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Track Notebook - Schuler's sights high in search of milestone

April 25, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

If Kylee Schuler achieves her goals, she'll likely have her name atop more than just the current Herald-Mail leaderboard.

The Chambersburg junior, the local leader in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs this season, could become the area's groundbreaker in the latter two events.

According to our records, no Tri-State girl has ever broken 5 minutes for the 1,600 or 11 minutes for the 3,200.

Schuler ran a personal-best 5:08.85 to win the 1,600 at the Shippensburg Invitational last weekend. In her only 3,200 race of the year, she walked away with the win in 11:19.4 - 12.1 seconds shy of her school record set last season.

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"At the Ship Invite, Kylee ran a beautiful 1,600," said Chambersburg coach Chris Monheim. "Kate Papenberg from Red Lion, who's a definite stud, got a couple steps on her with 200 meters to go, and Kylee came back and passed her in the last 15 meters. It was impressive. She dropped 6 seconds off her PR, and it appears to me it can drop quite a bit further.

"The race was more of a tactical race than just a go-out-and-run-a-fast-time type of thing. I think there's more in the tank."

A full tank is Schuler's trademark weapon for what she and Monheim said is her best event - the 3,200. The longer the better, they said.

"If they had a 5K in high school," Monheim said, "she'd be unreal."

"I'm a lot stronger when I go longer distances," said Schuler, last fall's Mid-Penn cross country champ. "I'm not saying I can't break 5 minutes, but I think I have a better chance at breaking 11.

"I'd like to run 10:50s or even 10:40s, but right now I'm not sure. My major goal is to run well at states. I'd like to get a state medal in the 3,200."

Whether she breaks the 5-minute barrier or not this season, Schuler doesn't plan to run the 1,600 at states. She wants to save all of her focus and energy for the eight-lapper, which she prepares for by doing shorter races in the regular season.

"I do the shorter things for speedwork," she said. "I haven't even run the 3,200 in any invitationals yet."

Schuler said another big key to her training this season is that, for the first time, she's doing workouts with the boys team.

"She does the bulk of her running with the guys, and I think that's helped her out a lot," said Monheim. "She's able to run with some of our better male runners, and that gives her something to work at each day."

Schuler certainly isn't opposed to working.

"The thing about Kylee is that she takes everything seriously," said Monheim. "She's religious about stretching, strengthening and dieting. She makes the total effort to be in the best condition, and that's what separates her from the rest of the girls in her events.

"Obviously, she has a lot of talent, but I don't think anyone works as hard. ... And she's got another year left. That's the incredible part."

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