Like many distance runners, Anna Schmitz ’14 (St. Paul) would pick cross-country over track most days. Nevertheless, her most memorable race of the year took place on the track on a dreary April night. Schmitz was ready to run the 5K with two teammates at 8 p.m., a time far later—and far darker—than she was used to, when the race was pushed back another hour to 9 p.m.
“We got on the line for the race, and the stadium lights were hitting the mist in a way that made it look beautiful instead of a really bad time to run,” Schmitz says. “We got out in it and all had really strong and fast, if extremely damp, races.”
That race may have been her favorite, but it was only one in a series of highlights in a standout first year for Schmitz, who plans to major in political science. In cross-country last fall she was one of the season’s top five runners and was named Rookie of the Year by her teammates. Her best 5K indoor time this winter was fast enough for ninth all-time best in Macalester’s indoor track history.
Schmitz calls her “smart, caring, goofy” teammates another highlight of her Mac experience. “I couldn’t ask for better teammates,” she says. Women’s cross-country and distance track coach Betsy Emerson notes that Schmitz adds to that culture. “Not only is Anna a great distance runner with potential to be a top runner in the conference, she also comes to practice every day with a positive and cheerful attitude, willing to work hard,” Emerson says. “She’s a huge contributor to our program.”