Schultz working to finish ahead of pack

Melanie Schultz is off to a running start in her senior year on the women’s cross country team.

A vital lifeline of the entire program, Schultz served the role of top UM female runner in every meet during the 2004 cross country season. In five of the six races the ‘Canes participated in, Schultz finished in the top three.

Schultz has an athletic appearance which can be attributed to her self-disciplined training and eating habits. She can be frequently found on campus running or studying while taking in a balanced meal.

“I see running as a counterpart to academics. My work ethic and dedication to running come from the type of student I am,” Schultz said. “When I need a break from school, I run. If I need a break from running, I can always pick up a book and start studying.”

In addition to her classes, Schultz took on a large-scale internship this summer, forcing her to cut back on her normal routine. The added activities were no match for the raw talent Schultz exudes at every level.

“I had less workouts, but I am at exactly the same place I was last year,” she said.

In an attempt to take her performances to the next level, Schultz and the coaching staff decided to have her focus more on the bigger races leading up to the regional meets. This means that Schultz will not run in the invitationals around the state and the smaller-scale races that make up the typical cross country season in South Florida. The primary reasoning for this is to have more time to prepare for the other meets. The experiences gained from in-state races are rarely useful in cold, higher altitude conditions that are characteristic of the larger scale races.

“I’m going to be focusing more on Notre Dame and the big races,” Schultz said. “The goal is to make it to Nationals.”

Schultz has the potential to reach her goals this season, citing motivation as the key ingredient to a successful season.

“It’s hard to stay motivated at times,” Schultz said. “I think about how good it feels when I’ve finished a run. You say to yourself, Wow, that was hard, but I ran 14 miles.”

Before a race, Schultz has to concentrate on calming down so she is able to pace her running.

“If I get nervous, I start out too fast,” she said.

Schultz’s philosophy is that she would be running even if she wasn’t part of a team because it helps her feel better physically and it is part of who she is as a student.

“I just wouldn’t run at 6:30 in the morning,” she said.

Stacey Arnold can be contacted at