Tegenkamp wins at S&T invite

Jeremy Thomas


The Missouri S&T Jockling Jacks invitational marked the final meet of the women’s cross country season before the MIAA Championship meet begins on Oct. 22. 

Missouri Southern put up a third-place showing at the meet, finishing just behind conference foe Pittsburg State University in the team standings.

“Going into the meet it was extremely important that my runners went out and ran a good race to build confidence heading into the conference championship,” Head Coach Patty Vavra said. 

Lions’ junior Marlee Tegenkamp once again showed why she is a leader on the team, and one of the MIAA’s best runners. Tegenkamp took home the individual title at the meet as she finished the 5k course first in a time of 17:56, a full six seconds in front of second place. Her teammate Rachel Schrader had the team’s second-best finish, as she placed seventh in a time of 18:38, while fellow Lions Oliva Francka and Codi Fritchie placed No. 19 and 23.  

Francka finished in a time of 19:14 while Fritchie finished in a time of 19:33.

“I was extremely pleased with the effort of my runners, they all competed hard, I thought that was the best team effort race of the season thus far,” Vavra said. “We only had six runners at this meet, but every individual had the mindset to step their running up, and help out the team score, and they went out there and did just that.” 

From the start of the season, the lions were young and in need of true team unity and chemistry. With improvements both physically and mentally each week, the Lions seem to be gelling at just the right time.

“This team has developed into a possible championship quality team,” Vavra said. 

She also said that she thinks the light bulb has come on for her runners, as they start to realize the conference championships are approaching fast. 

“There is an immeasurable advantage of running at home. There are a lot of ingredients that makes it efficient for runners to run at home, my runners will look to take advantage of them,” Vavra said. 

Although the Lions have a home field advantage, this year’s conference teams are stacked, according to Vavra. 

“One of five teams has a chance to take home the title, it will come down to who shows up and has the best race.”