Injury derailing Schubert’s season

Manistee senior Kelly Schubert, seen here running to a regional title last year at Mason County Central, hasn’t been able to compete this season due to a stress fracture and might not get a chance. (Matt Wenzel/News Advocate file photo)

Stress fracture puts state title hopes in doubt for CMU-bound Manistee senior

A year ago, Kelly Schubert broke her own school record in the 3,200-meter run en route to a win at the Ken Bell Invitational.

The Manistee senior will be back at the meet in Traverse City today, but just to cheer on her teammates from the infield.

Schubert, who appeared poised to make a run at a pair of state titles this spring, hasn’t been able to compete in a single event this season due to an injury.

“I love going to the meets and cheering everyone else on,” she said, “but it’s hard being there because I want to be racing so bad.”

Schubert, who won a Division 3 state title in cross country in November and accepted a scholarship to run for Central Michigan University, first felt some pain eight weeks ago and thought it was simply a muscle pull. A month later, she got an MRI that revealed a stress fracture to her sacrum.

It’s the first significant injury Schubert’s had to deal with and first time she’s ever missed a meet in either cross country or track.

“If it was winter, I would still be going crazy because I’d be freaking out that I’m not getting my base training,” she said, “but it’s track season and I’m missing my senior year and it’s really hard.”

Schubert misses being part of the team, and the Chippewas certainly miss their defending regional champion in the mile and 2 mile, who also finished third in both events at the Division 3 state finals last season.

“With her in the lineup, our team changes immensely,” said Manistee boys coach Craig Fuller. “You can move everybody around and do everything different. It’s been really rough, but I’m sure it’s more rough on her than it is on us. I feel for her.”

Manistee girls coach Sam Joseph said he’s thought of what the team could accomplish with Schubert in the lineup, but isn’t going to pressure her.

“I’m kind of staying out of it,” he said. “I’m giving her words of encouragement, but I’m trying not to steer her one way or another.”

Schubert, who has trained year-round for the last two years, has been going to physical therapy three days a week, riding a stationary bike, swimming, and recently started up on a treadmill.

“It seems like it’s going well,” she said, “because I don’t have any pain right now.”

Fuller, who coached track and cross country at Central Michigan, has seen his share of injuries.

“I’ve had athletes that have had these stress fractures at the university level,” he said. “Usually it’s when you’re young and hopefully this means she’s getting it out of the way.

“In college, it doesn’t matter because you can redshirt,” he added. “But, it’s her senior year in track.”

The track season is nearing its conclusion and Manistee will compete in a regional meet at Mason County Central two weeks from today. Schubert would need to perform at the regional in order to advance to the state finals.

“If there’s anybody that can come back with eight weeks, nine weeks off, it would be her,” Fuller said. “I know if she basically jogged at the regional, she would make the state meet. It’s just a matter of whether it’s worth it to her — what kind of shape she would be in.”

Fuller emphasized that it’s Schubert’s decision to make and a tough one, considering the possibilities in front of her in college. Schubert certainly doesn’t want to reinjure herself and have that impact her running at the next level.

“I just want to heal up and be good for college, for sure,” she said. “It would be nice to run at regionals, but I don’t know.”

Schubert said she has another doctor’s appointment in a week and that should shed some light on whether she’ll be able to compete at all this season.

“It’s just wait-and-see,” she said. “I don’t want to get my hopes up too much. Whatever happens, happens. I’ve just come to accept it, even though it’s hard.”

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