With the New Year being just days old, some of us are still looking back at 2016, and although it seems last year left a bad taste in the mouths of many, it wasn’t all down days.
Lynn Schneider can attest to that.
In the fall of last year, Schneider had a very good day as she was honored with induction into the Cornell College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Schneider, a graduate of Nebraska City High School who lives in Omaha and works for Emspace, was a decorated thrower in track and field and a two-sport athlete at Cornell College. She also competed in volleyball.
She finished her Nebraska City High School athletic career in 2001 after placing at state in both the shot and the discus.
That was just the beginning of Schneider’s athletic story.
She would go on to become one of the most accomplished throwers in Cornell history, winning two All-America awards. Schneider still holds program records in the shot put and javelin throw.
While the honor was uniquely Schneider’s, the former Pioneer told the assembled crowd a celebratory ceremony back in October that it wasn’t all her doing.
It couldn’t have been.
She said she was thankful for her inclusion on a list of great Cornell athletes, but also felt a responsibility to give credit to others for what she had done.
“Eleven years after my days at Cornell, I now have the maturity, the insight and the wherewithal to proudly proclaim to this room that talent, commitment and dedication only go so far and the rest of the journey is actually achieved by the people standing beside you.”
Schneider meant to include all kinds of folks with those words.  She was thankful for family, friends, supporters, coaches, teammates and even heated rivals.

There was one person, however, that was singled out by Schneider in her statements. Cornell teammate Brandi (Rheberg) Clark filled the bill in every one of the above category. She was a best friend to the point of being family. She was a teammate and she was a rival who, at that time, joined Schneider in re-writing the record books at nearly every event the two attended.
“My star rose, but Brandi was right there beside me,” said Schneider.
In her final year, Schneider said she was pleased to make nationals and achieve All American status, something that had narrowly eluded her grasp as a junior.
Brandi narrowly missed going to nationals in that last year. But she still powered her teammate to new heights.
As the nationals competition wore on, it became clear that Schneider had gotten her All America finish.
It also was clear that, by the throws that day, Brandi’s effort, the one that had narrowly missed nationals qualification, would have placed her in the All America category as well.
It was certainly devastating for Brandi, as it was for Schneider, who wanted the best for her teammate. On Schneider’s sixth throw, she used the power of her emotional connection to Brandi to pull off her best throw.
In a sport of inches, Schneider had thrown a foot better than she ever had. And in the moment when Brandi couldn’t compete herself, she had inspired greatness from Schneider.
That greatness had come full circle with induction into the Cornell College Hall of Fame.
Brandi, who introduced Schneider at the celebratory event in October, shared in her accomplishment by thanking Schneider for all that she had done for her.
It was Schneider’s attitude that Brandi admired most. Schneider’s competitive zeal and her great attitude was a touchstone in creating a friendship that exists still today.
“She got us to be so excited and so motivated,” Brandi said. “That was more important than her numbers.”