News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

April 10, 2014

Rose-Hulman’s Schultheis brothers making mark in HCAC indoor, outdoor championships

TERRE HAUTE — Four words you won’t hear used together during a Rose-Hulman track practice: “Schultheis, get over here.”

If someone were to mistakenly make that request, three brothers from the same family might respond.

You see, juniors Blake and Austin Schultheis and freshman Lucas Schultheis — all from Northeast Dubois High School — are members of coach Larry Cole’s men’s track squad at the eastside engineering institute.

A fourth brother, field-event competitor P.J. Schultheis, graduated from Rose in 2012. He currently works as a mechanical engineer at Crane Naval Base, where Blake also works during breaks from school.

Interestingly, Austin didn’t arrive at Rose-Hulman until last fall when he transferred from Indiana State.

“We knew from Day 1 when we were recruiting him [out of Northeast Dubois] … that he always said he would come back here to study engineering,” Cole told the Tribune-Star. “We kinda knew in the back of our minds that he’d be coming here for his junior year.”

“Originally, I was going to go to Rose-Hulman [as a freshman],” explained Austin Schultheis, now a mechanical-engineering major. “I hadn’t made my mind up yet and it was like May [of 2010], then I got a little bit of track scholarship there [at ISU].”

So he remained a Sycamore until he made the move across town in 2013.

“It’s a really good fit for me,” Austin said of Rose. “Classes are rough. It’s a good challenge and it’s kinda what I want to do [referring to engineering].”

Track is challenging for him too, but not anything he or his brothers can’t handle.

For the 2014 outdoor season, Austin is ranked No. 1 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in the long jump and discus, No. 2 in the javelin and No. 3 in the high jump. Meanwhile, Blake is ranked in a tie for No. 2 in the pole vault, No. 3 in the 110-meter high hurdles and 400-meter intermediate hurdles and No. 4 in the javelin and young Lucas is ranked No. 6 in the javelin.

In national NCAA Division III rankings, Blake is 21st in the 400 hurdles and Austin is 33rd in the javelin and 35th in the long jump. Austin has been named HCAC Athlete of the Week for track and field three times this school year (twice indoors and once already outdoors).

“So far, the outdoor season is going really well,” Austin Schultheis mentioned. “Since high school, I hadn’t touched my [best] long-jump mark and I finally beat that in my first meet. It seems like everything is starting to fall together this season.”

Brother Blake, an electrical-engineering major, is hoping to continue his success in the pole vault and 400 hurdles.

“I hope to win both [championships], but I know the 400 hurdles is going to be tough,” he admitted. “There’s two good Anderson guys in that, so it would be great to beat them and also get nationally ranked a little higher than what I am.”

Lucas, another electrical-engineering major, has had a more difficult time getting going this spring.

“He broke a pole in his [left] hand on the first day of outdoor practice and got five stitches between his thumb and his index finger,” Cole pointed out. “So he’s basically only competed a little bit in the javelin. He’s also a talented hurdler and pole-vaulter.”

“I went up for my first jump of the outdoor season and I snapped the pole in half,” Lucas Schultheis recalled. “Then the recoil from it shot up my hand and ripped it open. So that kinda slowed me down for a few weeks.

“Hopefully, I can get back in the swing of things with pole vault and get my first hurdle race down because that [hand injury] stopped me from hurdling. And I want to continue throwing the javelin … hopefully score in the conference [championships] in all three of those events.”

Cole said that in the Rose-Hulman Early Bird Invitational that took place March 22, the Schultheis brothers combined to score 72 of the home team’s 309 points. That’s due in large part to their versatility.

“These four boys [counting P.J.] have been exposed to a lot of different events in high school,” Cole noted. “They’re multi-talented. … All of them have been very good students as well.”

The Schultheis parents, Phil and Tammy, were track athletes at Indiana State back in the day. Tammy helps coach the cross country and track teams at Northeast Dubois.

As for the boys, Blake and Austin live in a Village Quarter apartment together, while Lucas has to live in a dormitory because he’s a freshman. But next year he plans to live in the same building with Blake and Austin.

“We might all be neighbors next year,” Blake said with a chuckle.

No doubt, the presence of Lucas’ older brothers at Rose-Hulman certainly helped lure him to Terre Haute last year.

“It was a big factor just because I probably wouldn’t have known about Rose as much,” Lucas acknowledged. “Maybe if none of them were here, I might not have looked into Rose quite as much. … It’s nice having these guys here.”

Cole agrees, partly because he likes them and partly because they’re helping the Rose-Hulman men’s team win HCAC championships.

The Rose men, who won the recent HCAC indoor team title, were picked as the favorite to capture the outdoor crown for the seventh straight year. That meet will take place April 25-26 at Defiance.

“These three [brothers] were very instrumental in our indoor championship, our fourth consecutive indoor championship,” Cole emphasized.

Still, having three brothers with the same last name can get confusing at times.

In the DePauw Invitational last weekend at Greencastle, all three were entered in the javelin and the meet announcer started calling out the order of competitiors when he got to “Schultheis, Schultheis, Schultheis.”

“When you go up to the meeting before a meet, you have to say ‘I’m this Schultheis’ or ‘I’m that Schultheis,’ “ Blake Schultheis said. “You usually have to let ‘em know ahead of time.”

 

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