Volcano Vista cross-country and track and field head coach Elena Schrader will be honored by the Albuquerque Isotopes as a woman in sports ambassador before Saturday night’s game at Isotopes Park.
Schrader is one of five women in Albuquerque chosen by the club to be recognized for the Isotopes’ first-ever Women in Sports Night.
“It’s exciting,” Schrader said. “It’s always fun to be part of something that helps and supports the community and spotlights women who are doing awesome things.”
Gates open at Isotopes Park at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
Joining Schrader for the pregame ceremony Saturday are:
- University of New Mexico softball player and 2020 Olympian Andrea Howard
- Janice Ruggiero, the director of development for the UNM Foundation
- UNM women’s soccer coach Heather Dyche
- Albuquerque Academy golfer and Class 4A individual state champion Anya Parasher
Schrader was born in Albuquerque, graduated from St. Pius High School and UNM, began her coaching career at James Monroe Middle School before moving to Volcano Vista, where she led the cross-country team to a state championship last season.
Schrader’s Burque bonafides played a role in the Isotopes choosing her, she said.
“That was one of the things that when they were talking about doing this, they wanted female coaches who were hopefully not just born and raised in Albuquerque, but they were actually still coaching,” Schrader said. “So that was one of the things they liked about my story.”
The next chapter in Schrader’s story not only includes being honored on the field before the game Saturday. She’ll also be throwing out a ceremonial first pitch.
“I think they should leave that up to the ladies who do softball, but apparently, I’m gonna get to do that and hopefully not embarrass myself too much,” Schrader said. “I’ve been practicing and practicing in the backyard getting a couple tosses and just hoping that when I actually am in front of a group of people I don’t freak out and forget what on earth I’m doing.”
Schrader is obviously proud of her accomplishments and having her career honored, but she said that’s not why she got into coaching.
“What I love is, especially with track, you really see a development of an athlete I think that we don’t always see in other high school sports,” Schrader said. “A lot of kids will come out and try to go cross-country not having been exposed to the sport before. So just giving them an exposure to something. I think it’s really just that idea of pushing yourself, I have to convince teenagers that it’s good to go run six-plus miles after school. Seeing those athletes developing, I’ve seen their successes and I always tell them that when they’re getting on the podium, that moment that I helped you achieve, that’s 100% for them, and I love having that opportunity for them, seeing where it can take them.”