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April 14, 2000 - Image 23

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-04-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


UNSUNG

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P
~

By David Mosse N Daily Sports Writer

ebruary 26, 2000, the Big Ten
Championships in Bloomington.
Moments following the 600-
Ameter race, sophomore Jeremy
Schneider was found lying on the floor
-of the tunnel adjacent to the arena, with
his head in his hands. The most
poignant image of the Indoor season
spoke volumes about Michigan's track
and field star.
Schneider had just concluded what he
termed "the most disappointing race of
his life." After winning every 600-meter
race during the regular season, he failed
to deliver in the grand stage - placing
,seventh.
But for the Wolverines middle-dis-
tance ace, the episode was a mere blem-
ish in an otherwise triumphant season.
Week after week other teammates
garner all the headlines. If it's not All-
American Steve Lawrence, or silky-
smooth Ike Okenwa, it's super Swede
Patrik Johansson, or the flamboyant
Qded Padan.
Truthfully, Schneider lacks the
charisma of some of his teammates but
if you pulled head coach Ron Warhurst
aside and asked who the most consis-
tent Wolverine has been all season, his
answer would invariably be Jeremy
Schneider.
During indoor season, Schneider cap-
tured individual victories in seven of
nine meets and in three different races
- the 400, 600, and 800-meters.
Pretty remarkable when you consider
Dhow Schneider arrived in Ann Arbor. A
native of West Bloomfield, Schneider
attended Andover high school, where he
was- a member of the track and field
team. His highest honor? A fifth place
finish in the class B State meet in the
400-meter.
"That doesn't mean a whole lot when
every guy I face in college was a State
Champion" Schneider said.
Schneider's modest success sparked
nterest from a handful of Division III
Schools. But Schneider knew where he
wanted attend college.
"Michigan was the only school I
applied to," Schneider said. "Both my
parents, my grandfather, and my uncle
all went to U-M."
Once he arrived, Schneider opted to
try out for the track team. The first day
he arrived at the Michigan track build-
ing, Schneider encountered one of the
argest recruiting classes in the nation.
e knew full well he had his work cut
out.
"I was really scared," Schneider said.

"I remember the first meeting when the
coaches talked about cuts and what
times they expected from us. But I ran
my ass off and did pretty well."
And the rest as they say is history.
Schneider has improved leaps and
bounds since his freshman year and is
now one of the catalysts of the the team.
"I'm doing a lot better in College
than I did in high school," Schneider
said. "My freshman and sophomore
years in high school, I didn't even place.
My freshman and sophomore years in
college, I'm winning races."
Schneider attributes the turn around
to the maturation of his body. At 6-5,
and extremely skinny, he lacked coordi-
nation in high school. But Schneider
has gained 30 lbs. since since coming to
Michigan and his height is no longer a
hindrance to his running.
"My muscles have finally caught-up
to my weight." Schneider said. _
How surprised is Schneider at all the
success he has achieved?
"Not at all", Schneider said.
"Nobody fairs well that doesn't expect
to win. To be good, you have to think
your the best."
But Schneider's rags to riches story
wasn't without adversity. One chilly,
winter night, Schneider nearly lost it all.
On February 14, two weeks prior to
the Big Ten Championships, Schneider
was sleeping peacefully in his bed. At
3:30 a.m. the smoke detector went off in
his apartment. Schneider ran downstairs
only to find his living room filled with
smoke.
"I opened the door to the hallway and
smoke came in my face," Schneider
said. "I pounded on Brent's door (room-
mate and teammate Brent Scheffer). I
went downstairs and I couldn't breathe
or see. We ran to the balcony which
wasn't that high up."
The two jumped off the balcony onto
the street. Scheffer, who Schneider
describes as the "real hero" actually
ventured back to the apartment and
snagged coats and sneakers for the two.
Schneider spent the night at his friend
Jessica Roberts' apartment, awaiting
word on the damage.
The following day, Schneider
returned home only to find he had very
little to come back to.
"The hallway was torched. The fire
burned through the walls and into our
apartment," Schneider explained. "All
our plastic and metal stuff burned
down. I lost my computer, mp3 player,
and stereo. My varsity jacket is ruined

and I'm kind of embarrassed to sk for
a new one. All the furniture brd
down."
The apartment was beynd repai
Schneider now lives in the roc
Residence hall on Noth ampus. T
cause of the fire remainsa myery The
police suspect arson, bt no ats hav
been made and the investiin
ongoing.
Schneider tried his bet not to d
on the incident. He remakably atnded
all his classes the next day, but eventu-
ally his resolve began to crack.
"I was kind of in denlai Schneider
said. "But then the next week, I had to
move everything I owned and buy new
things. Move into a new apartment.
was very depressing."
Schneider leaned on his teammates in
his time of need, and they were h app to
oblige. Several members of the team
helped Schneider move his stu our of
the apartment, and Michig an coah Ron
Warhurst permitted chneder to store
his belongings in the closet of the mak
building.
As he reflects on his experience,
Schneider realizes how lucky he is to be
alive and how worse things could have
been.
"Stuff can be replaced Schneider
said. "I'm just glad no one got I
didn't lose anything der to me M
eyes were hurt and I inhaed on
smoke, bu t ot he rwise I miade out
alright."
With the i ident now fuly hind
him, Schneide an cunmci n
and memher of et Kappa Nu fu dni
looks forward to inn ng :l t: gol
he set for himsel, both on and the
track.
"I'd like to win Hi Tens a soon a
possible' Schneider said d e to
hopefuly go to nationals this yecar Anud
maybe senior year, win natinals.kLetis
keep things realistic.
As for the Mihigan piogram
Schneider sees a brict( > a>u dpi
an up and down ason In addtion
being one of the lagst his aidremen-
tioned recruiting cl, wa one of the
nation's best and Schneder be e
they are capable of scal things n
the group puts it al togthe
And for now, al chneider is con-
cerned about is helping ic.he po
gram to another lex l and ha n fun
doing it.
"I love the team," Schneider said.
"Everyday I go to praciice and laugh the
whole time. EIvcyone is prett cool

. I -

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