Keeping out of the line of vision of a meticulous coach like Cary-Grove’s Mark Anderson is no easy task.
Anderson prides himself in knowing what he has coming, whether it involves girls cross country in the fall or girls track and field in the spring. He doesn’t miss much.
He missed Morgan Schulz.
The unassuming sophomore played soccer last year, so she wasn’t running for the Trojans.
Sometime over the winter, a friend urged her to consider track because it was fun and C-G has won four consecutive McHenry County and Fox Valley Conference championships.
“I had no idea who she was,” Anderson said. “I’d never heard of her.”
All Schulz has done is step right into the role Sarah Ryan filled so remarkably for the past four years, C-G’s hammer in the 100 and 200 meters, and thrived.
C-G will look for its group of new sprinters, led by Schulz, to make integral contributions as it chases a fifth consecutive team title at the McHenry County Track and Field Meet today and Friday.
All county boys and girls teams will compete in the meet, which is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. today at Crystal Lake Central’s Owen Metcalf Field with field events and running preliminaries. The running finals will be held at C-G’s Al Bohrer Field on Friday.
“It’s always fun to try something new,” Schulz said. “My friend told me track’s really fun and the coaches are great.”
Schulz said she was used to tough running from soccer.
“It actually translates really well,” she said. “In soccer, you run the whole time. The running is similar, but in track you’re competing against people individually.”
C-G’s Annie McGarrigle, Jenni Maki, Kathie Wollney and Ryan rewrote almost every 4x200 relay record there was last season. Now, Anderson has reloaded with sprinters like Nicole Robins, Lauren Schoepke, Allie Renner and Maggie Cherveny, although Schulz leads the way. She has an 11.9 100 and a school-record 25.0 200 to her credit so far.
“The last time I ran was in seventh grade,” Schulz said. “I think I won all my races.”
Anderson was not alone in not knowing the speed Schulz has.
“I don’t think anyone really knew,” junior Faith Furio said. “When we started the indoor season, we saw her and thought, ‘She’s faster than we thought.’ None of us really knew. She’s a super-sweet girl and she’s so humble about it all. I wasn’t sure anyone was going to break Sarah Ryan’s records.”
Ryan graduated as one of the area’s most decorated sprinters. She tied the county meet 100 record last season and anchored the 4x200. She qualified for the Class 3A Girls Track and Field State Meet in the 100, 200, 4x100 and 4x200.
“We’ve been very happy with the way we’ve been able to restock after the talent that graduated and still be a competitive team,” Anderson said.