Women’s team improves every week preparing for variety of competition


Photo courtesy of Mike Gullet

Senior Kaitlyn Belisle competes in the Southern Stampede in 2012 at Missouri Southern.

The Missouri Southern women’s cross country team started the 2013 fall season at the University of Arkansas on Sept. 6, as competing againist Division I teams the University of Missouri and Arkansas.

Senior Kaitlyn Belisle, placed ninth on the 4k course, with a time of 14:29.

Freshman Dora Eastin finished in 17th with a time of 14:59. Freshman Kindra Emberton placed 25th place with a time of 15:16 while freshman Sierra Gray placed 26th with a time of 15:20 and sophomore Addie Mengwasser followed in 27th place. Sophomore Dana Roberson had a time of 15:44 followed by freshman Lizzy Kirby with a time of 15:54.

“I love running, I have a passion for running and I want to do well,” said Kirby, “I’m really dedicated and I’m not doing this for anyone else, I’m doing this for me. So going out there and sucking it up isn’t what I want to do.”

“This is the beginning of us really coming together as a team and running as a team,” said Women’s Head Coach Patty Vavra. “I think every week that we do that will be a stepping stone for the next meet to try and improve.”

The Lions will host the second meet of the season, the Southern Stampede. At last season’s Southern Stampede, the women took home third place out of 24 schools.

With a score of 115, the Lions placed behind two Division I schools, the University of Tulsa and the University of Arkansas.

Tulsa will be returning to Missouri Southern this year to compete in the stampede.

The Lions will see some familiar competition as there will be three teams from the MIAA competing this weekend. Lindenwood and Lincoln did not participate last year, but Pittsburg State did, so they know what to expect of the course.

“Right at the beginning there is a hill.It doesn’t look like it’s that big, but it gets you,” said Belisle, “Once you get up it, you kind of feel like your legs are dead, then you still have three miles to go and you’re pushing really hard, you’re tired already so pace it out and be smart throughout the race.”

The team’s top runner was Emily Harris with her 14th placed time of 18:10.14.

Former runner Rachel Schrader finished 16th with a time of 18:18:18 followed by Marlee Tegenkamp, who graduated from the team last year, with Belisle, in 26th and 30th, respectively.

“Its name fits the races themselves. Just to see that group of athletes come off the starting line is an event, a sight to behold, undoubtedly,” said Vavra.