Megan Schott did the unthinkable for an Iowa native and Iowa State student-athlete: trade in her cardinal and gold Cyclone uniform for a black and gold Hawkeye one. She faced her previous harrier teammates at Iowa’s home invitational in August, her début as a Hawkeye.
Courtesy Hannah Malzenski of the Daily Iowan, for full article click here! Feature photo:
“The Hawk meet, I was really nervous,” Schott said. “I knew [Iowa State] was going to be there, and I knew I was going to be wearing all black.”
Schott finished fourth that race behind front-runner and teammate Andrea Shine and two teammates from the past, Iowa State’s Abby Caldwell and Karly Ackley.
The senior made her transfer from Ames to Iowa City after not seeing eye-to-eye with the Cyclone coaching staff. Schott devoted her 2018 spring semester to finishing her course work and graduating early. With no academic baggage, the Des Moines native joined Iowa head coach Randy Hasenbank’s squad.
Schott took the summer to transition into the group of Hawkeye harriers so by the time the first practice of the season rolled around, the relative rookie felt as if she had a community.
“I was so psyched to have [Shine] as a training partner,” Schott said. “I felt like we already had that connection, so I walked out to practice and it was really comfortable. I felt like I already had a family.”
The sense of family is already mirrored by the Iowa women.
“[Schott] is a really strong leader,” Shine said. “She helps teach me new ways to approach running as well as the younger girls, so I think that her ability to share her personal experiences and her knowledge of running is impacting the team by giving us all a different and positive outlook on how to approach competitions.”
Schott’s presence has made things happen. The Hawkeye women finished second at the Hawkeye Invitational, third at the Woody Greeno Invitational, and seventh at the competitive Notre Dame Joe Piane Invitational.
At this point last year, the average time between Iowa’s first finisher and fifth finisher was 93 seconds. Now, it’s 83 seconds. When harriers are crossing the finish line within milliseconds, a 10-second shrinkage in the gap counts.