Shannon Thieke gives new meaning to the term ‘calculating runner.’ The Sacred Heart senior is a mathematician on the track, figuring out her time and adequately dispersing her energy on the fly as she motors around.
“I do a lot of math during the race,” Thieke said. “Every time I get a split, I’m trying to calculate what my finish time is going to be. It’s probably not the smartest move, but it’s just kind of what I do . . . I just double or triple [the splits], just to try to figure out what pace I’m on.”
Not only does it seem really smart, it works really well.
Thieke used this talent, as well as her blazing speed, to keep St. Anthony’s Lindsey Schwasnick at bay during the final two laps of the 1,000 meters at the CHSAA League Championships Sunday at St. Anthony’s. Thieke won in three minutes, 3.70 seconds and Schwasnick was second in 3:05.06.
Schwasnick and Thieke raced last week in the same event at the New Balance Games at the Armory in Manhattan, with the St. Anthony’s junior besting Thieke by 0.86 seconds. Thieke used that race, plus her status as defending league 1,000-meter champion, as motivation for Sunday’s race.
“I knew that I was going to have a target on my back because of last year,” Thieke said. “When she beat me last week, I really wanted to try and come back and win. I knew if I gave it everything, I would be able to . . . She’s so good. She goes out really hard, so I was ready for that. I knew I just had to stay with her for the first two laps.”
The victory helped carry Sacred Heart to the team championship. The Spartans scored 73 points and second-place St. Anthony’s had 72
Maggie Maier chipped in her usual allotment of distance victories. The senior, who has dominated the CHSAA for four years, won the 3,000 in 10:41.34 and the 1,500 in 4:53.92. Thieke was second in the 1,500 in 4:54.11. The duo, along with Michela Giura and Marie Naudus, won the 4x400 meter relay in 4:18.39. Maier was named the Track MVP of the meet.
“This really feels amazing,” Maier said of the team championship. “This last couple years, it’s been a steady progression for this team. We’ve really shown that when we work together, we can come out on top and beat these amazing teams. We have such amazing competitors.”
In the field, Sacred Heart’s Alexandria Earle won the high jump, clearing five feet, five inches and went 17 feet to win the long jump. St. John the Baptist’s Laila Gedeon won the triple jump (36-4), placed second in the long jump (17-0), and was named field MVP of the meet.