Tori Schoettmer has run too many miles over too many years to be naive regarding injury.
Knowledge doesn’t make disappointment any simpler to digest.
The University of Louisville freshman, who hoped to contribute to the Cardinals’ cross-country and track and field programs in her first year on campus, might wind up getting only half her wish.
Schoettmer for the most part competed with a clean bill of health during the fall, taking part in four U of L cross-country meets, with an 18:05.08 at the Bluegrass Invitational in September being her fastest 5K time.
She has since been sidelined by two injuries.
“At the end of cross-country season I sprained my right ankle pretty bad during a practice. I had rolled it earlier and stepped on it wrong. I was in a (walking) boot for a few days,” Schoettmer said.
The former Center Grove runner recovered to the point where she seemed primed for the start of indoor track season, clocking a 5:17.01 mile at the Gene Edmonds Cup at Purdue’s Lambert Fieldhouse in January.
It was around this time she was diagnosed as having a stress reaction in her femur.
“It’s been hurting for a while, so that’s what’s put me out most of the indoor season,” Schoettmer said. “It was frustrating at first, but I look at it like I’m only a freshman.”
Schoettmer won’t be competing when Louisville begins its outdoor track season March 20-22 at the Alabama Relays in Tuscaloosa.
If she is able to return at all this season, it would likely be later rather than sooner. Schoettmer will specialize in the 1,500 and 5,000-meter runs.
“Right now I’m resting, and pretty soon I will be cross training and swimming,” she said. “Hopefully I’ll be running again in a few weeks.”
Schoettmer’s athletic accomplishments at Center Grove from August 2009 through last spring are well-documented — three top-20 placings at state in cross-country and three top fives in the 1,600-meter run at the state track and field finals in Bloomington.
Blended in are assorted county meet, sectional and regional accomplishments. And, yes, the type of nagging injuries consistent with the wear and tear of years of running.
In the past, Schoettmer has battled through issues regarding her shins. A stress fracture to her femur last fall prevented her from vying for a fourth consecutive top-20 effort at cross-country’s biggest showcase.
Slowing her pace whether in a race or with the rehabilitation assigned by coaches and trainers simply isn’t in Schoettmer’s DNA.
She’s bounced back before and plans to again.
“Tori is an outstanding young lady that will accomplish great things during her running career and long after it is completed,” said Louisville women’s cross-country/track coach Dale Cowper.
“She has run into some injury-related setbacks throughout her freshman year, and our primary goal for the spring semester is going to focus on getting completely healthy while working on returning to a state of fitness next fall.”
A communications major, Schoettmer, who posted a 3.8 grade-point average first semester, admits being 100 miles south of her comfort zone contains both positive and negatives.
“I really like it here, and I got used to it pretty fast. It’s been great to meet new people and be part of a different team. My roommate (freshman distance runner Alex Bunch) and I get along really well, and we’re going to room together again next year,” Schoettmer said.
“But being away from home has been the hardest part. Being a freshman is eye-opening. You learn things quickly, and you realize how well your parents prepared you for this.”