Congratulations to Rachel Schneider '09 on earning a berth at the Tokyo Olympic Games! Rachel placed third in the women’s 5,000 meters on Monday at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials and earned a spot in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics!
Below, we are re-posting an article we presented on Rachel in November, 2016. She is never far from our thoughts and we are so very excited to celebrate her journey to the Olympics.
On Rachel Schneider, November 3, 2016
It has been a little over three months since the USA Track & Field Olympic Trials and I still have difficulty putting the experience into words. In one way, it was a dream come true - getting to compete against the very best in the country for a chance to represent the USA at the highest stage in the world and forever be called “an Olympian”. The stands at Historic Hayward Field were filled, creating the most electric atmosphere. And my personal support crew in Oregon was unreal!! I had my coach, my Under Armour team, and family and friends that traveled from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, DC, Texas, California, and Oregon! (Special shout out to STA alums: Brittany and Brendan Colford, Adam Nash, and my three siblings for making the trip out!). Plus, the countless messages of support from people from all parts of my life and all around the country were very meaningful to me. The feeling that competing on that stage and the positive messages from so many really was ineffable.
On the other hand, after falling in the prelim and making it into the semis on time, I fell short of making the final by one position. After placing 5th at the 2015 USA Track & Field Championships and missing making the World Championship team by 0.01 seconds, I had high hopes and the goal of making the Olympic Team this year. But sports, and life, are filled with both triumphs and disappointments. And while the disappointments are never fun, there is always so much to learn and grow from them. Fortunately, I am still young in the sport (the three women who represented the USA in the 1500m at the Olympics were ages 29, 30, and 32. At the 2020 Olympic Trials, I will be 28). Running in the Trials, and watching some of my friends compete in the Olympics, only increased my passion for the sport. I know I have a lot of room for improvement - and that excites and motivates me more than anything.
After spending the majority of the last seven years in Washington DC, I've recently moved out to Flagstaff, Arizona where I'll be training up in the mountains at altitude! I have done a few altitude training camps here in the past, and absolutely love the environment and people here. When my coach accepted a job in Flagstaff, I was thrilled that our base would be moved there. For the foreseeable future, I will be living and training in Flagstaff, and hopefully continue to compete around the country and world - lowering my personal records and trying to be the best runner I can be. I would love to be lining up at the World Championships and Olympics in upcoming years, and will definitely be working towards it, but right now (and always) I want to focus on and enjoy the present! I feel extremely lucky/blessed to get to do what I love every day with the phenomenal support of my family, friends, coach, Under Armour, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, and Georgetown. I definitely wouldn't be here without the positive impact of so many. So THANK YOU, St. Thomas Aquinas, for being a part of my journey!! I am wishing everyone in the STA community the absolute best on all their endeavors!