It’s hard for some of Cheryl Schauble’s Kamiakin track athletes to believe she was once one of the elite runners and jumpers in Washington.
“I just look like an old lady, but I was tough,” she said with a laugh.
Growing up in Pullman, Schauble (née Byers) ran track for four years, winning four state titles and earned nine state medals all told.
Schauble and the late Duke Washington — a 1951 Pasco High graduate who starred in football — will be inducted into the WIAA Hall of Fame Class of 2017. They are being honored as athletes, while coaches Sid Ottman (football), Al Hairston (basketball) and Don Freeman (baseball) also join the class. Craig Smith will be inducted as a contributor, serving for 32 years at the Seattle Times. He retired in 2008.
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The ceremony will take place in the spring of 2018.
“These inductees are a great mix of individuals who have impacted the WIAA and high school athletics around the state in unique ways,” said WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese in a news release. “The recognition is much deserved for each member of this class.”
A 1978 Pullman graduate, Schauble once held five school records. She still holds the school record in the 400 in a time of 56.8 seconds, set in 1978 — it was yards back then, but the times have been converted to meters.
“I tell the kids I ran on a cinder track,” she said. “They have no idea what that is. The kids don’t realize how lucky they are are. We had one brand of shoes and hoped you could wear them all four years. We didn’t have all of these cool bells and whistles. We had to put in the inch and a half spikes to long jump and we would always scratch ourselves.”
Schauble also still holds the school record as part of the 4x400 relay team (with Laura Rehswaldt, Robyn Crawford and Brenda Allwine) in a time of 3.56.70, set in 1978. She also once held the school records in the 100 (12.2) and 200 (25.2).
The school long jump record still is in question. She jumped 18-11 3/4 at a summer meet against an Australian team. With no official records on hand, she still is looking for the press clipping for proof. Until then, her best high school jump is listed as 18-8 3/4.
She won state titles in the 4x400 relay (1978), 400 yards (1977), 4x200 relay (1977, with Karie Bradshaw, Carol Hood and Allwine) and 4x400 relay (1977, with Crawford, Laura Rubenthaler and Allwine). She also was second in the long jump in 1977 and 1978, finishing just behind Allwine.
“We were right on the cusp of the females getting to have opportunities,” Schauble said of her budding track career. “My freshman year (1974), our state meet was at Goldendale. All I remember was the wind blowing a million miles an hour and the dirt blew. There was more dirt than cinder on the track. It was just girls, and it was all divisions. The next year, they let us go with the boys. After that, it just took off. They knew girls could do just as good as boys could.”
The big track season for Schauble came in 1978. It was the first year girls were invited to participate at the Pasco Invite.
“I did the 100 (took 3rd), 400 (1st), and our 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams won,” she said. “We killed everyone. No one knew who we were.”
Schauble held the Pasco Invite 400 record until 1987 when Kamiakin’s Brenda Harding surpassed her coach.
“That was exciting to watch,” Schauble said.
In her final three high school seasons, Schauble was coached by Phil Lafer, who treated everyone as an equal.
“We did the same thing guys did,” she said. “He ran us together. He put us were we needed to be and we had good teams for all those years. I ran intervals with my big brother (Rick Byers), and we ended up running on a co-ed relay team together. We would taunt each other. Our (girls) team was better than the boys.”
After graduating, Schuable went to Washington State on a track scholarship.
“Track paid for my college, I forever will be grateful for that,” She said. “Right place, right time. It was great opportunity for me and I got my degree.”
The WSU women’s team did not have much success during Schauble’s time with the Cougars, but she put up some stellar times and distances.
▪ In 1981, she ran a 57.44 in the 400, which ranked No. 2 on WSU’s all-time top 10 list at the time.
▪ In 1980, she ran a 2:10.3 in the 800 (hand-timed).
▪ In 1979, she had a mark of 18-6 in the long jump, which was a school record at the time.
▪ In 1982, the ran a leg on the 4x100 relay team that clocked a 46.94, a school record at the time.
▪ In 1980, her 4x400 relay team ran a 3:47, also a school record at the time.
“That was a great experience,” she said.
Washington, who died Feb. 16 from complications from pneumonia at age 83, will be honored posthumously.
Washington is member of the Pasco High School Hall of Fame (1996) — and became the first black athlete to play in the state’s East-West high school all-star game in 1950. He accepted a scholarship to Washington State over offers from the University of Washington and other schools.
His senior year at Pasco, he was a unanimous choice for running back for the Southern Conference and was one of five finalists for player of the year, an honor that went to Grandview’s Dennis Roth.
Statistics from 1950 are hard to come by, but one of the highlights his senior season was an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Kennewick on Nov. 11, 1950.
The 1951 Pasco graduate also was inducted into the Central Washington Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, and the WSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.
After a successful football career at WSU, Washington was a long-time Seattle public school teacher.