When it comes to track and field, Kristen Schoenherr is the jill of all trades, mastering nearly every event.
Name the event – sprints, jumps, throws, hurdles or relays – and the Rainier High School multi-events specialist will likely end up with a solid mark or time.
“She’s naturally gifted,” Rainier coach Rob Henry said of Schoenherr, calling the 5-foot-9 senior the most decorated athlete he’s had in his 12 years coaching the Mountaineers. “She’s so versatile. She switches gears when she needs to.”
Schoenherr has been accustomed to competing in multiple events during her track and field career.
Last season as a junior, she competed in 10 events – 100-meter hurdles, 300 hurdles, javelin, shot put, high jump, long jump, triple jump, and all three relays (400, 800 and 1,600).
One faces mental challenges, as well as physical challenges, when preparing and competing in multiple events, but Schoenherr has the ideal mindset.
“I like the diversity of doing something different and preparing for something new,” Schoenherr said. “I like to mix it up.”
Mixing it up is exactly what Schoenherr had done at Rainier, and not just in the spring.
In addition to her multiple events in track and field, she’s also been a multiple-sport athlete, participating in cross country, volleyball and basketball.
She was a four-time letter-winner in basketball, earning MVP honors in the Southwest 1A Evergreen Division last month, after leading the Mountaineers to state the past three seasons.
She also was an all-league volleyball player for two years, as well as a varsity cross country runner as a freshman, finishing sixth (20 minutes, 7 seconds) at the 1A state meet in 2007.
In her final track season, she and Henry are hoping for a repeat performance of last spring, and then some.
“So far, her work ethic has been fantastic,” Henry said. “She’s easily capable of throwing 140-145 feet (in the javelin). Hurdle-wise, there’s no reason why she can’t break 46.8. She has all of that ability in her.”
That time of 46.8 seconds is the school record in the 300 hurdles, currently held by Sarah Funk, who graduated in 2008.
Schoenherr saved her best performance last season in track for the final weekend.
On the first day of the Class 1A/2B/1B state championships in May, she won the 1A javelin title, throwing a season-best 132 feet on her second-to-last throw of the competition – minutes after running the preliminaries of the 300 hurdles. The following day, she placed sixth and eighth, respectively, in the 300 hurdles (49.32) and 100 hurdles (17.07).
Going into the finals of the javelin, Schoenherr was slated for a top-four finish with her then-best throw being 116 feet in the preliminaries.
Tired from just completing the prelims of the 300 hurdles, Schoenherr headed back to the javelin competition.
“I told myself you can do this,” Schoenherr said. “I didn’t want to give up on myself. I was pretty tired, but when I got up there, I had nothing to lose.”
She popped a season-best throw to win the competition, besting Naches Valley’s Kelsie Taylor’s top mark of 129-4.
“It was pretty amazing,” Schoenherr said.
In January, there were questions about whether the Rainier School District would have spring sports this season for the middle school and high school.
The district was forced to make close to $90,000 in cuts for the remainder of the 2010-11 school year, and dropping spring sports was one of 12 cost-saving items being considered.
But the district saved spring sports by adopting a $75 pay-to-play fee for the high school’s three spring sports – baseball, fastpitch and track and field.
Schoenherr already is off to a strong start in her top events, the javelin and hurdles.
At the Mountaineers’ Icebreaker Invitational on March 19, she won the javelin (122-10) and finished second in the high jump (4-10), helping the Rainier girls to a fifth-place finish out of 18 teams.
Schoenherr also had first-place finishes in the 100 and 300 hurdles at the Hoquiam five-way meet on Tuesday.
“I want to make this year the greatest one, and end on a good note,” Schoenherr said.
Added Henry: “She’s understanding how blessed she is.”
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 email@example.com www.theolympian.com/prepsportsblog
2011 GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD OUTLOOK
Black Hills Wolves
Coach: Tom St. Clair (fifth year)
Key returnees: Jamie Applegarth, so., 400/relays; Brittany Crawford, sr., distance; Jessica Knapp, sr., high jump; Kristen McMillan, jr., high jump; Hope Mortensen, so., 400/relays; Jen McNulty, sr., sprints/relays; Jessica Westby, sr., 400/relays.
Top newcomers: Kristin Turner, jr., 400/relays.
Coach’s outlook: “With the addition of a few more quality athletes, we are shooting to finish in the top three in the league.”
Coach: Kevin Wright (14th year)
Key returnees: Aviva Browning, jr., distance; Brianna Wright, sr., distance; Kelsey Antles, sr., sprints/hurdles; Madison Guscott, jr., sprints/throws; K.J. Cason, so., sprints/high jump.
Top newcomers: Lynn Zhao, sr., sprints/jumps; Stefanie Taylor, fr., sprints; Logan Cox, fr., sprints; Nicole Hartman, fr., distance.
Coach’s outlook: “We are going to be a decent team. ... we have a bunch of solid kids all over – sprints, jumps, throws, distance, so we will be tough to beat. We have almost 40 girls instead of the low 20s that we’ve been averaging.”
Coach: Dave Beeler (14th year)
Key returnees: Emily Gibson, so., shot put
Top newcomers: Katherine McMaster, fr., sprints/jumps; Emily Kershaw, so., sprints
North Thurston Rams
Coach: Brent Warner (12th year)
Key returnees: Kenzie Nix, sr., distance; Jazmyne Johnson, so., sprints; Shelly Deleon, sr., jumps/pole vault.
Top newcomers: Hallie Whitney, fr., distance; Sade Daniel, so., 400; Lydia Rush, jr., distance; Avery Miller, fr., distance.
Coach’s outlook: “(We have) a very young, but talented team. Looking forward to watching them get strong as the year progresses.”
Northwest Christian Navigators
Coach: Mike Michael (first year)
Key returnees: Joanna Sowers, sr., distance/relays; Elizabeth Weber, jr., distance/relays; Megan Teigen, so., springs/relays; Kami Bates, jr., hurdles/relays; Hailey Bredeson,so., distance; Ali Sowers, so., jumps/hurdles/relays; Courtney Wagner, so., sprints/relays.
Top newcomers: Savannah Schilter, so., distance
Coach’s outlook: “This is a rarity where we have such a talented group of athletes at the same time. We lost very few seniors last year and have a young team. After some disqualifications and illnesses that cost us the state title last year, these girls are focused and have their sights high on winning the state title.”
Coach: Cris Violette (21st year)
Key returnees: Tayler Fettig, sr., jumps/hurdles/relays; Andrea Clarke, jr., pole vault; Lexi Fesenbek, jr., sprints/relays.
Top newcomers: None listed.
Coach’s outlook: “We hope to be in the top three in the Narrows. We have a lot of newcomers with a few returners.”
River Ridge Hawks
Coach: Phil Lonborg (19th year)
Key returnees: Necy Wade, jr., sprints/relays; Kyarhi Adams, jr., jumps/relays; Valerie Coats, jr., jumps; Lizzie Bevier, jr., pole vault; Janae Jackson jr., sprints/relays.
Top newcomers: Rachel Eshenbaugh, fr., distance; Kirsten Perkins, fr., sprints.
Coach’s outlook: “Not sure how we’ll be as a team, but it should be a fun year. We’ve got some talented, hard-working kids.”
Coach: Todd Taylor (11th year)
Key returnees: Briana Welsh, sr., sprints/jumps/relays; Sasha Weber, jr., jumps/throws, defending high jump state champion; Daniaella Williams, sr., sprints/relays; Halina Garraway, jr., sprints/relays; Jordan Payne, so., sprints/relays; Tierra Truitt, so., distance.
Top newcomers: Cymone Martin, jr., throws/jumps; Briana Flemming, jr., throws.
Coach’s outlook: “We have a great group of young athletes that are excited to be a part of Timberline track. We hope to see them learn from our returning core and contribute to a good season.”
Coach: Brad Dudley (first year)
Key returnees: Krissy Buckler, sr., hurdles/jumps/relays; Annie Torfin, jr., sprints/relays; Emily Moore, sr., jumps/relays; Lindsey Anderson, sr., distance.
Top newcomers: Brooke Feldmeier, fr., jumps/hurdles/relays; McKenzie May, so., sprints/relays; Katie Bergquist, sr., sprints/relays.
Coach’s outlook: “We expect to be very competitive this year. We have a very strong girls team with multiple athletes that will compete in several events. We are strong across the board from sprints to distance to throws.”
Coach: Mike Strong (19th year)
Key returnees: Katelyn Lawton, jr., distance/relays; Alex Bachmeier, sr., sprints/relays; April Mayerl, so., shot put; Nicole Manuel, sr., sprints/hurdles; Layla Bader, sr., jumps; Joanna Mazer, jr., hurdles; Katie Thomas, jr., distance/relays.
Top newcomers: Dahlia Bader, so., sprints/relays; Carlee Bothman, so., distance; Niko Tomlin, so., hurdles/sprints; Yasmin Luzinaris, sr., sprints/relays; Cydnie Golden, fr., hurdles/sprints; Kaneetah Pridgen, jr., sprints/relays; Alana Queles, fr., sprints/relays.
Coach’s outlook: “(This is) the best girls team we have had in 10 years. We should compete for the league championship.”
Meg Wochnick, staff writer