Catching up with Nina Schultz, Canadian Junior Indoor Pentathlon Record Holder
Nina Schultz of New Westminster has broken the Canadian Junior Indoor Pentathlon Record twice this indoor season scoring 4042 and 4271 points, breaking the previous record of 3969 set by Nicole Oudenaarden back in 2013, and ranking her first in Canada in both Junior and Senior age categories and ranking her 3rd in the NCAA. Schultz is a freshmen at Kansas State University and BC Athletics caught up with Nina to see how she is settling into University life and what goals she has for the 2017 season.
BC Athletics: First off we would like to say congratulations on your recent Canadian Records! Can you tell us a little bit about the performances and whether the record was something you were targeting coming into the indoor season?
Starting the indoor season I knew the record was something I was capable of, so I definitely had my eyes on it. But the goal I had set for myself was much higher than the record. When I first broke the record with 4042 I was relieved but not nearly satisfied with my results. However when I scored 4271 in Nebraska I was much happier with my result because I felt that I finally showed my potential. Going into the meet I was definitely looking to score at least 4150. All my events were pretty good except high jump. I ended the pentathlon with three life time bests in the shotput, long jump and 800 metres. I was most satisfied with my result in the 800m because it has always been one of my weaker events and being able to shave five seconds off my old personal best was almost unbelievable. Throughout the whole season (so far) my coach has been telling me repeatedly that I could and should be running under 2:20 but I didn't believe it until I saw the result come up on the screen after my race. Overall I'm happy with my record of 4271 but I hope to improve on that further by scoring over 4300 at NCAA championships.
BC Athletics: This is your first year at Kansas State University – can you tell us a little bit about how the transition has been so far?
The transition here was honestly much smoother than I thought it would be. When I first arrived at Kansas State I was just a shy incoming freshman and everyone was completely accepting and helpful. I love the training environment and my teammates because just being in my second semester here I already feel like I'm apart of a new family. I really enjoy having a number of international people on the team because not only does it bring more culture but it was comforting at first knowing that I wouldn't be the odd one out being from Canada.
BC Athletics: Last month we all learned about Brianne Theisen-Eaton’s retirement. Can you talk a little bit about what sort of role Brianne has had in your career? How important has it been having a Canadian athlete competing at the highest level in your event?
Well as an athlete I think it is really important to learn from other athletes in terms of technique and experience. Quite often I will spend time watching videos on YouTube of professional athletes like Brianne to learn from. I'm not much of a person to idolize people but I've watched her compete at multiple meets such as World Championships and the Olympics and I can say with confidence that she is one of the greatest athletes Canada has ever had. And being able to break some of her old scores and get recruited by the same colleges as her has been eye opening for me. Watching Brianne compete when I was younger I didn't really know who she was but now I am fully aware of her success and seeing how another Canadian can become such a great athlete also kind of humanizes her for me. Having met Brianne last year and being able to see her in person instead of on a screen, I saw how she's not only a super athlete but also a regular human being. I now know that if she can make it that far, why can't I? So having Brianne represent Canada at such a high level of athletics has been very motivating and I really wish I would have been able to compete with her before her retirement.
BC Athletics: Where can fans expect to see you compete next and what are your goals for later in the Outdoor season?
With indoor season starting to wrap up I have just a few more meets coming up such as Big 12 conference champs and NCAA indoor champs in Texas. Later in the outdoor season I hope to deliver some good performances at NCAA outdoor championships and to compete at the Pan American Junior Championships for Canada. I also hope to score over 6000 points this year in the heptathlon to also break the Canadian Junior heptathlon record.
Thank you Nina, it was great catching up with you and good luck in your upcoming competitions!
Chris Winter - BC Athletics