The Hall of Fame came a calling, but Cheryl Schauble wasn’t responding.
An email notifying the Kamiakin girls coach that she was being inducted into the Washington State Track & Field Coaches Association Hall of Fame went unnoticed because her email was on the fritz. The Hall of Fame people got a hold of her son, Kyle, who told her the good news.
“I was excited about that,” Schauble said. “I didn’t even know. They must have thought I was being rude.”
Schauble, Gwen Robertson of Issaquah High School and the late Tuck Gionet of Snohomish High School will be inducted Saturday at the Everett Holiday Inn.
Schauble’s family — husband Al and sons Kyle and Ryan — will be by her side, but daughter Lindsey will be competing for Washington State at an indoor meet at University of Washington.
This the first time female track and field coaches have been recognized by the Hall.
“Gwen was put into the cross country one a couple of years ago, but for track and field, we are the first,” Schauble said. “I call it the good ol’ boys club. There have been some really good coaches who have come through. It used to be you had to be retired, and I think they were forgotten. I’m excited about being one of the first two inducted. We have had to work a heck of lot harder than the guys to get recognition.”
Schauble, 55, has been coaching in the Kennewick school district since 1983 when she was with the Kennewick cross country program. Her Lions finished third at the state meet in 1985.
But track was her first love. She was hired as the Kamiakin girls track coach in 1988. She had powerful teams in the 1990s, winning 4A state team titles in 1998-99.
Her first state champion was Brenda Harding (400 meters) in 1984. Since then, she has coached 47 more state champions — including 17 relay teams. Last spring, junior Heather Donais won four gold medals to lead the Braves to their fourth consecutive team title.
“The year I was pregnant with Lindsey (1996), we didn’t take one athlete to state,” Schauble recalled. “That was horrible. I went to the state meet and it was so boring to sit around and watch everyone else. I said that would never happen again.”
Schauble’s teams have won six state titles — in 1998-99 (4A) and 2012-15 (3A). They also have placed second (three times), third (2), fourth (5), fifth (1) and sixth (1).
Her teams have won seven Pasco Invite titles. Over the past four seasons, her teams have won every league dual meet, every invite and every district, regional and state title.
“Oh, the people I’ve met and the wonderful stories we have,” Schauble said. “It’s been awesome.”
Schaubel was a standout track athlete at Pullman High School, where she long jumped, ran the 440 and 100-yard dash, and ran a leg on the 4x400 relay team. She won five individual state titles and led the Greyhounds to back-to-back AA team titles in 1977-78.
“Phil Lafer was our coach,” Schauble said. “He was a math teacher and we hated him for math, but not for track. We also had helpers from WSU. We had all these young college kids who would come in and help us. Coach developed a team concept, putting kids in a variety of events. That’s when girls athletics were just starting to get good. Then we went to college and we had legit coaches who were hired to do that. We were very lucky and believed that girls could be competitive.”
Her senior year (1978), Schauble and her Pullman teammates competed in the Pasco Invite and won the team title in the first year that girls were allowed to compete. Her time in the 440 yards stood for years until Harding broke her record (the conversions had previously been done).
“We were Pullman — hicks from the sticks,” Schauble said. “We went to Pasco and thought we were in Hollywood. We went in and beat everyone. It’s cool to have your name on a record, then to have one of your athletes break it.”
Schauble earned a track scholarship to WSU, where she lettered all four years. In 1982, her Cougars’ 4x100 relay team qualified for nationals.