Schneider Forges a Path at Old Saybrook
Jacob Schneider led the Rams on the trails as a captain the past two seasons, finishing his career with his fourth-straight All-Shoreline Conference honor and second-consecutive All-State nod this fall. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Schneider )
Jacob Schneider was trying to find his place in the sports world when he happened upon cross country in the 6th grade. Jacob found his niche in running and stuck with it all the way through his time at Old Saybrook High School, where he recently completed his senior season as a captain for the boys’ cross country team.
“I’ve been running in cross country and track since 6th grade,” says Jacob. “I was never particularly gifted in the other sports I played as most kids participate in like basketball, soccer, and baseball. I tried out running and seemed to have some natural ability and enjoyed the simplistic competition of finishing in front of someone else.”
Jacob has continually improved his times on the course since he started running in 6th grade. Jacob’s senior year with the Rams proved the best season of his career as he earned All-Shoreline Conference First Team and All-State First Team honors on behalf of the Rams.
“My favorite aspect of running is seeing my improvements and results from my training,” Jacob says. “Luckily, I have amazing coaches and, with their guidance, I experience growth with every workout.”
Jacob’s favorite meet of his senior year came when Old Saybrook competed at Shoreline Conference Championship. Jacob ran a time of 17 minutes and 35 seconds to finish in eighth place for the Rams, who were matched up against Hale-Ray at the meet. A two-time captain, Jacob has now made All-Shoreline in all four years of high school and gone All-State the past two seasons.
“Although the situation was not ideal, given we could only race one team at a time and compile the results after, I couldn’t have picked a better team to race against than Hale-Ray,” says Jacob of running at Shorelines. “They have a great top-four runners who I am still running with in my offseason.”
Head Coach Pete Capezzone describes Jacob as one of the true leaders on Old Saybrook’s roster. Capezzone feels that Jacob serves as an excellent mentor for the Rams’ underclassmen.
“Jacob has been one of our captains for the past two years. He is an excellent leader for both the younger and the seasoned athletes,” Capezzone says. “He works extremely hard at getting better and stronger as an athlete.”
Jacob appreciates all the effort that Coach Capezzone has put into helping him improve throughout the past four years. He also credits Coach Jan Merrill for aiding his progression as a runner. In addition to cross country, Jacob competes for the Old Saybrook boys’ indoor and outdoor track teams.
“Coach Capp has been a great coach to me. He’s always extremely encouraging and does what he can to give me and my teammates the best conditions to succeed, especially in our unpredictable season this year,” says Jacob. “As well as Coach Capp, Coach Merrill has been a great resource for me these past four years. She knows the ins and outs of how to develop runners. I wouldn’t be where I am now without them.”
Jacob consistently does two things to ensure that he’s the best runner he can be. Jacob listens to his body when it’s aching and also performs the proper warmup and recovery exercises in order to stay in tiptop shape.
“I do a variety of workouts to stay in shape and get ready for my next season during my breaks,” Jacob says. “I don’t play any other sports. I’m a three-season runner.”
When he isn’t on the track or the trails, Jacob enjoys working with technology and has even built his own computer on which he plays video games. In the classroom, Jacob is an honors student and a member of the National Honor Society at Old Saybrook High School. Jacob has achieved excellence in his Introduction to Programming class, as well as in his Advanced Programming class.
“I am determined to further my education in order to better my knowledge about technology and make an impact in society,” says Jacob. “I have not committed to a school yet, but will be running in college.”