Schoenherr three-peats as yearly award winner

Kristen Schoenherr jumps over a hurdle at a track and field home meet. File photo

For the third year in a row, Rainier High School’s Kristen Schoenherr has been selected as the Nisqually Valley News’ Athlete of the Year.

And who could argue when she’s been an integral part of the RHS track and field team, finishing her high school career with a second place throw in the girls’ javelin at the 1A WIAA championships at Eastern Washington University in Cheney last month.

“She’s definitely capable of competing at the next level,” said track and field head coach Rob Henry.

But despite receiving offers at community college and schools outside of the area, Schoenherr is content with the conclusion of her athletic career.

“I got a lot of offers from the East Coast and the Midwest, places I didn’t want to go,” Schoenherr said.

“I definitelay could do it but you hear about all these athletes that have practices all year and I’m perfectly content.”

Schoenherr was the 2010 state champion in javelin, but fell only five feet short of repeating in late May.

While being considered one of the best javelinists in the state, Schoenherr said she never had the desire to participate in collegiate sports.

“Just the fact that I don’t want it to consume my life,” she said. “I know there is a lot of pressure in sports and I just really want to focus on my job and my goals in life.”

In addition to being a top athlete for Rainier’s track and field team, Schoenherr was also part of the girls’ basketball team that went to the state tournament the last four years, finishing 20-5 this season (14-0 in league).

She was also apart of the cross country team for her freshman year in the fall, but then switched to volleyball for her sophomore and junior years.

Schoenherr accepted an offer to attend Washington State University in Pullman, where she will major in communications and focus on radio and television broadcasting.

“I would like to pursue a career in sports broadcasting,” she said. “I love sports and I want to stay connected in some way.”

While other options included the University of Oregon and Pepperdine University, the schools were too far away and made the decision to attend Washington State University.

“It’s close enough to where I can come home in case of emergency but far enough away,” Schoenherr said.

Schoenherr has been a sports fan ever since growing up in southern Illinois when her family would take her to see the nearby St. Louis Cardinals.

After her mom, Lisa, remarried with Mike Derion, the family moved to Washington. Derion is now a retired member of the military.

While watching sports on television, Schoenherr said she thought being a sideline reporter during the NBA Finals looked like a great job. One of her current favorites is Erin Bates, who reported from courtside during the NBA Finals this year.

“She has a lot of confidence and charisma, I feel like,” she said.

One of her goals is to eventually give to nonprofit organizations that help people who have suffered from natural disasters.

“I really want to benefit my time to organizations that help other people,” Schoenherr said. “Something where I can just help people and donate my time. Help them in anyway I can.”

Schoenherr said some advice she can give to the Rainier athletes that will walk the halls in future years is to keep a good head on their shoulders and to stay out of trouble.

Schoenherr said she has seen classmates that were kicked off different teams for various activities, such as drinking and drug use.

“If you love sports like I do, you lose them and it’s sad,” she said.

“Do what’s right because high school doesn’t last forever.”