Patrick Burns, Staff Writer
Josh Schulz might be a new face on campus this year, but he is making his presence known by his performances on the track. He had an interesting journey that landed him at Saint Martin’s, and that journey has led him to the success on the SMU track and field squad. Schulz is from Pe Ell, Wash. and after graduating from high school he originally attended Washington State University (WSU). While at WSU, he competed for their track and field team but wanted to find a place that felt more like home. He ended up choosing SMU due to the small school environment, the close proximity to home, and the SMU track program which has shown success in creating strong athletes, especially in the jumping events. The sophomore has had great success this season, specifically at the Washington Invitational in Seattle on Jan. 26-27 at the University of Washington (UW) where he set the school record in the long jump.
Coach Brewer had this to say about Schulz’s performance; “Highlight from this weekend’s UW meet was definitely Josh Schulz performance in the long jump. The meet was very competitive with the majority of athletes being from Division 1 schools. Josh placed seventh overall in the long jump competition. The six athletes that beat Josh were all from Division 1 schools. He jumped 23’0.00” or 7.01 meters breaking the previous record set by Latrelle Swayne last year of 22’9” (6.93 meters) by three inches. Schulz is currently ranked second in the GNAC and is only 4.5 inches away from breaking into the all time top 10 GNAC performance list.” Schulz has shown growth and consistency over the whole year and he should be able to break into that top 10 GNAC list. He credits this success to the hard work he has put in and the strong coaching that he receives from Coach Atanas, the Bulgarian born SMU track and field coach. “This season has gone really well for me thus far. Every meet, I have improved my long jump by about 12-15 centimeters. If I lock down some of things Coach Atanas and I have been working on, I might be looking at a top spot at the conference championships,”
The future looks bright for Schulz, but he also is focused on the team aspect of the sport as well. “We have quite a small team compared to other GNAC schools, but these Saints have put in so much work that I’m confident we have the ability to pull of some major upsets. I’d keep an eye out for those Saints,” Schulz said about the Saints pursuing a GNAC Championship. A GNAC Championship is the main goal for both individual athletes and the team. Last season, the winning long jump in the GNAC Indoor Championships was 24 2.25 or 7.37 meters set by an athlete out of Simon Fraser. Schulz current school record would have placed him in seventh at the 2017 Championships, but he should be able to compete for some higher spots at the 2018 Championships.
Coming up for Schulz will be the final indoor meet before the GNAC Championship begins. This meet will be Feb. 11 at UW again, and Schulz will look to improve his school record at the meet. On Feb. 18, the Indoor GNAC Championships took place in Nampa, Idaho. After that will be the NCAA Indoor Championships on Mar. 3 which will conclude the Indoor track season. Schulz will then look to perform in the outdoor meets which start on Mar. 10 with a meet at Pacific Lutheran University.