The sky is the only limit for this year's most improved cross country runner
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Cross country runners often have the reputation of being nerdy... but when you score a perfect 36 on the ACT (American College Test) being "nerdy" is a great thing. Junior Michael Schumacher of St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights scored the feat prior to the start of the 2020 fall calendar. It was done during the quarantine which makes it even more impressive...
Schumacher certainly took advantage of quarantine in terms of training and just getting better as a runner. At the 2019 IHSA State Championship, he placed 136th with a time of 16:37. Though it is a great accomplishment to compete in the state meet, Schumacher wanted more.
The 2020 season certainly had its pitfalls for a multitude of reasons but Schumacher would not be deterred. He won three meets including his first post-season race which was the Chicago Mather Regional in a personal best 15:29 for three miles.
At the Shazam Championships, Schumacher would use the opportunity to run the race of his life. He hung on for dear life through a fast opening mile under 5:00 was a good setup for the remainder of the race. At 2m, Schumacher was in third place and he would use tremendous brainpower over the final mile's tough terrain to take the 5k bronze medal in 16:09.
Schumacher's performance, in a nutshell, was not only a surprise but an inspiration to athletes who can persevere and overcome obstacles.