Having siblings can make for some stiff competition. Having seven makes it more of a race. The second youngest of the seven, Alyssa Snyder didn’t start running competitively until her freshman year of high school, though she had plenty of informal practice chasing her siblings around. Now a freshman runner on the cross country team at Montana State, Snyder runs competitively every single day. Originally thinking about joining the dance team she decided to continue a family tradition by joining the cross-country team on the advice of her older sister. After years of racing her family to the dinner table she jumped right in, not only making the varsity team her freshman year, but also winning two races.
Her successful high school career continued with her sophomore year, dropping over a minute in the 5K. By the end of her sophomore season she had won four of her seven races. She accumulated 48 finishes in the top ten during her high school career. This was part of the dominant Park City (Utah) High School cross-country team that has won seven straight state championships and 13 overall.
With four state championships of her own under her belt, Snyder narrowed down her choices for college. She wanted to continue to train in the mountains, participate in an exercise science program and to stay close to home. Snyder found a place at MSU and hopes to use an exercise science major with an English minor to write about, you guessed it, running. She has already this with her blog “The Middle Distance Runner” at alysinrunderland.blogspot.com. In her blog you can find tips on running, update on current training programs and reviews of her races.
As with most runners she has plenty of superstitions from eating three hours before every meet, the same warm-up and having the same flavor and brand gel before each run. During high school she wore the same socks for every meet even wearing them the last race with a hole in them. The night before each race you will find her watching a movie, most frequently the fitting “Cool Runnings.”
When not totally engrossed in running, one might hear Snyder talking about food. While unable to narrow down her favorite food to one single item, she will be quick to tell you her favorite snack is Kit Kats dipped in Nutella. She also enjoys binge-watching Netflix whenever she gets the chance.
With her opening meet in the books she hopes to improve on her third place finish. Proving she belongs at the collegiate level certainly hasn’t been without adjustment. Her hip flexors have been causing some issues due to running with one foot directly in front of the other. She writes in her blog that she was diagnosed with a “weak booty and lazy hip flexors.” These issues have her in the training room three times a week rehabbing and gaining strength.
A couple months into a blossoming collegiate racing career Snyder looks to ignore the distractions and keep finding challenges that make her better. Whether it’s a paper that teaches her the science of running techniques, new approaches to training or maybe a new Nutella creation, she uses it all as inspiration to fuel her fire to take the Bobcats to new heights.