Running still suits Snyder
Butler grad among Duquesne's best cross country runners


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PITTSBURGH — Danica Snyder wasn't sure how her training was going to translate at the college level.
Apparently, she was doing something right.
Snyder, a graduate of
Butler High School, just concluded a strong freshman cross country season at Duquesne University, highlighted by winning the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year last month.
She had come off a remarkable senior track and field season which saw her break the school record in the 1,600 (5 minutes, 6.83 seconds) and the 3,200 (11:08.87).
Snyder, who is enrolled in the nursing program, then spent the summer building up her mileage to prepare for the Dukes' fall season.
“I wasn't sure if it was similar,” said Snyder. “Once I got here, the level was intense. Everything was at an elevated level.”
And practices were not the day-to-day training she had been accustomed to from high school.
“We practice Wednesday and Saturdays for organized practices,” Snyder said. “It's up to you to do the miles.”
Which also left less time for team bonding as everyone had their own schedules.
“It was hard because at
Butler, we were so close. We were a family. they were my sisters,” Snyder said.
“Here, there was no sense of that. I'm a freshman and they already have a bond. It was very hard at first, but we have all become close.”
Snyder started off strong, placing seventh out of 63 runners at the Duquesne Duals 5K, then sixth at the Bucknell-Pitt 5K.
She also took part in the Paul Short and Penn State 6K races before her 18th-place showing — 18:06 for the 5K — out of 128 participants at the Atlantic 10 Championship Oct. 29 in Concord, N.C.
As the highest-placing freshman, Snyder earned the honor while the Dukes placed sixth out of 14 teams.
“This year on the team, we had four solid runners and we needed a fifth runner,” Snyder said. “I've been third.”
At the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship at Princess Anne, Md., Snyder was 46th overall as the Dukes placed eighth out of 29 teams.
Then, last weekend, Duquesne finished fifth out of 11 teams at the ECAC Cross Country Championships in
Bronx, N.Y. as Snyder was 28th overall with a time of 18:27 in the 6K race.
“That's like a fun consolation prize for not making it to nationals,” she said.