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The heart of a runner
By Mike Dauplaise ’84

Emily Schudrowitz '12
Emily Schudrowitz ’12 leads the field in her heat at the 2010 NCAA Division III National Outdoor Track and Field Championships in May.

After decades of turning out solid performers, the St. Norbert College track programs suddenly are churning out national champions like they’re going out of style. Not bad for an institution still without its own track until the Donald J. Schneider Stadium opens for business in the fall.

The short-distance events of 400 and 800 meters have been golden for the Green Knights in recent years. This spring, Emily Schudrowitz ’12 became the latest national champion when she captured the NCAA Division III Indoor 800 title in a personal-best time of 2 minutes, 9.24 seconds. (She came in sixth at the outdoor 800-meter nationals this May.)

Schudrowitz’ indoor triumph came on the heels of dual championships for Ashley Graybill ’09 in the same event last year at both the indoor and outdoor national meets.

“I’ve talked to some of the kids about having the ‘it’ factor,” says head coach Don Augustine. “I don’t know that we’ve pinpointed what ‘it’ is, but the ones that get to that level have it.”

Schudrowitz attributes her success to several factors, including the ability to finally stay healthy, plus the knowledge that it’s possible for a St. Norbert athlete to achieve the highest levels of performance.

“[Ashley] and I ran together in a relay, but I was not at her level at all last year,” Schudrowitz recalls. “Her winning [the 800 title] definitely made it seem like it was more possible and made me want it more. Having the same school win it two years in a row is awesome.”

Going all the way back to high school (where she never even participated in the 800 at the state meet), debilitating shin splints have limited the amount of running Schudrowitz can do. A recent focus on strength training, particularly to solidify her core, finally yielded results this year. Her ability to push through the pain of physical therapy and the tedious repetition of strength workouts paid off in a stronger mental approach to a race that’s all about pushing through pain barriers.

“My coach told me before I ran [in the national finals] that any race is winnable,” she says. “I was thinking, ‘I can win any race.’ I’m still only able to run three or four days a week, so a lot of this is mental for me after struggling with my shins for so long.”

Augustine, himself a 400 and 800 runner during his competitive career, believes his experience plays a role in the continued development of athletes in these events. He certainly was a believer in Colin McKean ’05, who brought home the 800 indoor national crown in 2004.

“I would attribute (my success) strictly to coaching,” McKean states. “Coach Augustine came here in my junior year and continued what Joe Dunham had started, and both of those coaches had been 800 runners. The work ethic they brought was different than what this team had before.

“Knowing we’re working that hard tells us we’re fit enough to compete. With that confidence, they began telling us, ‘You can compete with anyone in the country.’ You start to believe it, and when it starts to happen, it just takes off from there.”

Summer 2010 Magazine

Web extraLook here for web-only content that expands on topics presented in the current St. Norbert College Magazine (PDF).

Text ExtraThe education of a freshman president
Reflections by President Tom Kunkel in Trusteeship magazine.

VideoJohn M. Perkins speaks
The civil rights statesman interviewed on campus.

VideoPaul Tagliabue opens Sport and Society conference
The former NFL commissioner delivers his keynote address.

GalleryCommencement 2010
A gallery of images from “a ridiculously fine day” in May.

GalleryGwen Ifill’s Commencement address
The journalist and newscaster spoke to the Class of 2010.

VideoOn the road
Images and reflections from a sabbatical journey undertaken
by Brian Pirman (Art).

Text ExtraThe Yogurt Man Cometh
A chapter to enjoy from this travelogue in Turkey, recounted by author Kevin Revolinski ’90.

GalleryThe faculty in action
Professors as educators: teaching, advising, demonstrating, mentoring and working with students.

Story ideas? Your ideas for future magazine stories are most welcome. Write to the editor with any suggestions or comments.

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