Illinois cross-coutry’s Schmidt leaves with more than track success

By Alex Wallner

Illinois women’s cross-country senior Chloe Schmidt is someone who handles her business on the course and off of it as well.

The civil engineering major came to Illinois from State College, Pennsylvania, and will leave with her degree and a solid cross-country and track career.

At Illinois, Schmidt has been seen as a leader and someone who is willing to help her team and teammates become better along with being successful on the track.

“Chloe has always been a teammate you can count on to work hard,” junior Alyssa Schneider said. “She leads by example with her work ethic.”

Schneider added that Schmidt is the type of teammate who does not dwell on disappointments and continually works hard, which has helped her grow individually as well.

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That leadership and the ability to help others will be missed, according to head coach Scott Jones, but where she will be really missed at is on the track.

“Chloe’s forte is more on the track, in the middle distance events,” Jones said. “That’s where her absence will be felt more strongly.”

Schmidt was a regular in Jones’ lineup during the cross-country season, but this did not compare to her performances on the track.

Schmidt placed sixth overall at the 2014 Indoor Big Ten Championships, competing in the 800-meter and was a member of the medley relay team that finished third, which was the fifth-fastest time in Illinois history.

Schmidt’s success on the track is something that her family is used to seeing. Her mother was a standout at Illinois State.

“Running has always been a part of my life,” Schmidt said. “My mom ran in college, and my dad runs recreationally now, so it’s always been in the family.”

At Eastern Illinois’s Lantz Fieldhouse, there is a name that may not seem recognizable: Sara Schumacher of Illinois State, Chloe’s mother.

Schumacher holds the record time for the mile at Lantz Fieldhouse in 1983 with a time of 4 minutes, 45 seconds. 

Beyond the running, Schmidt is leaving the program with Jones’ main goal in mind. The goal is to have not only strong runners, but strong students, something he will miss the most from Schmidt.

“What our goal is as a program is to have people come in and learn what it takes to be successful, in college, as a student and as an athlete,” Jones said. “She won’t be contributing directly to our team’s success, but I think there is still that legacy that she’ll be contributing to things even after she graduates.”

Alex can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter