Now, for all of you out there who think that Southwest’s athletic prowess died after 1970, I have three words for you: meet Stephanie Schoening.
Wow! Did this lady light up the SW sports scene or what? With nine letters earned – five in swimming, three in track and one in gymnastics – Steph was a sports powerhouse all by herself. And the numbers are staggering. In swimming Steph racked up four individual state titles, two each in her junior and senior years. Both were in the 50 and 100 Freestyle events where she set State Records her junior year. During her sophomore year, Steph got a second place finish in the 50 Free and finished 7th in the 100. Records wise, Steph had and still has a bundle setting and then breaking numerous school and conference records over her final three years at SW. Her school pool records in the 50 and 100 Free are still in place 36 years after she set them. She also held pool records in the 200 and 500 Free for more than 10 years, the 200 IM, and was a member of three record setting relay teams.
She was a winner out of the pool as well, placing in the City Track Championships her junior and senior years. Steph was also a National Honor Society member and was named an Athena Award winner for outstanding female athletes.
At the University of Minnesota, Steph earned four letters in swimming and again, lots of awards while setting more records. She was twice the team MVP, co-captain in 1981 and an All American in 1980. Four times she qualified for the college nationals and finished 5th in 1981 at the USA Nationals.
At the Big Ten Championships, Steph had two first place finishes and placed in the top five six different times. She set and reset school records twenty-two times during her U of M career, a feat that helped her be selected to the U of M Athletics All-Decade Team for the 1970’s. She received this recognition in 1991. In 1981-82, Steph received the University’s Patty Berg Award for academic and athletic achievement.
Congrats to Steph for all her achievements and for all the athletes she helped inspire in the Southwest area.