Runner Jonathan Scheiner balances sport, studies

Student athletes are often believed to not be actual students. They’re too strong, too tall. They’re too fast, too disciplined, and well, too athletic. In the same light, student athletes are usually perceived as individuals who are not at all required to challenge themselves in the classroom.

Meet Jonathan Scheiner.

In his four years at UM, Scheiner has challenged such notions. Yes, he is a top long-distance runner at the national collegiate level. But he’s also a distinguished member of the All-ACC Academic Team.

“It’s hard to balance your time [as a student athlete],” Scheiner said. “You have to study and still do all the class work a normal student has to do, but in addition, you have to practice three hours a day or so every day.

“I’m proud that I have a pretty high GPA. I’ve been able to balance my work here with my running. I also have a job locked up for when I graduate, so I’m proud of that.”

It just so happens that one of the Hurricanes’ top runners is also quite humble.

“Coming in as a freshman, I wasn’t even sure I’d make the team,” Scheiner said. “I was pretty good in high school, but I didn’t think I was good enough to start at the collegiate level. One of the biggest confidences was making the team my freshmen year and making the travel squad. I kept working hard and my sophomore year, I was named most improved athlete.

“Leading up to my senior year, I’ve ended up being the top runner at every meet, so I think working hard has helped me accomplish a lot of things I’ve wanted to do.”

Scheiner has accomplished things like consistently helping lead the University of Miami to top finishes at meets throughout the country and like setting the school’s new indoor track record in the 5,000 meter dash with an impressive time of 14:52:13 at the Iowa State University Classic.

The previous record was held by Chris Miller in 1997 with a 14:54:07 time.

“That was a huge accomplishment for me,” Scheiner said. “I felt great after that. I knew I was close to the record. At the Iowa meet, I knew if I was going to do it, then would be the chance.

“It’s my senior year, so I wanted to have a successful season, finishing off my collegiate career. Not being injured and consistently training has helped me improve a lot.”

For four years as a Hurricane, Scheiner has spent numerous hours doing intense drills and running more miles than most people would be comfortable with, in hopes of improving as a runner. His motivation is to stay ahead of anyone else trying to catch up with him.

“I’m pretty competitive. I have a different mentality when it comes to races,” Scheiner said. “I’m motivated to beat the other guys racing me.”

Victor R. Rodriguez may be contacted at