Two-time state champion high jumper Madison Schmidt has been named the 2019-20 Gatorade Minnesota Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Schmidt, who just graduated from Blaine, won back-to-back Class AA state titles as a sophomore and junior, while also becoming the first girl in state history to clear 6 feet a year ago. Schmidt excelled on the track at mid-distance for the Bengals as well.
In addition to athletic excellence, the Gatorade athlete of the year awards recognize academic success and strong character on and off the playing field.
“I am honored to win this award, especially so because of its multi-faceted nature,” Schmidt said. “My role as one of Minnesota’s high school athletes was so much more than elevating the sport. With being a top athlete comes the responsibility to be a role model in academics and as a community leader. I am proud that my efforts at this have shone through and I have influenced others to challenge themselves in school and in their sport. I hope that those coming after me will continue to lift each other up and help each other succeed in all areas of their life.”
The Blaine girls track and field team was a dominant force throughout Schmidt’s career, winning Northwest Suburban Conference championships the past two years before this year’s spring season was canceled.
“Looking back on my career at Blaine High School, I know it will be my teammates and coaches that forever stand out in my mind,” Schmidt said. “The community and support, even when we were kept apart, was incredible. I am going to remember the challenges: running thresholds when it was sleeting, going through ankle sprains and always finding a way to make the last one a fast one. What always got me through was knowing I had coaches, teammates and family that believed in me and would support me through anything. I am proud of the way we pushed each other and never gave up through adversity.”
Next up for Schmidt is competing at the Division I level, having signed a letter of intent to compete in track and field at Notre Dame on an athletic scholarship.
“Notre Dame has been a dream school of mine for many years because of the rigorous academics, faith-centered atmosphere and steadfast community,” Schmidt said. “It is a place where I can continue to develop at the highest level in my athletics, academics, faith and community involvement. I am excited to begin this new chapter of my life knowing I will be met by a community that will support me, an athletic program that will challenge me and an education that will prepare me for my future.”