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Father's Day - The Schulers

June 20, 2004|By ANDREW MASON

From cross country and track to the road-racing circuit, Tim Schuler's life has been a highlight reel of competitive running.

Schuler, 41, of Chambersburg, Pa., said two victories stand out from the countless others - the Vermont City Marathon title in 1997 and the PIAA District 3 cross-country crown in 2000.

The first, Schuler ran a personal-best and national-class time of 2 hours, 18 minutes to win. The second, his daughter, Kylee, captured with a dramatic come-from-behind kick during her ninth-grade season with the Chambersburg Trojans.

If Dad were to rank the two performances, they probably would be listed in the opposite order every time.

"That's pretty exciting when your kid, who's just a freshman, wins the district title," Tim said. "I couldn't believe that. It was just incredible."

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Kylee has yet to look back. Last year, she set the all-time Tri-State track record for 3,200 meters (10:44.71). This fall, she's heading to the University of Richmond on a full athletic scholarship.

Running is what Kylee, who ran her first 5K in fifth grade, practically was raised to do.

"Since my dad ran and most of his friends were runners, that's what I knew," Kylee said. "Everyone ran. That's what I grew up with."

"If I'd run a race, she'd come along and do the fun run or kids' run," Tim said. "That's how she started."

Recently, Tim, who still is one of the area's premier runners, has been the one tagging along for the ride. He said he missed only two of his daughter's high school meets.

"I put plenty of miles on my car," he said.

However, Tim said he has tried very hard not to be the overbearing dad on the sidelines.

"My dad doesn't put any pressure on me at all. He just wants me to have fun," Kylee said. "Running definitely has been my choice."

But if she needs some advice, she knows where to find it. Whether or not she wants to hear it is another thing.

"He's offered me a lot of advice, but sometimes I'm stubborn and don't take it because he's my dad," Kylee said. "But I know he has a lot of experience and knows what he's talking about, even though sometimes it makes me mad."

"She'll come to me and ask me things," Tim said, "and then she'll write me cards on Christmas or Father's Day telling me that she appreciated it.

"But she never really tells me that face-to-face because, you know, I'm her dad," he said, laughing.

Tim's wife and Kylee's mom, Stacey, began running a few years ago. Their other daughter, Kameron, 6, likely is next.

"If my dad keeps running, I'm sure my sister will grow up to do it, too," Kylee said. "I can see my dad still running when he's 80, as long as he's not crippled."

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