He was a neutron at the start of the season, but later turned into an atomic bomb when it all ended
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There have been teams in IHSA annals that have had outstanding 1-2 combinations. But what made St. Charles East senior Luke Schildmeyer so special is that he wanted to be the best he could be as a cross country runner. Why? Around the team, he is known for his track exploits and nickname "Speedmeyer." In 2019, Schildmeyer ran a strong leg on his team's state runner-up 4x800m relay. Like most middle-distance minded runners, he relishes the oval races over "hill and dale."
Schildmeyer earned his first all-state honor last year by taking the final medal in 25th place. In that affair, he ran a personal best 14:47 which more than likely sparked something for the future.
As with teammate Micah Wilson, Schildmeyer faced all of the challenges that the pandemic presented. However, he was able to train and provide leadership among the Saints corps as his coach stated.
When the season got underway, Schildmeyer chipped his way up the individual charts, placing second to teammate Wilson in the first three races and then a fourth at the Naperville Twilight Invitational.
There was a strong feeling that Schildmeyer was improving at such a rapid rate that he was ready to pop a career race. Presto! At the Dukane Championships, he won his first conference title and produced a then state #1 time in 14:33.
The newfound confidence put Schildmeyer in the championship flight seat for the Lyons Sectional (he won but placed 2nd aggregate) and the Shazam Championships we see something very serious.
Schildmeyer stated that training with a great group of guys made him the distance runner he came to be. In the championship flight, a tactical opening first mile played right into his hands. Confidence was on his side as several runners stayed near him as well as Wilson's earlier 15:35 5k. The leg speed took over late in the final mile and Schildmeyer sped home for his first open "state" title. He indeed earned the aggregate crown and produced the best mark among all three classes as well, busting the finish line in 15:33.
Teamwork, selflessness, leadership, and just plain being a great runner led Schildmeyer to earn co-runner of the year.