Just how gifted of a track and field athlete is Pe Ell senior Andrew Schulz? Consider this – during his first three years of high school, Schulz had never competed in the javelin. So, when this year’s season-opening meet rolled around, he elected to give it a try.
All he did was win the event, registering a throw of 131 feet, 1 inch. A handful of weeks later it still ranks as one of the state’s top 20 throws in the 2B classification.
The javelin is a unique event, equal parts strength, technique and athleticism. It’s something you just don’t try on a whim and expect successful results.
That is, unless you’re Schulz. He makes things look almost effortless when he steps out onto the track.
Now, if you’re a javelin thrower, you probably don’t have to worry about facing him once the state meet arrives. Odds are that was a one-and-done deal and it’s unlikely he’ll ever pick up the javelin again.
However, the same can’t be said if you’re a sprinter or a jumper. In that case, he’s someone you will have to contend with.
Scroll through the top 2B performances in the state this season and Schulz’s name pops up just about everywhere. He ranks third in the 100 (11.73 seconds) and seventh in the 200 (24.18). He placed sixth in the 100 and fifth in the 200 at state last year.
As impressive as those numbers are, he actually excels more in the long jump and triple jump where he sits third (21’ 2) and second (41’ 8) among 2B athletes this season, respectively.
Beginning with his fifth-place finish in the long jump during his freshman year, Schulz has medaled seven times at the state meet, including placing in the top five in all four events last year to help the Trojans collecte the third-place trophy as a team.
His top highlight in 2018 came at state in the long jump where his mark of 22’ 2.25 was a personal record and secured him second place for a second consecutive year.
“The long jump is definitely my favorite of the events,” Schulz said. “Triple jump is second. Sprints are just something I do.”
Pe Ell last had a state champion in the long jump in 2016 when Schulz’s older brother, Josh, claimed the crown with a school record jump of 23’8.
“That year we were teammates was a really fun year,” Schulz said. “I was a freshman so obviously my marks weren’t so good, but just being right next to him every day at practice and getting to compete together during meets was a great experience.”
The goal this year for Schulz is to clear 23 feet with the hopes of also breaking his brother’s school benchmark in the process.
“His marks have always been right ahead of mine. They’re always right in front of me,” Schulz said. “I’ve been looking at them for the last four years. It really does help though. It motivates you. It’s not like trying to beat some time or distance; I’m trying to beat my brother every time I’m on the track.”
And there’s no shortage of school records that feature his brother’s name at the top of the list as he holds the Trojans’ top marks in the 100 (11.18), 200 (22.96), 400 (52.17) and triple jump (43’ 11) as well as the aforementioned long jump (23’ 8).
Schulz currently sits second in the 100 (11.34), third in the 200 (23.48), second in the long jump (22’ 2.25) and fourth in the triple jump (41’ 9) on Pe Ell’s team record list.
Next year Schulz will be reunited on the same team with his brother at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey. The older Schulz was a member of the 2018 USTFCCC All-Region Team and holds the Saints’ school records for both the indoor (7.01 meters) and outdoor (6.97) long jump.
“I am really looking forward to being teammates with him again,” Schulz said. “It should be a little different this time. I am a little bit stronger than the last time we were teammates together when I was a freshman. I can actually compete with him this time.”
After winning four events to kick off the season at a 2B Central League meet, Schulz competed against several larger schools at the Rainier Icebreaker Invitational, placing third in the 100 and 200, second in the triple jump and first in the long jump where his mark of 21’ 2 just missed his brother’s meet record jump of 21’ 7.
“I’m not sure if it’s just the more training I did in the offseason, but I just feel stronger this year,” Schulz said. “The marks haven’t shown it yet but over the progression of the season, it will happen. When state comes around, I’ll be right there. This year I’m hoping for good things.”