NE Distance is excited to welcome its two newest members, John and Rachel Schilkowsky! Although they are no strangers to the New England area – they have been living, working, and training in Boston, MA for over two years – they will be moving to Providence, RI in just a few short weeks! They are thrilled to begin the next chapter of their lives as Rhode Islanders, homeowners, and members of NE Distance!
Rachel and John will be joining the NE Distance Elite Team, but as a married couple with full-time jobs, they will not be part of the athlete-in-residence fellowship program. NE Distance’s commitment to the community is part of what attracted them to relocate to Rhode Island and they are both eager to participate in our youth and community programming on a volunteer basis as their schedules permit.
They are true fans of the sport of running, both as competitors as well as spectators, and are committed to helping grow its popularity in the United States. The strong bond and sense of togetherness that running creates among people of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels is something Rachel and John hope to share with the Providence community, particularly with the youth. Running has enriched their lives in countless ways over the years, and they are incredibly excited to help it to do the same for others as a part of the NE Distance community.
Rachel: Leaps Tall Barriers in a Single Bound
During her four year career, Rachel earned a total of five All-American honors, including two 4th place finishes in the 3000m Steeplechase at the 2013 and 2014 DI NCAA Outdoor Championships and a 14th place finish at the 2013 DI NCAA Cross Country Championships. She was a three-time Ivy League Champion at 3000m and the 3000m Steeplechase, and stills hold the Ivy League record for the 3000m Steeplechase with her personal best time of 9:43.
Since graduating, Rachel has tried her hand at longer distances on the roads in addition to continuing her exploits on the track. In the last year she competed at a total of six USATF Championships, most notably finishing 18th in the 3000m SC at the 2017 Outdoor Championships, 12th at the 2017 15k Championships, and 7th in the 2 Mile at the 2017 Indoor Championships. Currently she is professionally sponsored by rabbit, a new California-based apparel company that manufactures all its clothing right here in the United States!
When she wasn’t busy training or racing at Cornell, she was hard at work earning first a bachelors in Biological Engineering and then a masters in Mechanical Engineering, also from Cornell. Upon graduating in December 2014, she started her career as technical consultant at a medical devices consulting firm in Boston, MA. In mid-June she began working in Downtown Providence at the RIH Orthopaedic Foundation as a Test Engineer.
John: Miler on a Mission
Although John arrived at Cornell as a solid 400m/800m runner – he was a two-time NC State Champion at 800m and ran 1:52 to take 2nd in the 800m at the 2010 National Scholastic Indoor Championships – he quickly found himself moving up in distance. In his sophomore year when he ran 4:03 for the mile in only his third ever race at the distance, John’s future as a miler was solidified. His junior year saw him continue to excel as he moved up in distance. He ran 24:30 for 8k to finish as Cornell’s 5th man at the 2012 Cross Country Ivy League Championships and notched a time of 8:06 for 3000m during the following indoor season in addition to lowering his mile PR to 4:02.
Though two serious injuries unfortunately kept him sidelined for most of his senior year, he still contributed to the team’s efforts as a Cross Country Captain. He went on to complete his collegiate eligibility the following year at Northeastern University where his experience and leadership played a crucial role in the young team’s success. Since joining the post-collegiate running world, John has also dabbled on the roads, once again finding success over longer distances. He most notably ran 14:49 and took 2nd place in the stacked 2016 Ras na heireann USA 5k, and finished 10th at the 2016 USATF-NE 10k Championships with a time of 31:30. This past spring, John returned to the track and improved during each one of his races, ultimately running a season’s best of 3:53 for 1500m. John also competes for rabbit as a member of their elite team.
After earning his bachelors in Nutrition from Cornell, he went on to earn his masters in Regulatory Affairs from Northeastern. Upon graduating in December 2015, he began working for the TIMI Study group of Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a Regulatory Clinical Trial Lead. Though he still holds that job, he is currently looking for a similar position in the Providence area.