Time is almost out for Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Max Schwegman, a relative late-comer to track and field.
Now the senior sprinter hopes to take advantage of the time he has left in a sport in which he’s barely had time to participate at Saturday’s Division 2 regional at South Lyon East, where he aspires to meet the standard to get to the state championships.
“This year it’s been really great ... been working with a new coaching staff (and) a few more advanced techniques,” said Schwegman, who is undefeated in the 100 and 200 dashes so far in sparse competition. “Hopefully it’ll stay that way, but we’ll be seeing some extremely talented athletes.”
Indeed, the ante is upped as the race to get the state begins in earnest. Schwegman plans to race in the two sprints as well as the 4 x 400 relay where the Irish hope to qualify for state as well as break the school record.
Schwegman, a four-year football player who has also competed in basketball and baseball at Notre Dame Prep, was introduced to track last season as a junior as a preparation conduit for football.
“Initially it was intended to learn sprinting techniques and speed and conditioning for football,” said Schwegman, who had nearly instant success. “But it took on a life of its own and I really enjoyed it.”
He won a lot of races and qualified for state in the 100 and 200 dashes. But due to a coaching decision, he ran only the 200 at the state finals, where he finished sixth to earn all-state honors.
So far this year he’s gone 10.99 in the 100 and has won both sprints in four dual meets and two invitationals. He has the school record in the 200 with a time of 22.22.
He’s also on the baseball team, challenging himself with two spring sports while keeping his grades sky high.
“I love the competition and the teamwork,” said Schwegman. “It’s really been a great atmosphere that’s helped me grow personally. I’ve met a lot of great people along the way and I’m extremely thankful for that as well.”
With his limited experience in track, Schwegman probably has untapped potential as a sprinter, something Princeton University coaches have taken notice.
That’s right, Schwegman will compete for the Tigers next season. But Ivy League academics comes first for the school valedictorian, one of around 20 students at the school who’ve earned the honor.
Schwegman has a cumulative 4.7 grade point average in honors and advanced placement classes. He’s already earned a Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Adminstrators Association (MIAAA) scholarship, and was one of only two athletes in the state to receive the Wendy’s High School Heisman award.
Michigan and Yale were his other college options until Princeton won out. College sprinting and curriculum is a whole new ballgame, of which Schwegman is aware.
“As far as competing at the collegiate level, I need to be more explosive out of the start, something I haven’t mastered yet,” said Schwegman, who plans to major in business on his way to eventually earning an MBA degree. “(It’s) definitely going to be a heavy workload for sure ... intimidating but I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge.”
That is, after this weekend’s track regionals, where another trip to the state meet could also be in his future.