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Four sets of siblings took a spot on the podium at the Midwest Conference for track and field: (back, left to right) Max Schermacher ’20, Kristina Herman ’19, Graceanne Tarsa ’19, (front, left to right) Jaxsen Schermacher ’22, Eric Herman ’21, Joyana Tarsa ’22, Peyton Janto ’22 and Abby Janto ’20.

Medal-some Siblings Own the Podium

Track and field fans were seeing double by the end of the conference meet Feb. 22-23. Among the Green Knight victors, all four sets of siblings on the team claimed spots on the podium.

Fifty-two St. Norbert student-athletes placed in the top eight at the Midwest Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at Monmouth College. Of those 52 athletes, 33 of them placed in the top three, earning medals and podium time. For eight of those athletes, it was a family affair: Four sets of siblings stood on the podium together.

● Big brother Max Schermacher ’20 – First in pole vault
● Little brother Jaxsen Schermacher ’22 – Second in pole vault

● Big sister Kristina Herman ’19 – Second in shot put
● Little brother Eric Herman ’21 – Third in shot put

● Big sister Graceanne Tarsa ’19 – First in 800-meter run, first in mile run, third in pole vault
● Little sister Joyana Tarsa ’22 – Third in 800-meter run, third in mile run

● Big sister Abby Janto ’20 – Second in 5K run
● Little brother Peyton Janto ’22 – Second in men’s sprint medley relay

Sibling rivalry
Although he’s in his first year competing at the collegiate-level, Jaxsen Schermacher is not unfamiliar with track and field. He began sprints and high jump in middle school and would eventually take up pole vaulting in high school, inspired by his older brother, Max, who has had two additional years of experience in track and field.

Now, the two brothers pole vault side-by-side at St. Norbert College, challenging each other to surpass their limits while offering unconditional support.

There’s no two more competitive people than brothers, so we pushed each other to do our best always,” explains Jaxsen. “Max was the best coach I’ve ever had. … I would not be anywhere close to where I am, as far as my skill in the sport, without him.”

The Tarsa siblings, too, credit one another for their recent successes in the Midwest Conference.

Both began running cross-country during middle school, following in the footsteps of their older siblings to join track and field in high school and college.

“I had not initially considered St. Norbert because I had wanted to go somewhere my siblings hadn’t gone,” says Joyana. “And now, I love to be on the same team with her. I have absolutely no regrets. … It’s been really nice to have Graceanne ahead of me – every single thing we do, just to push me and have someone to guide me."

Graceanne adds: “And it’s just really nice to celebrate together, too, especially at the conference when we finished. I was excited about my race and I didn’t know how Joyana did, and as soon as I figured out how Joyana did I was so much more excited. It was cool to be excited for her and excited with her.”

March 8, 2019