Schultz to sprint onto the scene at Merrimack College


James McDermott

Schultz (second from right) runs alongside teammates during practice.

James McDermott, Sports Editor

Less than eight percent of all high school athletes continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level, and just two percent of all high school athletes compete at the division 1 level. On November 16, senior Track & Field and Cross Country captain Owen Schultz joined that two percent by verbally committing to Merrimack College. 

After only starting to run cross country in sixth grade as a way to get better at soccer, Schultz never expected the sport would take him where he is today. While Schultz actually considers himself more of a track & field athlete, he is extremely grateful for what cross country has taught him.

“Cross country has been amazing,” Schultz said. “It really means going out there every day to make yourself better. The more work you put in the better you will get.”

Schultz was also a key contributor to the WA Boys’ Cross Country team this year, which finished the season as the number two team in the state of Massachusetts. Schultz credits his teammates this year for much of his success due to how much they were able to push each other day in and day out. 

“I am blessed to get to run beside some of the best guys in the state and country,” Schultz said. “The friends I have made through this sport are what have pushed me to get better and I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today without them.” 

So many athletes who achieve great success and are able to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level experience a turning point at some time during their high school careers. For Schultz, it was when he got injured near the end of his junior cross country season. The injury caused him to lose several months of training and stripped much of his confidence. Instead of giving up, Schultz put in the work over the summer to get back to where he wanted to be, dropping his 5k time by three minutes. 

It is a blessing and a curse when an athlete has several colleges reaching out to them for a scholarship because while it is exciting to have so many options, it is also a life-changing decision. Even though Merrimack College was one of the very last schools to reach out to Schultz, he is extremely excited about his future with the team. 

“It was a hard decision but I liked how eager the coach was and liked the overall vibe of the team. I was able to sit down with the coach and make a personalized training plan just for me,” Schultz said. “He knows my strengths and I think I will fit in nicely with the Merrimack College Cross Country and Track & Field Team. 

While Schultz’s high school athletic career is coming to an end, he has earned the ability to compete for another four years, and he is looking forward to taking advantage of each moment.

“This is only the beginning. There are some big things to come from WA later in the track season. Stay tuned,” Schultz said.