Chilling With Schilling - An Interview

(Photo provided by Katie Schilling)

First of all, how did you first get involved with track and field?

My mom was in track when she was in high school and there were many girls on the cross country team with me who also did track, so I thought I would try it out.

What are all your personal records?

100 m hurdles- 15.26 sec, school record

60 m hurdles- 9.6 sec, school record

55 m hurdles- 9.01 sec, school record

55 m low hurdles- 8.89 sec, school record

Triple jump- 34 feet 1 inch

400 m dash- 61.67 seconds

300 m hurdles- 46.74 seconds

100 m dash- 13.29 seconds

Long jump- 14 feet 9 inches

200 m dash- 28.3 seconds

High jump- 4 feet 6 inches

Do you do, or have you done, any other sports?

I have run track and cross country since seventh grade and I did softball through the Saint Peter Softball Association until 10th grade.

If you started out as an XC runner, what attracted you to sprint, hurdle, and jumping events?

I went in as a seventh grader on varsity and my track coach was my cross country coach so he put me in the 4x400 because he thought I had potential and he needed to fill a spot after the fourth runner in the relay graduated. My coach was also the jumping coach so he just put me in to see how I would do and I did well so he kept me in triple and long jump. After about two years of mostly open 400s and 4x400s with some jumping, the hurdle coach wanted to see how I would do in the 300 hurdles with how well I had been doing in the open 400. I was able to get close to our number one hurdler for the threes and that became my fourth event. I also went to a Gustavus Hurdle Camp to improve my 300 hurdle technique but it was there that the coaches thought I should try the 100 meter hurdles and two years after that I went to state in the 100 m hurdles. In ninth grade I ran the 100 open just because there was a spot to fill and I did very well so the sprinter coach started to put me in some sprint relays and now I have just been doing a little bit of everything ever since. My main four events are the 100 hurdles, the 300 hurdles, triple jump and the 4x400. And my favorite event would have to be the 100 m hurdles as an individual and the 4x400 as a team.

What is your favorite or most memorable competition you've ever been in?

Nothing in particular, but when I think of fun memories in track I think of being in the 4x400 relay when we run under the lights and all of our teammates are cheering us on when we are coming from behind or giving it our all in a really close race to win it all. 

Other than your own teammates, who are some of your favorite athletes to compete against?

Selin Dikmen of Belle Plain 

Taylor Grandgenett of Blue Earth Area

Kristi Frederick of TCU

Megan Rutt of TCU

Who are some people that have been most helpful to you in your athletic career?

Coach Portugue, Coach Bachman, Coach Shonborn, and Coach Goebel

(Photo provided by Katie Schilling)

What is a challenge you have had to face as an athlete?

I have to remember that my mental game has to be just as strong as my physical game if I expect to do my best. I have also struggled with shin splints in the past, but it's nothing some stretching and icing can't fix. 

As a senior, how have your perspectives, strategies, or attitudes changed since you first started running, what advice would you give to younger track athletes?

I still love track just as much and if not more than I did when I was in seventh grade because I now see what my hard work has helped me accomplish over these past six years. I pride myself with being a good role model, my hard work and positive attitude at practices, my sportsmanship and encouragement at meets, and the example I set when I'm of the field. I hope that the underclass men see these things as well. My advice to them would be to stay open to the idea of trying new events because my seventh grade self who ran cross country and the 4x400 would have never thought she would go to state in the 100 meter hurdles. Track should challenge you to do your best but it also should be fun. 

What are your main goals for this upcoming track season?

I am working to break my current school record in the 100 m hurdles and return to the state meet. I also want to beat my triple jump personal record this season.

Do you have any college plans?

I will be going to University of Wisconsin, Platteville to study civil engineering and I hope to be running track as a Pioneer next spring.

What were some of the things that attracted you to UW-Platteville?

They had a strong civil engineering program along with a nice smaller sized school. I really like how their campus is set up and it just felt like the right place to go. Their track team was a bonus for me and I am so excited for my future seasons with them. The coaches there understand that I am there first to learn and that really struck a chord with how I view my academics and athletics.

Do you have any rituals, routines, or superstitions either on or off the track?

On race day I wear the same brand of socks that I have worn on race day since 9th grade. I usually don't race over 400 meters at a time and to remind myself that it will be okay I remember what my mom told me once. She said that it's just a minute of my life and if I had to I could hold my breath for that long.

When not doing anything track-related, what might we find you doing?

I enjoy being outside, we do a lot of camping and hiking as a family in the summer.  My grades are important to me so homework is a large part of my evenings when school is in session.

(Photo provided by Katie Schilling)

Tell me one bizarre fact about yourself.

I have been riding dirt bike since I was 5 years old and I have my own motorcycle that I enjoy taking out now that the weather is nicer.

What is your favorite dirt bike-related memory?

So every year my family tries to make it to the Theilman trail ride and it is always an awesome weekend. There are close to three dozen trails to ride on and some take you out for hours before you get back to camp. My favorite time we went was when I finally had the confidence to keep with my faster cousins. They would always try to beat me back to camp but I stuck with them all day and it was the best.