Athlete of the Week: Rebecca Schulte

photo+courtesy+of+Anna+Schaeffer
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Athlete of the Week: Rebecca Schulte

photo courtesy of Anna Schaeffer

photo courtesy of Anna Schaeffer

photo courtesy of Anna Schaeffer

photo courtesy of Anna Schaeffer

Holden Foreman, sports writer

When the girls’ cross country team began this season, there were some new faces among the crowd, but head coach Gina Woodard said one stood above the rest in her discipline and consistency. Rebecca Schulte, a sophomore German exchange student, is the team’s only state qualifier this year.

“She is one of the most personable, gracious, humble people that you would ever meet, and top of that she is an amazing runner,” Woodard said.

Schulte is by nature a soccer player, and she said upon enrolling at KHS she had no experience with cross country. Since the first meet of the season, however, Schulte has never lost to another KHS runner in a race.

“The first 5K I ever ran was tough because I wasn’t used to it, and I got lost,” Schulte said. “Then, after the race I passed out, so it wasn’t the best.”

Despite the rough transitional period, Schulte kept training and improved throughout the course of the season. Woodard had nothing but praise for her humility and ability as well as her relationship with her teammates.

“It’s like she’s been a part of this since day one,” Woodard said.  “She’s a great teammate, and she makes the people around her better.”

Now, Schulte is about to run her last meet on the KHS cross country team, but it’s the state meet, and Schulte placed eighth in what many runners call the fastest sectional race in Missouri.

“I’m really excited because it’s great to be in the same race as Hannah Long, and people like that who are so fast,” Schulte said.

Schulte said she is happy about her individual success this season, but there is a lot more to the cross country team for her. She said the other runners helped her get used to life at KHS.

“The people on the cross country team are very very nice, and they came and talked to me as friends,” Schulte said.

Tomorrow in Jefferson City Schulte will solidify her place as one of KHS’s state competitors, but for her and her teammates the journey has been much more. Cross country has given her one more way to leave her mark and experience new things in America in addition to forming relationships she will never forget.

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