Good enough for Schoenebaum to finish 38th out of 66 Harriers at the 1A-2A meet. She covered the 5 km course in 23 minutes, 45.69 seconds, bettering her mark on the same course last year by almost four seconds. In fact, the Ouray senior told The Watch, she had qualified for State all four years in high school. And she improved her time each year.
“It was actually a really nice day,” Schoenebaum reported. “Kind of cool, but that’s good. It’s hard running in the heat.” Despite the snow in Denver a few days prior, “the course was in really good condition. The finish chute was a little muddy, but….”
Schoenebaum said it was “a little scary” on the starting line as the only runner from her school. “Other schools would have five runners on the line together, and I was the only one [from Ouray]. I had lots of fans there, though.”
Schoenebaum has lived in Ouray “my whole life.” Her grandparents own the 4J RV Park and Campground on the river in town. “I have a big family. And they’re all really supportive of my running. My brother, Kyle, made it to State all four years, too. He’s in Denver now, and was able to come see me run.”
Schoenebaum wasn’t without regional compatriots at the final meet. Telluride/Norwood team runners Rachel Hampton and Shelby Brier were on hand. “Rachel finished second,” Schoenebaum said, proud of her friend and competitor. “She was really nice to me, gave me a hug and said I did really well. This was the first year Shelby had run cross-country. She did really well, but I think I finished ahead of her.”
Asked about future running plans, Schoenebaum said she didn’t think she’d “take up any sports” in college. She hasn’t made up her mind yet where she’ll go: Mesa State or Colorado State University. “I just want to go to college,” she said. “Maybe I will miss it and want to try out for cross-country my second year.”
Either way, she has the admiration of her coach, Bernie Pearce: “Congratulations to Taylor on an outstanding season, coming back from a mid-season leg injury to achieve her goal of qualifying for State all four years of her high school career.”