BEMENT — “I guess I just really wanted to see how much I could do.”
The answer to Trinity Stroisch’s self-posed question: enough to make one’s head spin.
The Bement sophomore began her second high school cross-country season last Thursday, in a meet at Sullivan.
Stroisch is trying to improve upon her top time as a freshman of 21 minutes and 59 seconds.
Considering last year marked the first time she’d ever competed in the sport, it wasn’t a bad outcome.
But there’s more to it than that.
Stroisch also balanced volleyball and cheerleading endeavors in the fall.
That was followed by basketball and more cheer in the winter. Then softball and track and field in the spring.
Oh, and she squeezes in year-round tumbling outside of IHSA action and is trying to make time for AAU track as well.
“I did pretty well considering everything that I did at once and how much overlap it was,” said Stroisch, who maintained a 4.0 GPA while participating in all these ventures. “I managed to get to everything and do my best every time.”
“There’s not been very many that have been that dedicated and followed through like she has,” added Andrew Brown, the Bulldogs’ cross-country coach and a 13-year Bement teacher. “It’s one thing to say, ‘I’m going to go out for every single sport.’ It’s another thing to do it and stick with it.”
Perhaps Stroisch’s best efforts in ninth grade came in track and field, which she said is her favorite sport.
She set school records in the 800-meter run, 1,600, 3,200 and high jump while also taking a leg on a historic 1,600 relay unit.
Additionally the Bement junior high boys’ track coach, Brown saw high potential in Stroisch if she chose to extend her sights to cross-country.
“Basically, any high school athlete named all-conference first team will have a picture put on the (Bement Wall of Fame), and it stays there forever,” Brown said. “I had conversations with her: ‘You would be on the wall freshman year if you came out for cross-country.’”
Turns out Brown was correct, as Stroisch snagged fourth in the Little Okaw Valley Conference Meet in her first try.
Even so, Stroisch wasn’t immediately sold on the idea.
“I didn’t really like it at first,” she said. “Over time, I thought it would be better for me in track, and other sports, too. I ended up enjoying it, made friends on the team and had a good time.”
Of course, none of this explains why Stroisch isn’t involved merely in those two sports.
There’s a two-pronged reason. The first: an aversion to inactivity.
“I personally don’t like to sit around after school and do homework and chores,” Stroisch said. “I like to keep myself busy.”
Part two comes from Stroisch’s mother, Dianne, whom Trinity said boasts a strong high school athletic background herself.
“That’s my biggest motivation is living up to her name,” Stroisch said. “It’s always been my goal to beat her, and I’ve come close. It’s always in the back of my mind to be as good as she was.”
It’s clear Stroisch already is pretty talented in her own right, between running and keeping up with everything else she does.
Maybe the most surprising aspect about Stroisch’s exploits is the way in which she handles her numerous tasks.
“If I told you a kid was going to do every sport possible, you would think she would be this Energizer Bunny-type that would bounce off the walls,” Brown said. “She’s not like that. She has a quiet confidence to her. She plans out what she needs to do and knows what she needs to do.”