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Memorial grad Schneider to run in Olympic trials, Bednarek short in 100m qualifiers

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EUGENE, OR (WQOW)- One of Eau Claire's own is getting his shot to compete on Track and Field's grandest stage.

Memorial grad and Montana State runner Drake Schneider will compete in the 400m hurdles at the Olympic Trials this week. He qualified as one of the top 28 runners in the nation in the event last week.

Schneider says the last year of training and uncertainty due to COVID-19 has been taxing. He missed nationals last month after a bad race, but he views his trip to the trials as a shot at redemption.

"I don't want to take it for granted," Schneider said. "I want to go out there and I want to run a PR. I want to make sure people know that I'm supposed to be there, and it's one more race to show myself that all of the hard work that I've put in over the last year-and-a-half, and maybe then some is cumulative, and that it's added up to something bigger than I could have ever imagined."

Schneider will need to post a top-three time in the event to earn a trip to Tokyo. His first qualifying race will be on Thursday night in Eugene, OR.

Meanwhile, Rice Lake native Kenny Bednarek got his chance at Tokyo in the 100-meter dash Sunday, but fell three one-hundreths of a second short of qualifying, finishing fourth in the race with a time of 9.89 seconds. He will attempt to qualify again in his signature event, the 200m, next weekend.

Evan Hong

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