TOKYO, Japan — Sanford native Rachel Schneider placed 17th overall in the first round of the women's 5,000 meter run at the Tokyo Olympics Friday, ultimately missing a chance to run in the finals.
Schneider ran 15:00.07. The top five finishers from each of the two heats and the next five overall fastest advanced to the finals.
She was in the top five of her heat for the majority of the race, until the final two laps when the frontrunners started to pull away.
Schneider posted on Instagram just before noon Eastern time, saying:
"Feeling all the feels right now.
Honored to have repped #TeamUSA at the Olympics. Grateful the Games are safely happening in these strange times and I showed up healthy, fit & happy. Proud of the race I ran. Heartbroken to have missed making the final by a fraction of a second. Ecstatic for @karissaschweiz4 & @elise.cranny to be moving onto the final! Hungry for more. Overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from afar🙏🏼 And so incredibly thankful Mike was there to hug me after the race, wipe away some tears, recenter me, and be by my side every step of the way in this crazy wonderful journey❤️
Letting myself feel it all right now, doing my best to soak in this experience, and looking forward to pouring it all out there again (hopefully soon)! But most immediately: excited to cheer my heart out for TeamUSA through the end of the Olympics!!!🇺🇸
REPLAY LINK | Watch Schneider's heat at the 35-minute mark.
The top seven runners in the second heat, which Schneider ran in, finished as follows:
1. Gudaf Tsegay - Ethiopia: 14:55.74
2. Hellen Obiri - Kenya: 14:55.77
3. Nadia Battocletti - Italy: 14:55.83
4. Elise Cranny - USA: 14:56.14
5. Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal - Norway: 14:56.82
6. Nozomi Tanaka - Japan: 14:59.93
7. Rachel Schneider - USA: 15:00.07
Schneider would have needed to run faster than 14:59.55 to earn a spot in the finals.
Schneider's extended family gathered at the family's home in Sanford to watch her race this morning. They wore custom blue T-shirts that Schneider's sister, Kathy, had made for every sibling, aunt, uncle, and cousin in the family.
NBC Sports commentators remarked on the stifling humidity in the stadium, and noted how many runners were completely exhausted after finishing the race. Some were barely able to stand up after crossing the finish line.
The Netherlands' Sifan Hassan finished first overall with a time of 14:47.89.
NEWS CENTER Maine is hoping to speak with Schneider in the next 24 hours.
This story will be updated.