After her family’s move last summer, expected life in California to be quite a bit different than life in Ohio.
After all, the junior would be experiencing mountains, year-round sunshine and a public school.
But one thing Doerschlag expected to be the same was lacrosse. Drake had a girls team, so she and her two high school-aged sisters – twin Alexandra and freshman Isabelle – would be able to compete together for the Pirates.
Alas, that has changed too and – nothing against her sisters – Doerschlag is loving it.
After a successful season on Drake’s North Coast Section-winning cross country team, Doerschlag decided to keep running. So out went her beloved lacrosse, replaced by track this spring.
She’s done so well, Doerschlag now says, “I’ll always keep my lacrosse stick nearby, but I don’t think I’ll ever play on a team again.”
That’s how good she is in track.
Doerschlag has become an overnight superstar for the Pirates, surging immediately to the top of the Marin County Athletic League charts in the 800 meters and also securing a spot on Drake’s powerful 4 x 400m relay team.
All from a girl who insists she “thought I was going to die” the first time Drake coach told her to take a long-distance jaunt with some of the school’s top runners.
“I was surprised how quickly I was able to catch up to girls who were more experienced,” she admitted. “It wasn’t easy. I just pushed myself so I could do more. I worked really hard.”
Taylor, the legendary Drake coach, has a history of developing top-flight performers in the 800m. Doerschlag recognized immediately it was quite a compliment when she was being pointed in that direction.
And she hasn’t disappointed.
Only halfway through her first season, Doerschlag already has clocked a 2:26 in her event. That’s only one second away from joining an exclusive list Taylor keeps of girls he has coached who ran 2:25 or better under his watch.
“I really want to be on that list,” she said, clearly not totally satisfied to have come so close, so soon.
Taylor recognizes he’s very lucky to have won her over from lacrosse.
“I didn’t know if she would choose track over lacrosse, or that she would be this good this fast,” he admitted. “But she has tremendious running form and a very strong will.”
Doerschlag has no idea how she might fare in the 800 in this year’s big season-ending events. One reason is because she’s never competed on that stage before.
Another is that Drake has focused on the relay so far at invitationals, winning its heat at the Stanford Invitational, placing second in the "K-Bell" in Los Gatos and then taking fifth at the star-studded Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut with a lineup that also has included senior , junior Mari Nakagawa and freshman .
The Mt. Sac competition near Los Angeles was a reunion of sorts for the Doerschlag family. Bianca’s mother, Suzanne, placed fourth in a cross country event at Mt. Sac while competing for Santa Barbara High.
“I guess that’s where I get it,” daughter noted.
Asked if she were planning to join a running club to further her track career, Doerschlag lamented she already has a pretty busy schedule. A lot of it, not surprisingly, revolves around lacrosse.
Not only do two of her sisters play for Drake, but four other brothers and sisters – including another set of twins -- attend , where Doerschlag has helped with school plays.
“To be honest, I really do miss (lacrosse) and the team aspect of it,” she admitted. “When I watch my sisters’ games, I miss it a lot.”
One thing she doesn’t miss is the Columbus, Ohio, suburb of Upper Arlington, where she grew up.
“The people are so different,” she observed of California. “Everything is so different.”
In a good way?
“All good,” she assured.
DRAKE GIRLS TRACK UPDATE
Record: 6-0 in MCAL.
Highlights: The Pirates will go for a second consecutive undefeated MCAL regular-season championship when they host fellow unbeatens Redwood and Novato on April 28 … Zoe Davis has the best marks in the MCAL this season in both the shot put and discus … The 4x400 relay team of Camila Flowerman, Mari Nakagawa, Bianca Doerschlag and Lily Stander has the top mark in the county as well.
Coach Bill Taylor’s comments: "The intensity is enormously thick when Redwood and Drake meet in a track and field meet. And this year promises to be no different. We will likely not know the 2011 team champion until the final events."
Coach Taylor's comment on the 4x400 relay team: "They could become one of Drake's best. We have the best in county history on the books (in 1978)."
Upcoming schedule: April 28 at home vs. Redwood and Novato, 3:30 p.m.