First-year Snider makes early mark with cross country

Freshman women’s cross country team member Kate Snider has made a strong first impressions during her premiere season here at Vassar College. She has placed in the top ten in two major races. Photo By: Katie de Heras
Freshman women’s cross country team member Kate Snider has made a strong first impressions during her premiere season here at Vassar College. She has placed in the top ten in two major races. Photo By: Katie de Heras
Freshman women’s cross country team member Kate Snider has made a strong first impressions
during her premiere season here at Vassar College. She has placed in the top ten in two major races. Photo By: Angelo Roman

In just a few short months at Vassar College, freshman Kate Snider has made her presence felt. Already once named a Liberty League Rookie of the Week for women’s cross country, Snider has placed two personal bests and eighth and fifth overall in two key races so far this season.

Snider is relatively new to the sport of cross country, only picking it up when she got to high school. Snider did not begin participating until she was a freshman in high school. In an emailed statement, Snider wrote, “I turned to running due to my lack of skill in, well, any other sport. I had previously been a part of my school’s tennis, volleyball and lacrosse teams, but never really got the hang of them. In fact, the only part about those sports that was easy to me was the running.”

Snider said that she did not fully realize her potential in the sport until one year later during her sophomore year of high school. “As a freshman, I was pretty new to the running world, so every workout and race was a different experience. I finally started to take it more seriously my sophomore year when I realized that if I focused and put in the work I could actually be a competitor in my schools conference,” she wrote. “Throughout my four years, I ended up being named All Division, All Conference and All County.”

So far, Snider says that she is very optimistic about what this year’s Vassar cross country season has produced thus far. “Our season has been going great! We’ve met and exceeded many of our individual and team goals,” she explained. “We’ve had great leadership and camaraderie this season, which has in turn created a wonderful work ethic, as well as an equally important, and equally wonderful, team chemistry.”

Teammate junior Harper Cleves had nothing but positive remarks when asked about Snider’s potential. In an emailed statement, she wrote that, “[Snider] really is just beginning to tap into what she is capable of. She has had a great freshman year, and I think she will continue to be successful throughout the season and her entire career here at Vassar College.”

“Kate really puts in the work,” Cleves wrote. “But she is also just a fun person to hang out with, which is the ideal combination for a teammate, in my opinion.”

According to Snider, the close-knit nature of the cross country squad has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of collegiate running for her so far. “I’d definitely have to say that the team here at Vassar has been the best part of running at the collegiate level. It is super helpful to have a group of committed women to run with,” she said.

“We’ve really come together to push each other and support each other all the way to the championship meets. I ran most of my workouts in high school alone, so having a close-knit team has made all the difference.”

Regarding work ethic, freshman Ava Farrell wrote in an emailed statement, “[Snider] is  a very reliable runner — we can pretty much always count on her come race day.” She continued, “She’s always going above and beyond — getting in extra mileage when she can and she really pushes herself everyday in practice. She has upped her mileage from around 20 miles a week in high school, to about 50-55 miles per week now.” The praising of Snider’s work ethic was continued by Cleves, who added, “[Snider] is just one of those people who really loves running. She will put in extra miles because she just enjoys it, which is just a really cool thing to see.”

Before choosing Vassar, Snider also considered Brown University, Amherst College and Tufts University. Snider, explaining why she chose Vassar, wrote that, “At first, I decided to look at Vassar because of the great academics (small class sizes, lots of interesting courses), beautiful campus (we have a lake!), and location (mountains and city). After sitting in on some classes, and meeting with the team, my final decision was really based on the friendly student body and warm vibe. Vassar just seemed like an inviting place, and the student body seemed very excited and happy.”

According to Snider, adjusting to life at Vassar has not been a challenge. “So far, life at Vassar has been as expected. I have found it to be a pretty easy place to adjust to. Everyone is super helpful and the environment has felt comfortable.”

Academically, Snider remains undecided on what she eventually wants to study. “I’m currently undecided, and don’t plan on declaring until next fall. Right now, I’m considering a major in Cognitive Science, but my interests are definitely not limited to that.”

The season is still far from over, but all three players underscored their excitement for what the future has in store. Cleves wrote, “We are a really close team and all of the freshmen have been such great additions. I am really excited for these next couple years.”

Farrell echoed similar sentiments, and wrote that, “Kate has made a huge impact on our success this season. It will be awesome to see her growth as a runner and our growth as a team the rest of this season and beyond.”

Again, the runners harp on the promising potential moving forward. Snider said, “Of course, our season is anything but over, but if we continue to put in the work and race how we’ve been racing this entire fall, it looks like it will be an exciting one!”

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