Story by Hearld-Mail Media
Photo by Wornden Ly
COLLEGE INDOOR TRACK & FIELD
Hagerstown, Md—After leaving his competition far behind in the men's 3,000-meter run, Hagerstown Community College freshman Henry Schmidt still had the clock to beat at the Larry Sharpe Memorial Invitational on Sunday at HCC.
Although he was all alone in the lead, Schmidt had all the incentive he needed to keep pushing as he chased the qualifying time (8:50.65) for the NJCAA indoor national championships.
HCC coach Mike Spinnler, serving as the meet announcer, kept the crowd abreast of Schmidt's progress throughout the 15-lap race. As Schmidt fought to stay on pace over the final laps, even coaches and athletes from the other five schools loudly cheered him on.
"It didn't feel like I was all by myself because the crowd was really pushing me, just so supportive," said Schmidt, the former Boonsboro High star.
When he completed his final lap, it was mission accomplished as he won by more than a half-minute in 8:48.50, shattering his personal record.
Schmidt achieved the mark with a negative split, running the second half of the race four seconds faster than the first half (4:26/4:22).
His previous best in the 3,000 was 9:01.75.
"Coach has been saying that I could do it," Schmidt said. "I thought it was possible, but I knew it would be difficult, that it'd be down to 1 or 2 seconds. ... It's a big relief, and I'm really proud of myself."
HCC took first place in four other events.