In this April 21, 2021, file photo, Rachel Schneider celebrates after winning the women's USA Track & Field 1-Mile Road Championship at the Drake Relays athletics meet in Des Moines, Iowa. Credit: Charlie Neibergall / AP

Sanford native Rachel Schneider narrowly missed qualifying for the women’s 5,000-meter final at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

Schneider, the third-place finisher in the event at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June, placed seventh in the second of the two semifinal heats. Her time of 15 minutes, 00.07 seconds was the 17th-fastest time overall among 38 competitors.

Runners could qualify for Monday’s 5,000 final by placing among the top five finishers in each semifinal or having one of the five fastest times among those that didn’t qualify automatically.

While Schneider’s time of 15 minutes, 00.07 seconds was the second-fastest time in her heat among runners that didn’t finish in the top five, the first heat produced five times beyond the automatic qualifiers faster than Schneider’s effort.

Andrea Seccafien of Canada, the 10th-place finisher in the first heat, was the final runner to advance on time at 14:59.55, or 0.52 seconds faster than Schneider’s finish.

The two other Americans in the women’s 5,000 field each advanced to the final.

Elise Cranny, the U.S. Olympic Trials champion in the event, earned automatic qualification by finishing fourth in the second semifinal with a time of 14:56.14.

Karissa Schweizer, the Trials runner-up at 5,000 meters, placed seventh in the first semifinal, but her time of 14:51.34 was the second-fastest among runners who did not earn a top-five finish in either heat.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...