As cliché as it may be, good often comes from bad in life. Such was the case this past weekend for junior Hillary Snyder of the women’s cross country and track and field teams.

Before the New York State Collegiate Track Conference Championships, the Fairport, N.Y. native was not in an ideal mental or physical state ­— her legs were tired after an especially hard couple weeks of training.

Snyder pushed through the pain, and while warming up, started to realize how good she was really feeling.

The double major in brain and cognitive sciences and film and media studies maintained this good feeling throughout the three-mile course at the Saratoga Spa State Park. She finished the race in 18:06, placing fifth individually and helping the Yellowjackets snag fourth overall.

How were you feeling while you were running in this past weekend’s race?

During the race, I just kept telling myself that you’re with these fast girls and you can stay with them. That was a major motivator. I didn’t realize how fast I was actually going. I didn’t know my time until 20 minutes after the race, I had no idea I was going that fast.

Did your family or friends come to watch the meet?

My mom actually drove four hours to come to the meet. [In general,] it’s always good to have people you know there. There are team members who don’t run the races but still come. It’s great to have familiar faces cheering you on.

How do you stay motivated throughout a race?

I really just think about knowing that I want to feel as good as possible. I don’t want to have any regrets about not going as fast as I could have. Also, there’s the team, and they help me get better.

Do you have any superstitions or pre-course rituals?

I listen to pump-up music, anything I can find on my iPod, before races. I also can’t run the final stretch during the warm-up. My coach always said it was bad luck in high school.

Did you start running in high school, or had you been running before high school?

I started running in seventh grade. My dad just told me to try it. I had a really rough first couple of weeks, but the people I met in cross country were just amazing. I kept doing it because I liked doing it and I loved the people.

What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned from being on the cross country team?

The hard-working attitude you get from being on a team. Running has shaped me as a person to put my best foot forward in everything I do and make the best of everything I do.

What’s one of your favorite memories as a runner?

Last year, when I won the 1000 [meter] at states. That’s a race I think about a lot — I worked hard to get back to where I was then and keep up that momentum.

What do you think has been your biggest success so far as a runner?

My biggest success is being consistent — being able to go into every race and stick it out even if I’m not feeling my best. Every race isn’t going to be a PR, but if I know I was working hard and doing everything I could, that’s what I was striving for and that’s what I’m most proud of.

Kravitz is a member of the class of 2012.



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