Snider sets new school record twice
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
By Sarah Gogarty
Rachel Snider wants to break her personal record every time she steps on the track. An Oklahoma Christian University Track and Field runner, Snider not only broke her personal record, she broke the university's record. She also finished with a NAIA automatic qualifying time to get to the indoor track and field national meet.
Track and field distance coach Wayne Strohman works with Snider during training. He knows what she is capable of and trusts the goals she sets for herself.
"She has got some pretty high expectations for herself but very realistic goals," Strohman said. "She just has to keep working hard, and doing the little things."
A sophomore, Snider still has a couple more years to continue to accomplish some of the goals she has set for herself. Strohman sees how other members of the team look to Snider as an example.
"Even though she is a sophomore, she is one of the faster girls on the team, so everybody kind of looks up to her," Strohman said. "She also does set a good example because she works hard in practice."
In practice Snider prepares physically for a race, but she must also prepare mentally to be ready. Most runners make sure to warm up his or her muscles when preparing for a race. Snider follows that direction but also adds a little extra.
"We have some line walks that are pretty goofy looking, that we do before each race to stretch out and get into a rhythm," Snider said. "Mentally, I try to always pray before a race, that always gives me a little comfort."
Snider always tries to set goals for herself. Whether she achieves the goal or not, she is always ready for the next week with another goal that she strives to accomplish.
Snider has set the school record two times this year in the 800-meter run. At the University of Nebraska's Adidas Classic meet on Feb. 9, Snider first broke the Oklahoma Christian record. Although she beat the record, she had higher hopes for herself and was a little disappointed when she was unable to get her personal record for indoor.
"It was kind of a bittersweet kind of thing," Snider said. "It was hard because people would be like 'congratulations.' I would be happy about that, but I still didn't get what I wanted."
At the second Oklahoma Christian Indoor Invitational held at the University of Oklahoma on Feb. 16, Snider ran a 2:19.55 out-doing the 2:21.68 record-setting run from the previous week. Not only was her time another school record but it was her personal indoor record and a NAIA indoor automatic qualifying time for the national meet.
"It is a really good feeling getting a new personal record because now I get to set a new goal," Snider said. "I always have really high goals for myself so I'm always excited, but then the next week, I'll go for that because I know I can go faster."
Snider finds her inspiration from her father, a former Oklahoma Christian student and track and field runner. In many ways, Snider is following her father's footsteps. As a transfer, Snider made the decision to attend Oklahoma Christian because her father had been a student at the university.
"I like to be like my dad," Snider said.
Her father, Tom Snider, also has his name on Oklahoma Christian's track and field record board twice. He posted the first record in 1978 in the sprint medley, and the second record in the distance medley in 1979.
Snider not only learned how to run from her father but also what it takes to stick with it when it gets difficult.
"I think he has helped keep my fire going for it," Snider said. "He has also taught me that you don't really get burnt out. It is totally mental, and you have to overcome that. You have to be tough."
Snider's father has been an example for her that she has been able to follow. He has influenced her course in life in a big way.
"I have always looked at how cool it was that he could run so fast, and I liked that I kind of ran the same thing," Snider said. "It is nice to be able to talk to him because he can always relate back to me. Especially when I was tired during cross country, he is like 'yeah I had that, too.'"