MSSU women’s cross country team takes 4th in regionals, qualifies for nationals


Photo courtesy Mike Gullett, The Chart

Junior Rachel Schrader crosses the finish line during last weekend’s race. Schrader finished the race 11th overall.

Missouri Southern women’s cross country team earned fourth place at the NCAA Regional meet at the MSSU cross country course. The fourth place win qualified the Southern runners for a spot in the NCAA Division II National Championships. This is the fifth time in the last six years the Lions have qualified.

Three Southern athletes earned All-Region honors. Junior Rachel Schrader from Bolivar, Mo led the race earning an 11th place time of 21:46.3. Marlee Tegenkamp, a senior from ,Lee’s Summit, Mo., earned 18th place with a time of 21:46.3, followed by junior Kaitlyn Belisle from Enid, Okla., with a 21st placing time of 22:00.9.

“We had a few girls that didn’t have their best race. As soon as they crossed the line, they knew that they didn’t race very well. But a few of the girls picked up a place or two. We had a few that did really great, but a few that didn’t do so hot. But, we were able to get it done as a team and now we’re going to nationals,” Tegenkamp said.

Sophomore Lauren Baehr from Owensville, Mo., placed 54m with a time of 22:44.2, followed by freshman Addie Mengwasser, senior Cassy Kendrick and Freshman Jet Hovis in 65, 79, and 114 place.

The Lions earned 160 points, behind University of Mary with 149 points, Winona State 108 points and Augustan with 29 points.

“The goal of the team for the entire season has been to qualify for the national championship that we’re hosting here at Missouri Southern,” Head Coach Patty Vavra said. “They’ve worked on that from way back, from before the beginning of the season. The training and the number of hours they spend and the number of miles they run to get to this level is impressive. I’m extremely excited for our young ladies that they were able to accomplish that goal.”