Rachel Schow’s season ended roughly the same way it started: her left ankle taped, throbbing in pain and leaving the Rosemount junior unsure of the next time she will be able to run.
The state meet experience, like the 2014 track season, didn’t go exactly as Schow anticipated.
After winning both the 100- and 300-meter hurdle state titles as a sophomore in 2013, Schow battled injury, illness and stiff competition this spring. She showed glimpses of the form that made her one of the state’s top female hurdlers, claiming the South Suburban Conference 300-meter title and winning both hurdle races at sections.
The ankle she sprained in gymnastics this winter kept her out of the first few weeks of the season and hampered her when she competed. She reinjured it in her final race at the state track and field meet June 7 at Hamline University in St. Paul.
After finishing second in the 100 hurdles earlier in the day, Schow limped to a seventh-place finish in the 300.
“It was a tough season for her; it’s tough being a defending state champion and having a lot of pressure,” Rosemount hurdles coach Parc Williams said. “But, to work through some of that adversity, it’s a great chance for her to grow, and I’m proud of what she’s accomplished this year.
“She’s a great kid and a great competitor, and she should be proud of what she was able to do this year.”
“Well-rounded” was another way Williams described Schow, something the junior three-sport athlete takes pride in.
Schow runs cross-country in the fall and is a captain on the Rosemount gymnastics team. She helped the Irish gymnasts to a fourth-place finish at state this winter.
Schow is also a member of the color guard.
“All three sports kind of have the same mentality,” she said. “I’m really competitive, and I just really like working hard and continuing to improve.”
Even though her track season got off to a late start, Schow had a number of impressive performances. She won the 300-meter hurdles against the state’s at the Hamline Elite meet, and ran well at sections and in her conference meets.
The South Suburban has arguably the top three female hurdlers in the state — Schow, Shaina Burns of Lakeville South and Michaela Peachuck of Lakeville North.
“I like the competition,” Schow said. “It really just pushes you every time.”
With the weight of being a defending state champion in both events — “definitely a different type of pressures,” she said — pushing “to improve” was the sole goal for Schow this season.
Williams said he understood Schow’s disappointment with not being able to repeat her titles. But considering the intense rain that fell throughout the Class 2A state meet and the level of competition, Schow did extremely well, he said.
For her part, Schow wasn’t overly disappointed — but certainly not satisfied.
“I wanted to do better, but you can only be so mad about stuff and get over it,” she said. “It’s just another reason to work harder and get better, and try to get back those titles.”