Schumacher represents NHS at nationals

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Naugatuck’s Dan Schumacher competed at the 2015 New Balance National Indoor at the Armory in New York City on March 13. –FILE PHOTO
Naugatuck’s Dan Schumacher competed at the 2015 New Balance National Indoor at the Armory in New York City on March 13. –FILE PHOTO

NAUGATUCK — Naugy’s Dan Schumacher got a taste of elite competition.

The Naugatuck High senior competed at the highest level of high school indoor track competition earlier this month. Schumacher represented Naugatuck High School at the 2015 New Balance National Indoor at the Armory in New York City on March 13.

Athletes from across the country were there. Schumacher ran the mile in 4:22.61 and took eighth in the “Emerging Elite” category.

“It’s an honor just to have the chance to run with some of the fastest guys in the nation on that track,” said Schumacher, who noted that his parents and brother made the trip to watch him run.

After competing at the local level, state championships and the regional level, Schumacher said this race had a different feel. While most races have a somewhat relaxed atmosphere, it was a little more intense at the Nationals.

“It was an aggressive race,” Schumacher said. “You could get boxed in or out on the outside.” Adding later, “It was a bit nerve-racking.”

So how do you prepare for a race like this?

“I tried to take a little more time before the meet to make the effort to prepare mentally and physically,” Schumacher said.

The race capped an indoor season with many accolades for Schumacher. He took first at the NVLs in the 1,000 meters (2:45.70), the 1,600 meters (4:45.46) and the 3,200 meters (10:02.66.) He also won the meet’s outstanding performer, outstanding distance runner and outstanding senior awards.

Schumacher finished fourth in 1,600 with a time of 4:21.38 at the State Open and set a school record in the process. The time qualified him for the New England regionals.

He placed sixth overall in the mile at the regionals in Boston to qualify for the nationals with a time of 4:22:16. For his efforts, he earned All-New England honors.

Schumacher is the first Greyhound to compete at the nationals since Amanze Williams in 2011.

The track season isn’t over yet for Schumacher. Now comes the outdoor season, and another opportunity to shine at the highest levels of competition.

“Running in New York definitely gives me the motivation to get back to the Nationals and get a better time,” Schumacher said.