Who’s that Bulldog? It’s senior cross country runner Danica Schulte. Danica is the daughter of Anne Schulte and Duane Crawford.
Dani, as she is often called, has been a member of the varsity cross country team for six years – since her seventh-grade season. She has also been a member of the track team since seventh grade.
Dani says she prefers cross country to track because “cross country has a different team atmosphere than any other sport. All the runners and even the parents are a very close-knit group.” She says she believes this is due to their “shared misery.” She also prefers cross country to track because the preparation focuses on just one race instead of the multiple races necessary for track.
Cross country is a series of long practice runs, and long practice runs give many runners time to think things over, but Dani says, “I just get in a zone and don’t really think. I just run. I usually don’t hear anyone else except Coach Townsend.”
She says the most memorable meet she has attended is the annual Roy Griak Meet in Minneapolis. The meet, named after the Gophers’ coaching legend, includes both high school and college level races, and is one of the largest meets in the country. “That is such a crazy meet,” she says, “but it is so much fun. You often get stuck in a pack and you can’t get out. You might stumble on someone else’s feet. You can see your teammates, but you can’t get to them.”
Dani’s five years of experience on the cross country team allowed her to segue into a leadership role this year as a senior. “I help lead stretches and keep the younger ones in line, but sometimes it does feel like I’m babysitting,” she says with a giggle.
Dani ran in the state Class A cross country meets all six years of her career – an uncommon achievement. Last year, she finished 30th and came close to earning a medal. Medals are awarded to the top 25 place winners.
Her favorite class at MHS is biology and she is considering a career in nursing. She hasn’t committed to a school, but is leaning towards Minnesota State University-Mankato. She might even join the cross country team. She says, “I’ve had some offers from other colleges, but I haven’t talked to Mankato’s coach, yet. So, maybe I will run; maybe not. We’ll see.”
Dani moved to Milbank from a larger city when she was in the sixth grade. which she says was an adjustment. She says she now enjoys what a smaller community offers. “You know everyone.”
Dani is also involved in dance, student council, HOSA, and National Honor society. She is an active member of Central United Methodist Church and was a blood drive coordinator, a Homecoming attendant, and a contestant in the 2019 Snow Queen Festival. She is employed as a CNA at Prairie View Neighborhood in Ortonville.
In the free time she ekes out, she enjoys hanging out with friends, cruising, going to the movies in Watertown, eating pasta, taking a nap, or just relaxing. She says, “It’s nice to just not doing anything at all once in a while.”
What she likes most, though, is representing her school as a Bulldog. “There’s a different feel once I put on my uniform. Something just clicks and I become more competitive. It’s something to be proud of.” This is the first year she will be donning a cheerleader uniform. So, watch for her. She’ll be helping Bulldog fans stay fired up this winter during basketball season.
Photo by VPD Studio