Alyssa Schneider competed in the first national meet of her career.
Nov. 23, 2013
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Alyssa Schneider closed out her season by competing at the NCAA National Championships on Saturday. The Bartlett, Ill., native ran against 253 other competitors and finished 93rd with a 6K time of 21:16.3. It was Schneider's first time competing in the national meet, and the first time an individual on the team has qualified for the championships since 2009.
"I was really proud that Alyssa was able to represent the University of Illinois at the championships," said head coach Scott Jones. "She finished 93rd, which I think was in the expected range. The conditions were the most difficult we've seen all year, it was very muddy, cold and windy, and she never flinched in the face of that adversity. She competed very well and I think it was great for her to have that exposure to championship level competition."
Schneider qualified for the national meet after placing fifth at the NCAA Midwest Regional last weekend, the highest finish for an Illini since Angela Bizzarri won the title in 2009. Her 6K time of 20:25 was a personal-best, as well as the fourth-fastest 6K time in school history.
Schneider had a great season, leading the Illini in every meet she competed in. The redshirt-sophomore began the season with a first place finish at the Illini Challenge, where she set a new personal-best 4K time of 14:24. She followed that performance with a fifth place finish at the Boilermaker Invitational, and finished eighth at the Pre-National Invitational.
"Alyssa had a great season," Jones said. "She was consistent and very competitive, and she was our number one runner in every race. She has that ability to be responsible for her training as an individual, and she is very coachable. That what's we really like to see. She listens well and executes well, and she is the model athlete to coach."
No. 1 Providence captured the team title, with with No. 2 Arizona and No. 13 Butler finishing second and third, respectively. Big Ten opponents No. 8 Michigan and No. 14 Michigan State each finished in the top-10, placing fourth and sixth, respectively. Senior Abbey D'Agostino of Dartmouth won the individual title with a time of 20:00.3.