Baylor cross country predicts a bright future

Baylor cross country sophomore Lily Jacobs competes in the 2020 Big 12 Championships in Kansas. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer

The future of Baylor cross country is in good hands with runners like freshman Drew Snyder on the men’s team and sophomore Lily Jacobs on the women’s team. The two have been consistently finishing toward the front of their respective teams in their races.

Both Jacobs and Snyder have finished in the top two of Baylor runners in every race they have been in, often accompanied by seniors Ellie Friesen and Ryan Hodge. Jacobs said Friesen pushes her the most and that their friendship and friendly rivalry has helped Jacobs compete at higher levels.

“I’m super grateful for [Friesen],” Jacobs said. “We really balance each other out. She’s definitely more mid-distance focused; that’s not really my specialty. So when we’re doing track workouts, she kind of pulls me along and then whenever we’re doing longer runs, I’m able to kind of help her out because that’s my specialty. I like that we help each other in that way and think that it’s awesome to have teammates like that.”

Snyder said he is looking to accomplish big things in his career at Baylor. He said he hopes to become an All-American and also has his eyes set on claiming a school record for himself.

“I’d like to be an All-American at some point,” Snyder said. “I don’t want to sound cocky, but there are a few of the school records that I was looking at and I was like ‘Oh, it’d be really cool to have a school record,’ so I set my goals up there. That would be really amazing. Running is hard because it takes a long time to get good. It takes a lot of miles and a lot of workouts and a lot of injuries. It feels really good for distance runners to get an award or to accomplish something like that because it shows how much they put into the sport.”

The two runners will be racing this Saturday at the Arturo Barrios Invitational in College Station for the last race before the Big 12 Championships. Both runners are expecting good things from themselves and their teams as a whole. Snyder ran a personal best in his last outing and said he is looking to do it again this weekend. Jacobs said she believes the team is capable of finishing in the top 10 with herself also in that range.

“My goal, just mentally, is to stay in the race the whole time,” Jacobs said. “I know I belong in the top 10 to top 20. I really want to see the rest of the team race with confidence and I think that we should be in the top 10 teams. That’s a huge goal for us considering this is the last meet before conference. Team-wise, definitely top 10. Individually, I’d love to get top 10 again.”