Playing football in packed stadiums during his Inglemoor High career prepared Kincaid Schmitt for what awaited him last month at the 4A state track and field meet.
With a Viking tank top replacing a jersey with shoulder pads, Schmitt competed in the long jump and 400 run at Mount Tahoma High in Tacoma and finished his events standing on the medal podium.
The Inglemoor senior — who will graduate June 18 — took fifth in the 400 run (49.83) and seventh in the long jump (21-09.75) to complete his high-school sports career.
“When I got there, it was just crazy. It was a huge stadium, all of the top track athletes in the state, all in one spot,” said Schmitt of his first time at state, where he notched a personal record in the long jump by a little over an inch and just missed a PR in the 400 by five hundredths of a second.
At the recent 4A Sea-King District track and field meet, Schmitt triumphed in the 400 (49.78) and long jump (21-08.75), and at the 4A KingCo championships, he topped the field in the long jump (20-01.50)
Schmitt competed in track and field for two years, and it was a football injury that led him to that part of the Inglemoor campus, away from his beloved baseball diamond.
Sporting a Chicago Cubs jersey after school on a recent afternoon, Schmitt discussed what occurred when he lunged forward to make a tackle during the Vikings’ final football game of his junior season. He dislocated his right shoulder, tore his labrum and had bone fragments, which ended his baseball career since the injury affected his throwing shoulder. He missed playing baseball the last two years, but stayed by the Vikings’ side as a supporter in the stands.
Instead of sitting idle for the spring of his junior year, he gravitated toward track and field. He enjoyed revving up his legs for the speed of the 400, and wanted to try the long jump but couldn’t that year since doctors were worried about his shoulder getting jostled with an awkward landing.
With his shoulder ready to go by his senior year, Schmitt returned to the football field and competed in the long jump for the first time a few months later.
“It was definitely hard going back, though, and putting confidence in my shoulder, but I eventually got past it,” said Schmitt, whose arm was in a sling for about two months, followed by six months of physical therapy.
Come track and field season, long jumping clicked for him immediately — and the landings didn’t affect his shoulder — and his offseason preparation in the 400 put him in a solid spot when it was time to unleash some speed at meets. He credits jumps coach Tami Baddeley and sprints coach Kaisa Hall for gearing him up for his stellar performances. Schmitt sent them off with top-notch results at state since this was their final seasons as coaches.
Schmitt will continue his studies at Texas Christian University in the fall, where he’ll focus on the math and computer science fields. It’s undecided whether he’ll continue his track and field career in Forth Worth.
The Reporter asked Schmitt a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What’s your personal motto that you try to live your life by?
Always do better. I always wanna improve at everything I do.
What’s a special skill that you’d like to learn?
I’d like to be able to juggle, just because it’s cool and something you do to show off to other people.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
When people chew with their mouth open.
Who was your idol growing up?
Ichiro was, for sure. He was able to play the game in a different way than everyone else, which I really respected and liked.
Let’s feed off that, how did you become a Cubs fan?
My mom’s from Iowa and she has 11 siblings, and about eight of them are Cubs fans, three of them are Cardinal fans. Grandma and grandpa, Cubs fans, so I just naturally am with that side. We go back for three or four games a year, and then whenever they play here, we go to all three of those games.
Good to go to Wrigley, it’s a fabulous stadium. I’ve been there once. Takes the game to a whole different level.
Oh, it’s awesome, for sure.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
I think Barack Obama would be cool, just ’cause he was the president, knows a lot, have a lot of things to say.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?
Toyoda Sushi on Lake City Way.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
It’s kind of funny, but I like the “The Incredibles” just because I grew up loving it and I still do for some reason. My favorite character is Dash — fast, makes a little bit of sense.