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SFC’s Revere Schmidt builds on state title

Santa Fe Christian's Revere Schmidt is taking on bigger challenges this cross country season.
(K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Being a defending state champion in cross country doesn’t mean you’ll win every race the next season.

Santa Fe Christian’s Revere Schmidt ran away with the California Division V title last November, turning in her best performance, 18:19.1, over the 3.1-mile Woodward Park course in Fresno. She was 11 seconds faster than the second-place finisher — a virtual rout at state cross country.

So without knowing the differences in the divisions, one might wonder how Schmidt could finish 9th in the Rancho Bernardo Bronco Roundup to start the season. Or a distant 71st at Woodbridge, a night meet.

Is she struggling?

Hardly.

When you look at her times, that 71st (17:29.7) was a personal best for 3-miles. And at the Bronco, she and a teammate were the only Division V entries, meaning she lost to Division I, II, III and IV runners. No disgrace there.

“Losing isn’t a big deal, what matters are your times and how you got there,” said Schmidt, who just turned 18. “If you put in the work, you put everything into it, you did all you could, it doesn’t matter where you place.

“Running against some of the section’s fastest runners at Bronco was a great experience. And I’d never run at Woodbridge before. Running on a Friday night was fun, a good experience.

“Everybody has a bad day and when you do improve, you realize hard work can lead to a perfect performance.”

That’s what happened for Schmidt a year ago in the state meet.

“We read all the stories about who was favored,” said Schmidt, referring to her and her mother/coach Karen Schmidt. “I’m very competitive but they couldn’t stalk me a year ago. I always race how I feel, I don’t worry about the others, and I felt really good at the mile. I recognized some of the runners around me and decided to just go.”

She bolted into the lead and never again was threatened.

“It was scary to take the lead,” she said. “I wasn’t expected to be first, second or third, and I didn’t know the course as well as some of the others.

“The week before when I ran on the Balboa Park course, I’d heard about the Upas Street hill, and while I usually like to run hard downhill, this time I was afraid I’d get going too fast and fall on my face.”

Of course, she didn’t, easily winning the section title to give her rivals a inkling of what was to come.

As for hills, she’ll get her chance to prove herself against most of the state’s best Divisions IV and V runners when she competes Friday afternoon in the Mt. SAC Invitational where those two divisions are combined in the individual sweepstakes.

“Mt. SAC has a lot of hills but they’re more like mountains,” said Schmidt, a four-sport athlete who probably will continue to swim four to five days a week right through the league cross country meet like she did a year ago.

Recently she experimented with a couple sprint triathlons, adding in the bike.

In the winter she plays on the Eagles’ girls water polo team. In the spring she runs track and competes on the swim team.

A year ago, that led her to swim in the morning at the San Diego Section Division II prelims before jumping in the car and changing on the run before stepping to the line for the Division II track prelims.

But her focus, as it was a year ago, is the cross country state championships in late November. She knows things won’t be the same.

“It’s still competitive but every year is different,” she said after recently winning the Coach Downey Invitational at Morley Field. “The thing is, some super freshman could come out of the blue and win state. I’ll be prepared and running at Mt. SAC this weekend will tell me a lot.”

Brand is freelance writer


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