Mercer's Schoeneman wins state shot put


June 3, 2019

Jason Juno/Daily Globe

Mercer's Aubrey Schoeneman jumps into the arms of her coach and mom, Robyn Schoeneman, after winning the state championship in the WIAA Division 3 shot put at La Crosse, Wis., Saturday.


LA CROSSE, Wis. --- It took Mercer junior Aubrey Schoeneman three days to smile again after the WIAA Division 3 sectional meet ended in such disappointment.

While she made it to state in the shot put, she missed out in the discus, an event she probably would have won, and won by a lot, in La Crosse.

The shot put, on the other hand, was ultra competitive. She was tied for the high seed coming into the state meet where four people would ultimately clear 40 feet. And despite a really good first throw Saturday, Schoeneman was in second place.

But after all that, by  the time it was all said and done Saturday, Schoeneman was jumping into her mother's arms with a smile that will surely last longer than three days.

She won the D-3 shot put state championship with a mark of 43 feet, 3.75 inches.

"It's a little unreal still," Schoeneman said. "Just growing up watching Sydney (Thompson), it's always been a goal of mine, but I didn't think I'd ever be able to do it."

Thompson won back-to-back state titles in the shot put in 2016 and 2017. She won one in the discus, too, in her senior year, a feat Schoeneman can still achieve also.

She'll be plenty motivated.

"I'm still pretty upset I didn't make it, considering what won because I feel I would be able to compete with that," Schoeneman said. Leah Zemke of Marathon won with a throw of 122-2. Schoeneman went to sectionals with a seed of 129-9. "But I used that as motivation and anger, training more and lifting more."

It also allowed her to focus on shot put leading up to the state meet.

"We just realized, it happened for a reason," said Robyn Schoeneman, also Mercer's head track coach. "It gave her an opportunity to have a good solid week of practice in the shot put and the results showed today."

Schoeneman threw just over 42 feet in her first throw, an excellent distance. Colby's Mackenzie Huber was better at 42 feet, 2.5 inches.

Despite trailing, Robyn wasn't too worried because her first throw was a good one.

"I was happy (Aubrey) got a good throw in on her first throw so she could get her nerves down," Robyn said. "I always can tell how the series is going to go. In warmups, she had one about  44 and I thought, 'Well, she's ready."

Schoeneman responded to that early adversity with a personal best of almost a foot better than anything she threw before, 43, 3.75 inches.

She said she was preparing all week to react to something like that. And she knew Huber was the biggest threat.

"She had to be on today," said Bob Schenk, her grandfather, who has coached Thompson and others to state titles. And now his granddaughter. "She knew that the competition was there and someone was ahead of her for the first time (this year). A lot of times kids will see that and say, 'Oh I can't beat that and then she did right away.'"

Bob said that Schoeneman's winning throw seemed to be deflating for Huber, affecting her for the rest of the competition. Luckily, Huber's good throw wasn't deflating for Schoeneman.

"We talked to her over and over, you have to compete," Schenk said. "It's like volleyball, you have to compete. You're throwing against someone as good as you, so let's see who competes the best."

No one else came close to clearing 43 feet like Schoeneman did. She had hit 43 feet in practice before but never a meet.

This was a good time for it.

Robyn, and Schenk, her father, were very proud of Aubrey. Neither could hold back the tears.

Nobody could back the smiles, something that had been elusive just a week earlier, either.

"Having your own granddaughter, who is one of the hardest workers I've ever coached, she's always lifting, always practicing," Schenk said. "After her disappointment last week in the discus, to see this happen today, it won't even hit me until later."

The celebration continued Saturday night.

When they got back to Mercer, she got an escort back into town by the Mercer fire and EMS along with the Iron County Sheriff's Department.

"Little Mercer comes up with another throwing champion," Schenk said. "That's fantastic."


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