NORTHFIELD — One of the best things about sports is that they have a way of bringing people together. Jim Schuldt can certainly attest to that.
Schuldt, a 1987 Faribault High School graduate, was inducted in the Carleton College 'C' Club Hall of Fame Saturday for his accomplishments as a football player, wrestler and hammer thrower for the track and field team.
Being inducted into his college’s athletic Hall of Fame was an amazing honor, but Schuldt’s favorite takeaway was the opportunity to reconnect with so many of his college friends.
“Since I heard about it, this is the most I’ve thought about school and throwing,” said Schuldt. “I’ve had a lot of time on my hands and one of the spectacular things about this whole thing is the reconnections that have been made. I’ve heard from a lot of the guys and that’s the best part of this. 100 percent.”
Schuldt graduated from Carleton College in 1991 and now lives in Eugene, Ore., so he lost touch a little bit with a lot of the important people from his college days.
Coming back for the induction offered him the chance to get back in touch with a lot of them — it certainly didn’t hurt that it was alumni weekend at Carleton.
“Once I graduated, being the awkward social guy that I can be, I disappeared for a bit,” Schuldt said. “I saw the guys at a couple weddings and they came to my wedding but I’ve never been good at emailing or talking on the phone and stuff like that. But being back here now and seeing so many people again, it’s just been so great.”
“A lot of Carleton graduates get spread out around the country and around the world so it’s easy to lose touch a little bit,” said Schuldt’s football and track coach Leon Lunder. “I think reconnecting with so many people from his college days is a huge part of what makes this special for him. There’s no doubt about it.”
Schuldt was a multi-sport star for the Knights and he made perhaps his biggest mark from an athletic standpoint in track and field, where his hammer throw of 184 feet, 10 inches is still the school record.
But for all his accomplishment, Schuldt wasn’t sure if or when he would get the 'C' Club nod. The other three inductees, Chris French, Megan (Vig) Barrymore and Stephen Harris graduated in 1996 (French) and 2006 (Barrymore and Harris). So Schuldt waited a long time for his opportunity. That wait made it that much more special.
“It’s been a long time,” said Schuldt. “It’s been 25 years. Leon Lunder has gone to bat for me and it’s been close a couple times and it finally happened this time. It’s a great feeling. It’s a neat time and I’m just so thankful to a lot of folks.”
Lunder coached and taught at Carleton, so he got to know Schuldt quite well in their time together. Lunder played a key role in getting Schuldt inducted into the 'C' Club Hall of Fame and introduced him at the ceremony.
“This is an incredible accomplishment for Jim and he’s the type of guy you get into coaching to be around,” said Lunder. “He obviously had a great deal of athletic ability but he’s such a nice young man too. We spent a lot of time together and I got to know him really well and I can’t think of someone more deserving of this than Jim.”
Schuldt thanked his family and friends for their support, saying they were invaluable in his time as an athlete. Years later, after moving away and waiting and hoping for an induction, Schuldt got it, and was able to share it with them. Sports bring people together. In this case, they bring people back together.
“I’ve written and rewritten and gone through my head what I wanted to say,” said Schuldt. “I’m just so thankful for so many people. This is an amazing honor and being able to share it with so many people that are important in my life. It just means a lot to me.”