Athlete Profile: Kaylee Schmitz setting records, winning championships for Bobcat track

Kaylee Schmitz has made a name for herself in the Bobcat community with an amazing season on the indoor track. Schmitz, a three-sport athlete in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field, is a junior studying land rehabilitation. Although she competes in the 1500 meter and the mile, she proved that the 800 meter is her race. In the 2016 indoor season, Schmitz finished with a championship win at the conference meet, and set a new school record.

“It was pretty cool [breaking the record]; I had been after it for a while. I had gotten really close two years ago and so it’s been something I’ve been wanting to do before I leave MSU. The weekend before I finally broke it, once again I was super close to it, so I knew that that next meet was my last chance,” Schmitz said. If it wasn’t enough to have her name in the record books, she finished her indoor season as a Big Sky Conference Champion winning the 800m with a time of 2:13.96.

For Schmitz, track is not just about breaking records and winning races, it’s also about creating the long-lasting relationships with her teammates. “There’s been so many awesome teammates and their personalities make it really fun to come out here every single day: there’s perky personalities and lots of outdoor personalities. My roommate is also on the team and we really like throwing pasta parties and having the team over to play games and fueling up for competition. They’re just fun to hang out with,” Schmitz said.

When Schmitz isn’t out on the track competing or spending time with her teammates, she’s either hiking, working in a lab on campus or volunteering with her church (when she’s not in classes of course). At church, she helps with a bible study for kids just like her: athletes who have hectic schedules but want to find time to worship. The lab she works for gives many opportunities for her to be outdoors hiking, camping and doing field work, some of her favorite things.

With a great finish to the indoor season, Schmitz set lofty goals for the outdoor season. “I want to keep improving in the 800. I think there’s a lot more opportunities in the outdoor season because we go to bigger meets with good competition to push yourself. Also I just want to get stronger at doubling in different events because that would help out our team when it comes to conference,” Schmitz said.

Kaylee Schmitz (right) runs the 800 meter at the Bobcat Invite in 2015. Photo by Chris Sandison
Kaylee Schmitz (right) runs the 800 meter at the Bobcat Invite in 2015. Photo by Chris Sandison

She is well on her way to adding a record setting, championship winning outdoor season to her amazing year of accomplishments. “She is really dedicated, focused and she really cares about her running. She can overthink things, but she has become a great competitor — she’s always been a great competitor,” Bobcat distance coach Lyle Weese said. With a team full of supporters, Schmitz will have no problem setting new standards for Bobcat track.