Halie Snyder’s trip to the New York State Track and Field Championships resulted in two things she thought were unlikely not long ago — a state title and a full ride to an NCAA Division I school.
Snyder, who graduated from Moriah Central School this spring and ran for the EKMW team, recently signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University at Albany and compete in indoor and outdoor track.
“They found me at the state meet, and it only took a matter of two days get in,” Snyder said. “It’s close to home, close to my grandparents. So it’s a good fit for me.”
Snyder qualified for the state championships in the past, but this was her breakout year. She placed in the top five in the 300-meter dash at the indoor state meet and then won the Division II 400 at the outdoor meet in June. She also made the podium in the 200 Division II race and the 400 Federation race.
Snyder broke the Section VII record in the 400 by clocking 55.59 seconds in May and then continued lowering it. She ran a 54.96 when she claimed her 400 championship.
Snyder said she had been contacted by the Great Danes staff during indoor season but wanted to keep her options open. She meet with head coach Roberto Vives after one of her races at the outdoor meet and signed a few days later.
Originally, running for a Division I team was not something Snyder thought was realistic.
“Oh, no,” she said. “I heard my coach talking about a Division I scholarship, (winning at) states, and I didn’t think I’d do any of that. So I sort of set it aside, drowned him out a little. It’s funny that it actually happened.”
Snyder said a number of college teams showed interest in her, and the recruiting process was eye-opening and lengthy.