she’s a super motivated person,” coach Mike Reponen said.

The entire season, Schmitz had been running on a partially torn patellar tendon in her right knee.

“It just took a lot of mental strength and a lot of that focus to be able to put that on the back burner and say this pain in my knee doesn’t really matter, and it’s not going to effect the way that I perform in races,” Schmitz said.

In what came down to a head-to-head duel with her rival from Albany, Schmitz won the state championship.

“I felt really relieved. There was a lot of pressure on my back to be able to win and perform, but I was just overwhelmed with happiness. I was just so excited for myself and for the team and what the future was gonna look like,” she said.

Now a junior, Schmitz is as motivated as ever, but gets a lot from running, besides the wins.

“Sometimes just think about the hard stuff that’s going on in my life, whether it’s all the stress that I have from school or running or friends and just balancing all that. It’s a great time for me to just slowly unpack those thoughts without being overwhelmed,” Schmitz said.

When you’re the top ranked 2-A runner in the state, training gets trickier.

“I need to find my own way to push myself without having people around. So I’ll often envision them there. And just think about a race and see myself winning,” she said.

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Author: Ren Clayton

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