Winning an individual title three years in a row is challenging and winning it in a different event every year is almost unheard of in New Hampshire high school track. But that’s exactly what Kristie Schoffield did, proving not only to be exceptionally talented, but versatile as well. Schoffield won the 1,000 meter at the Division II State Meet in 2:53.78, adding to the individual titles she won in the 600 (2015 and 2016) and 3,000 (2015), and capped off her Merrimack Valley indoor track career by finishing third in New England in the 1,000.
Schoffield also anchored the Pride’s third-place 4x400 relay, and competed in the 1,500 and ran on the 4x200, leading MV to a sixth-place finish in Division II, an improvement over its eighth-place finish the year before.
The Pride coaching staff knew this would be a young team and that Schoffield would need to provide leadership in addition to scoring points in races. The coaches also knew they could count on Schoffield and her versatility.
“Kristie has the ability to score in any event between the 300 and the 3,000,” MV Coach Bob Mullen said. “We knew we had a lot of young talent and a sprinkling of senior leadership (in Schoffield).”
Schoffield ended up qualifying in several events (although NHIAA rules and logistics allow athletes to compete in a maximum of four events) and led a team full of freshmen and sophomores who were counted on heavily in the relays and improved steadily throughout the season.
“It really came together,” Schoffield said. “We have a young team, but they came together and came into their own, especially with the relays.”
As for her individual performance, Schoffield was pleased with that as well.
“(The 1,000) was a lot faster than I thought I was going to run, so I was happy with how it turned out. It was a solid race,” said Schoffield, who set a program record with her time of 2:53.78 in the event.
A month later, she broke her own record at New Englands, shaving about half a second to finish third in 2:53.29.
Setting records is nothing new for Schoffield. She holds three MV indoor track individual records (in the 600, 1,000, and 1,500) and also ran on the record-setting 4x160, 4x200 and 4x400 relays in 2015 when a roster of just five girls finished runner-up in D-II to powerhouse Coe-Brown.