Signed to run for Princeton next season, Lindsey Schmidt has a bright future and a college career in front of her. But the Bishop Kelly senior has only one thought on her mind the next two weeks: redemption.
Schmidt entered last year’s state track meet as the district champion in four events and with the 4A-leading marks in the high jump and 100- and 300-meter hurdles. But after spraining her left ankle at the district meet, she landed awkwardly on her first triple jump at the state meet, breaking through the tape and fracturing the ankle in her first event.
She gutted through the rest of the state meet, earning the nickname “Skippy” as she hopped between events. She emerged as the 100-hurdle state champ and finished second in the 300 hurdles, fourth in the high jump and fifth in the triple jump.
But a single state title was not what she had in mind.
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“This year has just been an entire year of redemption for me,” Schmidt said. “Every time I’m at a meet, I’m like, ‘I have so much to prove to all these people, but much more to myself.’ I was out last year, and I couldn’t do it. But I know I can do it.
“This is my last chance to show everyone that I deserve the title, and I’ve worked my butt off to get (here) and I can go do it.”
Schmidt’s season of redemption continues Friday and Saturday at Ridgevue High in Nampa for the 4A District Three Meet, where she’s the defending champ in high jump, triple jump, and 100 and 300 hurdles. The state meet will follow May 19-20 at Dona Larsen Park.
Now that Schmidt is healthy, Bishop Kelly coach Jeff Carpenter said the most difficult task ahead is choosing the four events in which to enter Schmidt. She has added the long jump this season.
“She could win everything she’s entered in. She’s that type of competitor,” Carpenter said. “There are a lot of great competitors around the state. But Lindsey is a really great athlete, and I’m just anxious to watch her over the next few weeks.”
She probably should not have competed last year at the state meet, but there was no telling her no. She’s very stubborn, and that’s why she’s a great athlete.
Jeff Carpenter, Bishop Kelly track coach
That versatility is also what attracted college programs. Schmidt finished second in the high jump in the 17-to-18-year-old division last summer at the USA Track & Field Junior Outdoor Championships. But Princeton recruited her as a heptathlete, which includes the 100, 200 and 800 meters, high and long jumps, and the shot put and javelin.
Bishop Kelly assistant coach Cindy Greiner, a U.S. heptathlete in the 1984, ’88 and ’92 Olympics, said Schmidt has the athleticism, technical skills, intelligence and drive to excel at the college level.
“One of the coaches asked, ‘Can she score 5,500 points in college?’ Yeah,” Greiner said. “By the time she’s a senior, I think she could score 5,500 points, which is a good, solid qualifying (score) for the NCAAs, placing in the NCAAs. I totally think she could do that.”
But Schmidt’s focus remains on the district and state meets. She enters the week with the 4A’s top marks in the 100 hurdles and high jump, plus the second-best marks in the long and triple jumps.
A strong two weeks could result in a state championship haul. Her 5-foot, 8.25-inch high jump two weeks ago would set a 4A record if it came at the state meet. And Greiner thinks Schmidt still has a 5-10 high jump in her.
“I’m more excited than anything, more excited than nervous, because I just want to go back and prove this to myself,” Schmidt said. “I have so many school records I want to beat and PRs, personally, I want to beat.
“I’m just so excited to have the opportunity to do it. I am a little nervous that things could go wrong. But I’ve just trained so hard through it all, and I really want to redeem myself from last year.”
District track meets
- 5A: Thursday-Friday at Mountain View
- 4A: Friday-Saturday at Ridgevue
- 3A: Wednesday-Thursday at Fruitland
- 2A: Friday-Saturday at New Plymouth
- 1A: Friday-Saturday at New Plymouth