June 12, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - With the rains yet to hit historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, the Georgetown track & field team sent three athletes to compete on the second day of the 2014 NCAA Track & Field Championships, hosted by the University of Oregon. The Hoyas tallied three student-athletes in two semifinal events today with one in the women's 1,500-meter and two in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase.
The women's 1,500-meter semifinals featured All-American Rachel Schneider (Dover, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas) competing in the second of two heats. The final heat had the advantage as they watched the first heat go out particularly slow, with the time to beat at 4:21.98. With a slow first heat, it was likely that the two time qualifiers would come from the second heat.
"I was really happy to see the first heat go out the way it did," Schneider said. "I had a feeling the top seven from my heat would advance and so my goal was to finish in the top half - which is still a really tough thing to do with this group of girls."
Schneider started the race against the rail, running a calm first half of the race, waiting for the right time to make her move. It was the final 300 meters when Schneider started to pass runners on the outside, making her move through Bowerman's Curve and into the final straightaway.
"Coach Mike (Smith), Coach (Heather) Stephens and Coach (Patrick) Henner have really been working with me on running relaxed," Schneider continued. "I tried to be really patient today and wait to make my move at the right time."
Schneider clocked 4:18.37, good enough for seventh place and a spot in Saturday's final, slated for 5:29 p.m. ET (2:29 p.m. PT) with live coverage on ESPNU.
Shortly after Schneider's race, All-Americans Max Darrah (South Yarmouth, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth Regional) and Dylan Sorensen (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) competed in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase semifinals. The duo ran in the second of two heats with the top five from each heat and the next two fastest times advancing.
Darrah spent the entirety of the race in the top half as Sorensen slipped back for the first few laps but found himself shoulder-to-shoulder with Darrah with four laps to go. The two stayed in the top six for the next 800 meters and even moved into fourth and fifth on the home straightaway with just more than one lap to go. The second heat went out slower than the first, resulting in just the top five advancing to Saturday's final. A big kick from the field pushed Darrah and Sorensen out of contention with Darrah fighting for a top-seven finish by race's end.
Darrah timed in at 8:50.68 while Sorensen finished with a time of 8:55.24, good enough for seventh and ninth in their heat, respectively.
Sorensen finishes his career on the Hilltop with two All-America nods to his credit with back-to-back appearances in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase semifinals. He won his first BIG EAST individual title this season with a win in the steeplechase, leading teammates Matt Howard (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg), Darren Fahy (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon) and Darrah to the top four spots at the conference championship.
Live coverage of the NCAA Track & Field Championships will be on ESPNU and via the WatchESPN app on Friday and Saturday, June 13-14.
All-American Rachel Schneider will compete in the women's 1,500-meter final on Saturday at 5:29 p.m. ET (2:29 p.m. PT)
This is the second time Schneider has advanced to the finals of the women's 1,500-meter finals, the first time was in 2011