Photo courtesy of Kelley Spencer

As her third season as a Bobcat commences, junior runner Devina Schneider has new things in mind for the upcoming cross country and track season.

Schneider began her running career in the second grade, and continued through high school, where she received the Most Valuable Player in both cross country and track. After graduating from Episcopal High School in Bellaire, Texas in 2015, Schneider came to San Marcos.

“I started when I was really little,” Schneider said. “My parents put me in the running program in the 2nd grade. After my first meet, I realized I actually liked it and I just stuck with it.”

Schneider chose Texas State to continue her running career because of the wildlife biology program. She also fell in love with the Hill Country.

“I have always been interested in the outdoors and animals,” Schneider said. “I just combined the two. Wildlife biology is also a really good major here.”

Her decision to move to San Marcos was the factor that split her and her identical twin sister, Jahnavi, up.

“My identical twin is also a runner,” Schneider said. “She competes for the University of Houston, where she is a kinesiology major.”

Schneider competed in five meets her freshman year debuting at the Texas State Invitational ended with a ninth place title and a time of 11:40.6.

At the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Championships, she was named a top finisher after finishing 13th with a time of 18:54.2.

In 2016, Schneider finished three times as a top-eight finisher during the indoor season. She won a bronze medal in the distance medley relay at the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships, where the women’s team took the Championship title.

Being in two sports can be difficult, but Schneider handles it well. The wildlife biology major utilizes her training in cross country to succeed in track.

“It makes it easier training for cross because when track comes around, you have a whole foundation laid out,” Schneider said. “I feel like I am a step ahead.”

Choosing a favorite running event was not hard for Schneider. Track prevails over cross country because of how strategic the sport is.

“I think I am more of a strategic runner in track,” Schneider said. “I am just now learning to strategize my race in cross country and put myself at certain points. In track, it just comes naturally for me. So, that is why I like it more.”

However, in handling being an athlete, Schneider takes being a student just as serious. For the 2016-17 school year, she was named a Texas State Academic Achievement recipient.

After graduation, Schneider would like to work for the National Parks and Wildlife Service, an organization dedicated to preserving parks and wildlife.

“I am interested in working with the National Parks and Wildlife after graduation,” Schneider said. “I think it would be pretty cool to work with them.”

As for now, Schneider has a few expectations for the season. For cross country, she would like to do well enough to make it to the NCAA South Central Regional meet in College Station, and further herself as an individual and as a team.

“I would like to get top ten as an individual in the Sun Belt Conference Championship meet,” Schneider said. “I also want our girls to do really well and finish top five there, at least. I am really hoping to go to regionals.”

As cross country is slowly winding down with SBC Championships on Oct. 28 in Boone, North Carolina, Schneider will begin to merge sports and start the new indoor track season once again.

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