Freshman Schaffe delivers double gold, title for Minnesota at Big 10 ChampsThursday, March 04, 2021
All her performances leading up to the Big 10 Indoor Championships in Geneva, Ohio state pointed to the promise that freshman Abigail Schaffe was set to deliver something big of her own and that she did as her two gold medal performances helped the University of Minnesota win the women's title last Saturday.
Despite running indoors for the first time in her life, the former St Mary High School standout was able to get the better of her own senior teammate Val Larson to land her first Big 10 Indoor title in the 600m winning with a time of 1:27.96 minutes. Larson was second in 1:28.67 as Minnesota scored big points in the event in their title push.
Schaffe knew that there was a strong possibility that she could win the event and that there was a lot of expectations on her, despite her novelty to running indoors.
“I knew I could win because I had the second fastest time in the conference overall for the season and the person that was ahead of me wasn't competing in the event, so I was expected to win,” she was quoted as saying.
However, despite the expectations, Schaffe said she felt no pressure as running at “Champs” in Jamaica and the Carifta Games, and said those experiences had helped to prepare her for moments like these.
“I didn't feel any pressure because I have competed on bigger stages before, so that was what I used to remind myself, so that I could actually execute the race how I wanted,” Schaffe said.
Executing the race plan to perfection helped her land her first major gold medal in the USA.
“The race plan was to go out at pace and stay patient throughout the race then give everything from 200m to the [finish] line.”
Picking up where she left off in Jamaica, where winning relays for St Mary High at the Eastern Championships was the norm, Schaffe later returned to team up with Larson, Jayla Campbell and Jamaican Janielle Josephs to win gold in the 4x400m in 3:35.51. Schaffe had the fastest split of 52.5 on anchor, in a memorable Big 10 Indoor Championship debut.
Schaffe is still trying to find the words to describe how she felt to contribute so big in her school's championship win.
“The feeling is unexplainable. I literally did not know how to act! I was just looking at the mere fact that I am a freshman and did so much for my team and I am literally new to all I was doing. I never ran indoor ever. I can honestly say that I am pleased with my performance.”
Schaffe will next turn her attention to the NCAA Division 1 Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships to be held at the Randal Tyson Centre in Fayetteville, Arkansas from March 11-13.
— Dwayne Richards
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login