Wauwatosa East girls track and field coach Glen Gardiner was looking for ways to describe senior Natalie Schudrowitz.
Schudrowitz gave a marvelous performance to end her prep career at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships on June 6-7.
She had the difficult task of running in three distance races in two days.
She won the 3,200-meter run in 10 minutes, 39.94 seconds, finished second in the 1,600 run in 4:52.05 and was 22nd in the 800 run with a time of 2:24.52.
"I think I would have to invent new superlatives to describe what Natalie has accomplished in her high school career," Gardiner said. "From a new inexperienced runner as a sophomore that surprised many people (not me) with her runner-up finish in the 1,600 at state to her state championship in the 3,200 and another runner-up finish in the 1,600. Her career arc definitely has come full circle.
"Natalie over the last three years has become a student of the sports of cross country and track, and I look forward to her inevitable success at the collegiate level."
Schudrowitz placed first in the 3,200 run and brought home the first state champion Tosa East has had in track since Clare Eichner also won the 3,200 in 1988.
With her time in the 3,200, she is ranked in the top 20 for individuals all-time in Wisconsin. She survived a push by the runner-up Aubrey Roberts of Eau Claire Memorial, who took the lead in the last two laps, and kicked in the victory with 150 meters to go.
"She passed me, I passed her," Schudrowitz said of Roberts. "I went to the front and just kept going, and it worked out. This just feels so good. It was a great race. I'm so glad it all worked out."
Schudrowitz was pleased with her final time.
"I'm really happy," she said. "I was very surprised at how it came out. I really didn't think it would end like this. I felt strong, and I just tried to treat it as a normal race. I wanted to get to the front early.
"I kept waiting for her (Elizabeth Flatley, conference rival) to kick, and I was surprised she didn't. I just tried to keep the pace fast and give everything that I had."
Schudrowitz was second in the talked-about, featured race of the day, the 1,600, with senior Elizabeth Flatley of Brookfield Central and freshman Cami Davre.
She went toe-to-toe with eventual winner Davre (4:51.27) over the last lap and fell just short of a second state championship. Shudrowitz led most of the last lap before Davre took her on the last turn.
"Cami is just amazing," Schudrowitz said. "I just went to the front because I could. I really didn't have a plan. I just went to the front, but I had a feeling someone would try to kick."
Her time of 4:52.05 included a school record and a Top-10 Wisconsin all-time individual performance.
To cap off her meet, Schudrowitz finished 22nd in the 800 run with a time of 2:24.52.
"Natalie completed the very tough distance triple in the 800, which included hurdling a fallen runner at the 200-meter mark," Gardiner said. "It is hard to recover from something like that and very, very hard to do so when you have run the 3,200 and 1,600 prior to the 800."
Kathleen O'Connell, Tosa East's other girls entrant, did not make the finals in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing 22nd in the preliminaries with a time of 16.77 seconds, up from her 16:24 when she took third at the sectionals the week before.
"Kathleen rounded out a great senior season," Gardiner said. "She is a great person to have on the team. She brought a lot a positive energy to the team."
Overall the team placed in a tie for 13th with 18 points out of the 62 teams that scored.
"That could possibly be the highest finish by a girls' Tosa East team at the state track meet," Gardiner said.
But it was Schudrowitz's day and a great way to end an amazing career, which began after she was injured playing soccer as a freshman.
"I'm really so happy with all this," said the Brown University recruit. "I really couldn't ask for more than what happened here."
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