Northwest Christian Track Team Overcomes Adversity During State Championships

northwest christian track


Compiled by Dr. Karl Hoffman for Northwest Christian High School

northwest christian trackThe Northwest Christian High School boys and girls track team got much more than points and places in this year’s State Championships. Despite much adversity, the team responded ultimately responded positively.  In a meet where three of our athletes were tripped and fell on the track, they persevered with encouragement and with positive attitudes and continued to compete with everything they had. Through all of this, the girls team deserves congratulations for their 3rd place finish in State while the boys team had a great improvement over the previous year moving up to an 8th place finish.

Following Abby McSheffrey’s painful fall which resulted in some injuries, she not only got up and finished the race, but came back and ran her 800m preliminary race in a lot of pain later that day. She competed in the 300m hurdles finals the next day.  Throughout her pain, her teammates encouraged her and looked past the points lost as a result of the fall in the relay.  Everyone tried to pick it up elsewhere in the meet.

“Unfortunately, when I fell, we were in second place,” shares Abby in relation to her fall during the anchor leg of the 4 x 200 m relay.  “In the prelim heats, the top three teams in each heat and the next two fastest advance to finals. We were pretty much assured a place into finals at that point.”

northwest christian track“After I finished the race in 7th place, I was in shock of what just happened,” she continues.  “I looked up and saw Megan VanMarter and Megan, my little sister, crying and waiting to help me off the track.   As I was getting cleaned up, I couldn’t understand why all of this had happened. Our relay team had finally had perfect legs and perfect handoffs. The relay girls and I were sitting together waiting for the results.  We were crying and praying together.”

Luke Bredeson was tripped in the 1600m at about the 200m mark, went to the track, got up and did his best to get back into the race. The outcome was not at all what he desired, but he came back the next day with a big PR in the 800m prelims (where yet another fall occurred in front of him, causing him to hurdle another competitor) to make the finals.  Luke then ran a very strong anchor leg on the 4 x 400m relay to post a big PR and get the team into the finals.

Luke Schilter was tripped in the 800m with about 350m to go, rolled, got back up, caught back up to the pack and finished 3rd in the State with the second best time he had ever run.

First time State participant Zeke Taylor was nearly tripped in the 800m and came nearly to a stop to avoid it and still ran very close to his PR.

northwest christian trackCongratulations to the State medal winners:

  • Elizabeth Stottlemyre: 3rd in the Javelin, 7th in the 4 x 400m relay.
  • Lee Thibodeau: 8th in the Triple Jump, 8th in the 4 x 400m Relay.
  • Luke Schilter: 2nd in the 1600m, 2nd in the 3200m, 3rd in the 800m, 8th in the 4 x 400m Relay.
  • Cathy Can: 7th in the 4 x 400m Relay.
  • Connor Beck: 6th in the 800m, 8th in the 4 x 400m Relay.
  • Luke Bredeson: 8th in the 800m, 8th in the 4 x 400m Relay.
  • Corban Phillips: 6th in the 3200m.
  • Megan VanMarter: Tied for 3rd in the High Jump, 7th in the 4 x 400m Relay.
  • Anna Brooks: 5th in the 3200m, 7th in the 1600m, 8th in the 800m.
  • Kiersten Kimminau: 4th in the 3200m, 6th in the 1600m.
  • Ellie Summers: 8th in the 3200m.
  • Heidi Sowers: 2nd in the 300m Hurdles, 2nd in the 100m Hurdles, 6th in the 200m.
  • Abby McSheffrey: 8th in the 300m Hurdles (following the injury in the first race on Saturday morning).
  • Megan McSheffrey: 4th in the 300m Hurdles, 7th in the 4 x 400m relay.
  • Colton Buster finished 10th in the State in the 3200m.
  • Brandon Stickney finished 13th in the State in the 3200m.
  • Levi Schilter finished 14th in State in the 3200m.

northwest christian trackCoach Michael also wants to recognize Austin Teigen who was an alternate on the 4 x 400m Relay but did not run. However, had he not been part of the 6 person relay team (including alternates) and had he not run exceptionally well in the qualifying meets where he stepped in for Luke Schilter, the relay team would not have been in the State meet at all.  The team barely got through the League championships in a very tight finish.

It takes a lot of effort by a lot of people to build and maintain such a quality athletic program as we enjoy at NCHS Track & Field. Thanks goes out to Tad, Larry, Lou and Emilie for their selfless giving of their time, expertise and wisdom. Thanks to the parents for taking care of so many logistics that allows us to focus on the coaching knowing that the athletes have the proper nutrition and shelter at their disposal. Thanks to Doug Stickney for all of the trips driving the bus to the meets. And thanks to the athletes on the team who were not in the meet but made the trip to State to cheer on their teammates and to the NCHS Track & Field alumni who attended the meet to cheer them on – that encouragement is so important.

“It is truly a pleasure to coach such a wonderful group of young adults and to watch them grow and develop physically, mentally and spiritually. They are an inspiration to me as a coach,” says Coach Michaels.

“Our graduating seniors Abby McSheffrey, Anna Brooks, Levi Schilter, Connor Beck, Brandon Stickney and Megan VanMarter will be greatly missed at NCHS but will be a blessing to where ever their next journey takes them,” summarizes Coach Michaels.

“I would go through all of the disappointment and the pain again if it meant bringing glory to the one who gave me my ability,” adds Abby.

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