Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Family speaks out about pressures that led star college runner Sarah Schultz to suicide at 21

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Sarah Shulze of the University of Wisconsin on Twitter

@UWBadgers

Madison, Wisconsin — Sarah Schultz, runner on the UW track and cross country teams, has died. She is 21 years old.

Schultz’s family announced on April 15 that she had died two days earlier, giving her cause of death.

“Sarah took her own life,” the family said. “The demands of balancing sports, academics and everyday life left her overwhelmed in a desperate time. Like you, we were shocked and saddened by what we were all holding on to Sarah.

“Most of all, Sarah is a force for good in the world. Her deep compassion is reflected in her devotion to sisters Abbey and Ella, the love her parents feel from her every day, and the love she has with her grandparents and The extra care given by the moments shared by cousins.”

Wisconsin officials released a statement Friday citing the family’s statement.

“Sarah is a beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend, teammate and Badgers student-athlete,” Wisconsin officials said in a statement. “Our thoughts go out to Sarah’s family, friends and Badgers during this extremely difficult time. Teammates offer their deepest sympathies and sincere condolences. Our main concern is the support of the Schultz family and our student-athletes.”

Shulze is a junior from Oak Park, California. She competes in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track and has earned academic Big Ten honors in the 2020 and 2021 cross-country and 2021 track events.

She interned at the Wisconsin state legislature and volunteered as a poll worker during the 2020 presidential election, the family said. The experiences, they said, “helped develop her love of politics, social causes and women’s rights.”

Schultz’s relatives said they would soon announce a foundation that “will continue to support the causes that matter most to Sarah.”

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