By Samantha Reid
Name: Amber Snearl
Sport: Cross Country
Hometown: St. Louis
Q: What was your favorite part of this past season?
A: My favorite part of this past season was being able to see an entirely new team come in and adapt to the athletics environment here at Roosevelt. I also have to say that I enjoyed being able to welcome our new coach, Sam Vasquez, to our sport, as well as train under his great teachings and experiences as an Olympic athlete.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge the cross country program faces?
A: Honestly, the cross country program has faced the problem of maintaining a bigger girls team. While the team that we do have is great, it has been a struggle to have a fully committed team of us. I look forward to being able to change that within the upcoming cross country season. I see bigger things happening for our team in the next year.
Q: How long have you been involved in cross country, and how did you initially get started in it?
A: I’ve been running cross country for eight years now, starting in high school as a way to keep in shape for track season, which I [have] been running since I was in middle school. I have been a part of the Roosevelt cross country team since my freshman year here in 2011. I’ve always loved running, and I felt as though I found the perfect program here at Roosevelt, small enough to become a family and big enough to reach our goals.
Q: What made you decide to run in college?
A: Honestly, talking with other collegiate athletes about their experiences is what ultimately made me decide to run in college. As a senior in high school, I started putting myself out there and on sites such as Be Recruited. When I got responses from programs throughout the Midwest, Roosevelt is what stuck out to me, and getting to know some of the members that were already a part of the program sold me.
Q: Do you have any people (players, coaches, supporters, etc.) that you look up to?
A: I’ve always looked up to Sanya Richards Ross, who is an Olympic track and field world champion. She inspires me to work hard, even through the toughest of times, she has always gone for the gold. Watching her make her way to the Olympics is always what I look forward to.
Q: Where does the team practice?
A: Our team practices right here in the city. During cross country, we do long-runs right on the lakefront path, and we manage to have workout days anywhere from the softball fields in Grant Park to the tracks in Hyde Park. Running is an easy sport to practice because all we need is the space, which with being so close to the lakefront, we have plenty of.
Q: How have you balanced your cross country schedule with school and other responsibilities?
A: Being both a student and an athlete has helped me keep my focus. Having class and practice at the same times everyday allows for me to plan my schedule accordingly. I can balance schoolwork and my cross country duties easily knowing that I have set times to do so.
Q: When you aren’t doing cross country, what do you like to do in your free time?
A: When I’m not doing cross country, I like to have fun just like any other college student. I enjoy hanging out with friends and exploring this great city that we live in. Being able to sit around and do nothing is also just as fun. If I’m not running, it feels so good to just relax.
Q: What’s your favorite part about running?
A: My favorite part about running is that there are no rules; you just run. I can get lost on a run and just clear my mind for so long. It never gets old seeing all that this city has to offer. There are so many different routes that I could take. The possibilities are endless.
Q: When you’re done at Roosevelt, what’s your dream career?
A: When I’m done at Roosevelt, my dream career is to be in on-site marketing. I have spoken with quite a few marketing professionals, and I am sure that I would just love to work in marketing where I don’t have to be at a desk 24/7, but where I can have just as much impact as if I were.