Fast track: Kendra Schumacher named first track & field all American in Wisconsin Lutheran College history
Wisconsin Lutheran College senior Kendra Schumacher is used to juggling a lot of responsibilities at once.
"It's a bit chaotic for sure," said Schumacher.
She arrived at Wisconsin Lutheran College to play soccer, then decided to also run on the track team as a freshman all while taking pre-med courses.
"My Dad my whole life has been a busy body so I definitely learned from him that I function best when I always have something to do," said Schumacher.
Schumacher graduated last May and while taking online courses now just runs track for the warriors. But this year, she works full time as a medical assistant at a pulmonary clinic.
"I wake up, usually out the door at 7:30, not home until 7pm," Schumacher said with a little laugh.
In the clinic by day and on the track by night.
"But I wouldn't change anything. I'm getting a lot of opportunities right now. I get a lot of patient contact at work all day. I get my little social hour is what I call practice now because I get to see all my teammates which is really fun," said Schumacher.
Next, she'll be going to Alverno College to continue her studies with the goal of becoming a nurse practitioner.
"I definitely am someone, I love helping people," said Schumacher. "I worked as a medical scribe for two and a half years and with that I was so fortunate to work with doctors and physician assistants and nurse practitioners. I got to learn it all through them. So that was very exciting. It definitely reassured me for the career I was looking for."
Schumacher's path to this point has touched a few lanes. The Little Chute, Wisconsin native set high school records on the soccer field, now she is an All-American sprinter in college.
"People who knew me in the past are all very confused, like 'you're running track now?'," said Schumacher.
Kendra's track coach Eric Kramer took over the Wisconsin Lutheran track program in 2019 and has worked with her ever since.
"I would say that every athlete that comes ready to compete in track there's going to be a place for them but to the level that she has risen to I can honestly say that I did not expect that," said Kramer, the head track and field coach at Wisconsin Lutheran.
Schumacher exclusively switched from the sport she grew up playing to track last year because COVID-19 altered the soccer schedule moving the 2020 season to the spring of 2021, the same time as track.
"I learned to love track and I was never gonna give it up at that point," laughed Schumacher.
Kendra battled a rolled ankle to became the school's first track and field All-American with a fourth-place finish in the 200 at the indoor nationals in February finishing in 24.96 seconds.
"Seeing my time was third or fourth fastest of the season, I knew I had more in me. But with that being said, the weekend is hard and you're racing multiple times, I had three races and a rolled ankle on top of it all," said Schumacher. "I think in the moment at first I was frustrated but a couple hours later, I was like 'oh my goodness! I'm an all American, that's crazy!'".
Schumacher now owns six indoor track records and four outdoor records in the 55, 60, 100, 200, 400-meter dashes and four relay teams. The outdoor part of the season will be her final turn around the track with an eye on the Outdoor Championships in Ohio from May 26-28.
"The idea was she potentially get All-American in the 100 and 200, now we're talking about potentially pushing for a national championship. Which would be amazing," said Kramer.
"Yeah, he definitely has higher expectations for me then I always do," said Schumacher with a big smile on Coach Kramer mentioning of a national championship. "I always talk him down, 'okay, one step at a time, we got to get there'. but we'll see if the cards play out right I definitely think it's in the realm of possibilities"
"Coming into track, my goal was just to make friends and get to learn this sport and make the connections with people and push myself in a different way. And I think I've achieved all of those goals already. Going into this season, there's definitely numbers in my head that I want to achieve" continued Schumacher. "But we'll see. Hopefully we'll get another American hopefully outside and we'll see from there."