Rather than a sibling rivalry, Michael and Valerie Schmidt of Brush Prairie think of their relationship as more of a “you support me, I support you” situation.
The Schmidt siblings compete for the Corban Warriors of Corban University in Salem. They both recently competed at the NAIA All-Americans Track Championship in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Each came home with accolades and new school records.
Valerie competed as the only freshman in the entire field of heptathletes and set the Corban University record for the heptathlon and 100-meter hurdles at the event.
“It was a good experience,” Valerie said about competing against athletes older than her. “I just wanted to do my best — I wasn’t expecting to get top eight.”
Michael finished as the national runner-up in the decathlon with a Corban University and personal record of 6,955 points. His teammate, Reagan Shira finished fourth overall. Michael said he is proud of his teammate and their work together saying that they would have placed top-six in the Pac-12 D-1 championship, something that he never expected.
Michael later mentioned that he wants to score 7,000 in the decathlon. “Speaking of that score, I really wanted to get seven thousand, because that’s kind of a big deal too,” he said. “(It’s) kind of a status thing for decathletes, but I still got another year so we’ll see. It’s only 50 points away and had some areas I could’ve improved a lot.”
Michael mentioned that as a decathlete, single events do not get practiced as much as normal. “ (In) Decathlon you just pick at things. You just keep training and keep working hard. You see the effort pay off in little ways and eventually the big payoff at the end of the year. You just keep working at it,” he said.
Michael and Valerie competed for the Prairie High School team before their run at Corban where they set personal records and ran in multiple events for the school. Valerie set the school record for 100 meter 33” hurdles at 14.95 seconds and 300 meter 30” hurdles at 49.45 seconds in 2018. Michael still holds top-10 records in 110 meter 39” hurdles, 300 meter 36” hurdles and pole vault, which is coached by Frank Schmidt, their dad. Michael said that he and Valerie are most thankful for their dad when it comes to their success.
“He had to drive one hour twice a week to coach us at a facility in Oregon City after working a full day (in Portland),” Michael said. “That meant a huge deal to us and really made things work out for us.”
Micheal later said that because of this he and Valerie are more involved in the process stating that everyone is friends and everyone works together. “It’s (all about) being really flexible with each other and treating each other with respect.”
According to Elizabeth Schmidt, the pair’s mom, the siblings chose to attend Corban University because it’s a small Christian university and that their dad knew the coach.
“The coach watched them (in highschool) and watched their performance,” Elizabeth said. “(The coach) was impressed with them (Michael and Valerie).”
Michael and Valerie plan to keep competing at Corban.