From running on the hard concrete of the big city to the soft grass of the hill country, freshman cross country runner Devina Schneider is already proving to be someone to keep an eye on.
Schneider was born in Georgetown, Texas and grew up in Houston. Making the switch from a small town to a big city may have been an adjustment for Schneider, but she seems to have found her niche now that she’s attending Texas State.
Coming to a school nearly three hours away with over 35,000 students can be intimidating, but Schneider is leaning on her team and her training regimen to keep her steady.
“It’s good to have a routine and something that’s stable with college life,” Schneider said. “It’s nice having a group to begin college with.”
Coach Giles McDonnell said Schneider is more of the reserved and quiet type of person who will end up making a huge impact on the team as she progresses.
“She’s already had a pretty dramatic effect on the team,” McDonnell said. “She brings a dynamic that we haven’t had for awhile. I could see her being one of the best athletes—not only in the conference, but I believe she has the ability to be a national-level kid.”
Sophomore runner Nikki Sanchez and Schneider have quickly become a powerful duo, sticking together during races, finishing with close times and working off of each other.
Schneider sees Sanchez as a supportive and helpful teammate who has helped her get used to the collegiate cross country lifestyle.
“Now we have some people to train together,” McDonnell said. “Anytime that you have two people that have similar ability levels, they can train together, they can push each other.”
Schneider’s biggest adjustment to collegiate cross country has been getting used to the number of miles the team runs, as well as the intense practices.
Schneider is gradually getting used to the grind and isn’t having a hard time because she has skill to lean back on.
“She’s just developing so she’s coming into her own, but talent is the key with her,” McDonnell said.
Aside from her impact this season, Schneider is looking forward to becoming a leader for the new runners. Sanchez is teaching Schneider to adapt to the team and run in highly competitive races.
Schneider wants to follow her footsteps.
“I want to be able to help freshmen get used to college running,” Schneider said. “Like Nikki (Sanchez) and Chelsea (Thompson) are doing.”
Schneider has already finished ahead of her mentor Sanchez and is proving she can be a leader.
“I think she’s going to be that person that works really hard, does all the things the way you’re supposed to do them,” McDonnell said. “She’s going to set really positive examples for the rest of the young ladies. They can look at her and say, ‘That’s how you get it done in order to be successful.’”
Schneider is already a vital part of the team with less than a year of experience at Texas State. She’s an athlete who wants to succeed and is already showing that.
“I’m always trying to get faster and work on staying healthy,” Schneider said. “It’s nice staying on top of it.”
Follow Autumn Anderson on Twitter at @aaautumn_.