If you have ever talked with a Bettendorf athletics coach, the importance of being a multi-sport athlete has likely come up. For years, Bettendorf coaches have pounded this point home through the display of copious statistics and by placing an emphasis on year-round athletic participation.
Like many athletes at Bettendorf, freshmen Ella Schmit participates in two sports. What sets her apart are the two sports themselves: cross country and wrestling. At the high school, there are only three athletes that participate in both cross country and wrestling; Schmit is the only female.
In cross country, Schmit made an immediate impact in her first year. Near the midseason mark, she was placed on the varsity team.
“She is a very positive force and has a great understanding of how hard it is to run every day,” cross country teammate Delaney Ward said.
On Oct. 11, Schmit got the nod as a varsity runner at the MAC meet, joining Hannah Beintoma as the only other freshman running for Bettendorf. She started the race strong and didn’t look back, finishing the race in 20 minutes and 59 seconds. The time was good for 13th place in the MAC and helped the Bulldogs secure a second place finish.
The culmination of Schmit's cross country efforts came on Oct. 18 at Crow Creek, the Class 4A District Meet. On one of the hardest courses in the state, Schmit muscled out a time of 20 minutes and 50 seconds, placing her 22nd in the district. She was named as an honorable mention on the 2018 All-Metro team.
But as the first quarter comes to a close and cross country fades away, Schmit’s athletic season only begins to gear up. The varsity runner joins Rylan Hughbanks and Logan Adamson as one of the three cross country members that turn to wrestling in the winter.
Adamson is excited to watch Schmit perform over the next four years.
“Ella is a great listener and does what she is supposed to in the room. I look forward to watching her over the next couple of the years. She has the potential to be really good,” Adamson said.
This past Friday, Schmit represented the Bulldogs in the inaugural IWCOA Girls State Tournament in Waverly, Iowa. The event was Iowa’s first ever girls high school wrestling tournament.
With the city of Bettendorf backing her, Schmit performed exceptionally well in the tournament. Schmit made it to the state final match in the 106 weight class where she ended the day with a second place trophy.
Looking to build off her success in Waverly, Schmit has her eyes set on Fargo, North Dakota, where she looks to participate in the Fargo Wrestling Junior National Championships, the highest level of high school wrestling.