Running to recovery


Used with permission from Isabel Schemmel

SENIOR Isabel Schemmel returns to cross country, coming in first at the Firebird Invitational. “It felt really good to come back this season, be varsity and continue improving a lot,” Schemmel said.

Nazret Degaulle, Managing Editor of Student Life

SENIOR Isabel Schemmel recently received first place in her first cross country meet back from an injury. Schemmel has been doing cross country and track for five years, including one year of being injured.

Schemmel got injured in July 2022 with a stress fracture and a stress reaction in her foot.

“It was basically from running too much over the summer,” Schemmel said. “I really wanted to have a good season, so I probably ran a little too much.”

Schemmel couldn’t run for nearly two months, but she still regularly attended practices to cheer on her teammates and help out when needed.

“I would also lift weights with the team and try to cross-train when I could, but mostly, it was pretty hard because I was just watching other people run when I couldn’t,” Schemmel said.

Since Schemmel could not run, she looked to biking to stay in shape for her return.

“Instead of going to practice some days, I would go to the gym and bike. [My coaches] wanted me to improve, stay in shape and be a part of the team,” Schemmel said.

While Schemmel still attended practices, most team bonding happened while the team was out on their runs.

“There were a bunch of new kids this year and I didn’t get to meet them at the beginning of the season,” Schemmel said.

Not knowing the newer, often younger, kids was difficult for Schemmel at first. However, since her return, Schemmel says they are all now really close.

A part of the reason Schemmel grew closer with her teammates was because her coaches made her a team captain for the 2022 cross country season. Schemmel expressed being glad that being injured did not stop her coaches from making her a team captain.

“While I wasn’t a big part of the team at the beginning, [my coaches] still made me captain because they knew once I was back and could run, I would be part of the team,” Schemmel said.

Today, Schemmel is back to day-to-day practices and meets.

She planned to run at the Milford Invitational on Sept. 17, but on the day of the race, she did not feel well enough.

“I was really scared about it,” Schemmel said. “I had no idea how it was going to go or if my foot was going to hurt.”

Nevertheless, Schemmel persisted. Her first race back was on Sept. 24 at the Firebird Invitational. Even though Schemmel was apprehensive, she ended up placing first in the girl’s junior varsity race, coming in over a minute before second place.

Schemmel’s goal was to run between a 20 and a 24—a big range because she did not know what to expect. Her time was 21:09.

“It felt great to be able to race again,” Schemmel said.

The response from her coaches and teammates were all very encouraging.

“My teammates were super supportive,” Schemmel said. “They were all cheering me on the whole time and then afterwards, they were all really happy for me and happy that I could be back on varsity. My coaches were really happy because it was clear that I would still be able to be a big part of the team and score some points.”

Eva Heikenfeld, ‘26, is one of Schemmel’s teammates that was cheering her on.

“I couldn’t be happier for her,” Heikenfeld said. “She’s easily one of the hardest working, sweetest and smartest people on the team. We wouldn’t be the same without her.”

Schemmel has since been running varsity, nearly making the top ten at her first varsity race back, Centerville Saturday Night Lights.

“I have a really great supportive team and I plan on improving a lot this season. I’m excited to run in the next couple of races,” Schemmel said.