Cross Country adds five runners to complete 2007 recruiting class
Missouri State cross country head coach Greg Hipp has received five additional commitments to join his program this fall. All hailing from the state of Missouri, the newest Bears include Katie Click (Springfield), Asher Kyger (Oldfield), Jacqui Lindsey (Kansas City), Terry Phillips (Kansas City), and Mari-Jean Vance (Columbia). Coupled with a pair of Illinois products who committed to Missouri State last fall, Nancy Nieto (South Elgin) and Kelsee Viano (Carlinville), the latest group of MSU recruits brings the total number of student-athletes Hipp will welcome to campus this fall to seven.
A Springfield Kickapoo product, Click ran fourth for the Chiefs’ 2006 Missouri Class 4 sixth-place cross country squad coached by Jeremy Goddard. She also competed in volleyball for the Chiefs. An outstanding student, Click graduated with a perfect 5.0 GPA, earning valedictorian honors at KHS.
Kyger will transfer to Missouri State for her final cross country season after capturing 15 Heart of America Conference championships and setting eight school records in the first three years of her collegiate track career at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan. The former Ava High School standout set personal bests of 2:10 in the 800 meters, 4:35 in the 1,500 meters, 9:54 in the 3,000 meters and 17:34 in the 5,000 meters. At the 2006 NAIA National Cross Country Championships, Kyger took ninth overall in the 5K (18:20) to earn All-America honors. At the NAIA track championships in 2006-07, she finished second in the 800 meters indoors (2:16) and sixth in the 1,500 meters outdoors (4:35).
Kansas City product Jacqui Lindsey comes to Missouri State from St. Theresa’s Academy. Coached by Ann-Bone Rodriquez and Karen Moran, Lindsey is an 800-meter specialist and owns personal bests of 2:21 in that event and 1:00 in the 400 meters.
Phillips is one of two Missouri high school state champions to sign with MSU track and field this year. Phillips won four state titles for Coach Tom Bates at St. Mary’s High in Independence, Mo. She ran away from the field at the 2006 Class 2 state cross country meet finishing 44-seconds ahead of her closest competitor and claimed the 3,200-meter run by a 29-second margin at the Class 2 state track and field meet. Phillips also won the 1,600-meter run (5:08) and was runner-up in the 800-meter run (2:18) at the state meet this past spring. The owner of 13 all-state honors for her high school career, she won the 2006 Class 2 3,200-meter title (11:15) as well, and was runner-up in the 1,600 meters (5:07). The Kansas City Examiner’s Female Track Athlete of the Year, Phillips also graduated as class valedictorian.
Vance will join the Missouri State cross country program after lettering all four years at Hickman High School, where she specialized in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs.
This fall the Bears will be seeking their sixth Valley title in the last eight seasons, as nine of MSU’s top 10 runners will return, including two-time All-MVC selection Kristin Wolkey, who posted Missouri State’s all-time top 5K performance of 17:23.67 last October at the Memphis Twilight Classic.
The 2007 Missouri State cross country season will get underway Saturday, Sept. 1, with the Bears competing in the Washington University Early Bird Meet in St. Louis, Mo. The Bears will host their first home cross country meet in six years, the MSU Cross Country Classic, on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the new Missouri State cross country facility, located just east of the US-65 and Division Street intersection in Springfield.