June 14, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - It was a cool day at historic Hayward Field for the final day of the 2014 NCAA Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., dubbed TrackTown USA. On the final day, the Georgetown track & field team looked to a familiar face from the last five years in All-American Rachel Schneider (Dover, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas) in the women's 1,500-meter finals. The last event on the docket for the Hoyas, it also happened to be the last event of Schneider's impressive career on the Hilltop.
The race went out slow for what one would expect from the NCAA finals. With no one willing to take over the lead, Schneider moved to the front in hopes of picking up the pace and making an honest race of it.
"It started out really slow and I was on the outside and thought if it's going to go slow, I may as well go right to the front and try to pick it up a bit," Schneider said. "I think we were still going at a really slow pace and it just got really bunched up and pushy again. I didn't have it quite at the end but it's okay - I left it all out there."
Schneider held the lead through nearly 1,000 meters, but it was the home straightaway where you could see the well-rested field of the nation's elite start to pick up the pace for the remainder of the race. Schneider hung on the rail and was shoulder-to-shoulder for third at the bell, but a significantly faster last lap (winner Shelby Houlihan cut more than six seconds off her last 400 split) was the difference maker as the field pushed hard up the back straightaway and into legendary Bowerman's Curve. Coming off the final turn, the group spread up the track as everyone made their final kick with Schneider finishing ninth, clocking 4:21.15.
"I think it's just starting to hit me that it's my last collegiate race," Schneider explained. "I'm just so blessed to have five amazing years. I was just so fortunate to be a part of something so much bigger than I could have ever imagined. To be a tiny part of something so huge that will just keep growing and get better and better is such an honor.
"I'm sad my role in (Georgetown track & field) is coming to an end but I'm so excited to keep supporting and following and cheering the team on along the way."
Schneider ends her career on the Hilltop with eight All-America honors to her credit, including three first team nods as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) unveiled a new All-America breakdown during the 2011 track season. Three times an indoor distance medley relay All-American, running the leadoff 1,200-meter leg each year, Schneider adds four All-America distinctions in the outdoor 1,500m and one in the indoor mile. She was a part of one BIG EAST championship relay, the 2010 outdoor 4x800m.
"I owe a lot to all of my coaches, my team and the staff," Schneider commented. "I cannot express how grateful I am that the University and the athletics department truly support its student-athletes and I'm so proud to be a part of this tradition."