Sawyer Schmidt wins 1600 and 3200 races at Class 4A state meet

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Augusta’s Sawyer Schmidt runs in 3200 race  on Friday, May 28 at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium in the Class 4A state track and field meet.

WICHITA, Kansas—Augusta's Sawyer Schmidt spent a lot of the time that was from the cancelled season due to COVID-19 just running and training. After all, it's really the only thing any of us could do.

Schmidt put all of the hard work and training into action in Friday's Class 4A state track meet and came away with two state championship runs.

"It was actually a group of us from the Wichita area," Schmidt said. "We would get together and have races. It kept me motivated and it was a great group of really fast guys."

His coach credits his work ethic to the improvement in Schmidt's running.

"You have to back him down because he wants to do more and more," Augusta coach Steve Reichardt said. "He will do whatever you ask of him."

The training showed in the first race for Schmidt as he beat out Buhler's Tanner Lindahl for the 3200 title. Schmidt did it with ease, coasting to a win by more than seven seconds. His 9.37 time would have won him the title two seasons ago.

Three hours later, the junior did it again. This time, he walloped the field in the 1600 race. 

Schmidt won the 1600 race by more than four seconds. His 4:23.44 time topped his previous state time by three seconds. He led from almost the start and never relinquished the lead.

He's no stranger to success, finishing sixth in cross country in the fall. He's expected to be one of the top returning runners there, too.

"He just has gotten stronger, both mentally and physically" Reichardt said. "He's learning to use that strength and that motivation to be successful.

Now, how does a two-time state champion find the motivation to do it again after you've already done it? He has that taste of what it's like to win and wants ot do it again.

"When you get that one, you're hungry for more," Reichardt said. "Now, it's like hang out and look out.

"Hopefully others see and it can help maybe bring more kids next year with him."

It may not have hit reality yet for the junior but he's just enjoying his success after a year off of competing in state competition.

"Nothing has set in yet," Schmidt said. "Maybe tonight but right now, I'm just enjoying this."

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.