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Three Stephens Student-Athletes Earn Degrees at Fall Commencement

Soccer player Jazmin Gac graduates with honors, earns Magna Cum Laude

December 12, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A total of three current and former Stephens College student-athletes received their degrees Friday, Dec. 12 during fall commencement ceremonies. Stephens President Dianne Lynch conferred degrees on roughly 50 graduate and undergraduate students at the ceremonies held in the Kimball Ballroom of Lela Raney Wood Hall.

Headlining the group of student-athletes was senior Jazmin Gac, who graduated magna cum laude, an honor bestowed upon students with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.80 to 3.89. Gac was a three-year varsity letterwinner on the soccer team and played a key role on defense for the Stars.

Also joining Gac was Tara Chronister, a member of the Stars’ cross country team for three years (2011-13) and Mary White, who played softball in 2013.

Award-winning actor, therapist and children’s theatre facilitator Sara Herrnstadt Crosby ’76 delivered the keynote address. Crosby received her B.F.A. in Theatre from Stephens and enjoyed a varied acting career based out of New York City. Her roles brought her to Off-Broadway, television and film as well as regional theaters.

Meredith Jacob and Madeline Carl, both earning B.F.A.s in film, delivered remarks on behalf of the undergraduate class while Sandra Silva, who is earning a Master in Strategic Leadership, represented the graduate class.

By sport, here are the current/former student-athletes completing their degrees in December 2014:

Cross Country (1) - Tara Chronister, B.S. in Biology
Soccer (1) - Jazmin Gac, B.S. in Fashion Marketing & Management
Softball (1) - Mary White, B.S. in Fashion Marketing & Management



Stephens Senior Emily Mendoza Named to Daktronics-NAIA Women's Cross Country Scholar-Athlete List

Mendoza garners academic honor for second year in a row

November 24, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – One member of the Stephens College cross country team was recognized by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete. For the second year in a row, runner Emily Mendoza (SR, Iowa City, Iowa) made the list. The announcement was made by the NAIA National Office on Monday following this weekend’s Cross Country National Championships.

Overall, 340 women’s cross country student-athletes were named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes. Indiana Wesleyan University led all programs with 10 individuals on the list.

Mendoza carries an impressive 3.98 cumulative GPA as a double major in business and psychology. The Iowa City, Iowa, native is a three-time AMC Academic All-Conference honoree and has been a mainstay on the dean’s list with high honors. Outside of cross country, Mendoza has competed on the Stephens College tennis team and has been involved with several groups on campus including Alpha Lambda Delta, Stephens CRU and Kappa Delta. She has also served as a Financial Aid peer counselor, student ambassador and tour guide.

Earlier in November, Mendoza capped off her four-year cross country career with a 62nd-place finish at the AMC Cross Country Championships, finishing with a 5K time of 25:45.20.

In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved junior academic status to qualify for the honor.

To learn more about the Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete award, click here.

2014 Daktronics-NAIA Women’s Cross Country Scholar-Athletes - PDF



Freshman Duo Registers Top Times for Stars at AMC Championships

Stephens College cross country finished the 2014 season with an 11th-place finish in Hannibal, Mo.

November 6, 2014

Complete Results

HANNIBAL, Mo. – Notwithstanding the windy conditions and hilly course layout, the Stephens College cross country team put forth a solid effort on Thursday as it competed in the 2014 American Midwest Conference Championships. The Stars wrapped up its first season under head coach Nancy Yaeger with an 11th-place finish as a team.

Despite the graduation of two seniors this year – Ivi Lewis & Emily Mendoza – the Stars have a bright future ahead with several underclassmen leading the charge.

Brittany Stanfield was the Stars’ top finisher for the fourth time this season. Finishing 50th overall, Stanfield covered the 5K course in 24:16.20, which was slightly off pace from her top time at the St. Louis Fall Classic.

Fellow freshman Fey Chavez stuck together with Stanfield and crossed the finish line just three tenths behind her teammate. Chavez turned in a time of 24:16.50 and finished 51st overall.

Capping off their cross country careers, seniors Ivi Lewis and Emily Mendoza finished back-to-back in 61st and 62nd, respectively. Lewis posted a time of 25:39.50, while Mendoza finished shortly after in a time of 25:45.20.

Upperclassman Allegra O’Keefe continues to shed time off her previous bests, this time bettering her St. Louis Classic mark by three seconds. She clocked in at 25:46.10 and finished just two spots behind Mendoza.

Rounding out the Stephens contingent at the AMC Cross Country Championships was Julie Valentine. The sophomore shaved off 16 seconds from her season best and finished 67th overall (26:01.00).

Columbia College ran away with the team title after securing all five runners in the top 12 (34 points). It marks the first time since 2005 that a team other than William Woods or Park has won the conference championship. Last year’s team champion, William Woods, claimed runner-up honors with 57 points.

The AMC individual title was awarded to Columbia’s Lindsey Martin, who cruised to a time of 18:33.10, more than 37 seconds ahead of the next closest competitor.

AMC Cross Country Academic All-Conference Honorees

2014 AMC Cross Country Championships – Team Standings
1. Columbia – 34
2. William Woods – 57
3. Hannibal-LaGrange – 97
4. Park – 122
5. Missouri Baptist – 126
6. Williams Baptist – 146
7. St. Louis College of Pharmacy – 179
8. Freed-Hardeman – 213
9. Lindenwood-Belleville – 224
10. Benedictine-Springfield – 256
11. Stephens – 278



Chavez Leads the Way for Stephens at St. Louis Cross Country Fall Classic

The Stars placed three runners in the top 100 and finished 17th overall

October 25, 2014

Individual Results

ST. LOUIS – In its final tune-up before the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Championships, the Stephens College cross country team hit the Central Field course at Forest Park for the St. Louis Fall Cross Country Classic to the Central Field course at Forest Park for. The Stars placed 17th out of 18 teams and had three individuals finish in the top 100.

Saturday’s conditions were a night-and-day difference from the NAIA Preview Meet in Lawrence, Kan., two weeks ago. The times reflected as much as all seven runners improved their 5K season bests.

A healthy Fey Chavez led the way for Stephens as she chopped off 1 minute, 36 minutes from her time at Rim Rock Farm on Oct. 11. Chavez crossed the finish line at 22:19 and placed 65th overall. Fellow freshman Brittany Stanfield also ran sub-23 and finished 74th overall with her time of 22:52.

Ivi Lewis was the other Star to crack the top 100 as she clocked in at 25:33 for 99th place. Allegra O’Keefe had a breakout performance in St. Louis, dropping more than 50 seconds off her previous best. The junior registered a time of 25:49 and placed 102nd overall. Emily Mendoza joined the other upperclassmen with a sub-26 time of 25:59 (104th).

Julie Valentine finished the race in 26:17 (106th), while Melissa Brereton shaved off nearly two minutes from her time at the NAIA Preview Meet. Brereton crossed the finish line at 29:10 and placed 112th individually.

Truman State took home the team title and Columbia College’s Lindsey Martin finished first overall with a lightning quick time of 17:51. Other teams participating in today’s event included Central Missouri (NCAA DII), Maryville (NCAA DII), William Woods, Lindenwood (NCAA DII), Campbellsville, Evangel, Williams Baptist, Missouri Baptist, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Westminster (NCAA DIII), Saint Mary of the Woods (NCAA DIII), College of the Ozarks, Culver-Stockton, Quincy (NCAA DII) and Cumberland.

The Stars will close out the 2014 season on Thursday, Nov. 6. Hannibal-LaGrange University is set to host the AMC Championships with the women’s 5K run beginning at 2 p.m.



Stars Face Stiff Competition at NAIA Preview Meet

Brittany Stanfield chalks up quickest time for Stephens at Rim Rock Farm

October 11, 2014

Complete Results

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Competing against some of the top cross country teams in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the Stars ran to a 32nd place finish at the NAIA Preview Meet on the grounds of Rim Rock Farm. Saturday’s meet gave the Stephens College cross country team its first taste of a standard 5K and it was Brittany Stanfield who led the way.

For the third consecutive competition, Stanfield paced the Star finishers. The freshman crossed the finish line with a time of 23:02.20, good for 196th among individual scorers and 263rd overall.

Fey Chavez cracked the 24-minute mark in Lawrence with her time of 23:55.50. She was second among Stephens runners and was 205th in the individual rankings and 284th overall.

The group of Emily Mendoza, Ivi Lewis and Julie Valentine all finished within 15 seconds of each other. Mendoza was the third Star to cross the finish line at 26:08.10. Lewis clocked in at 26:13.10, while Valentine came in shortly behind at 26:21.50. The trio finished 209th, 210th and 211th, respectively.

Allegra O’Keefe and Melissa Brereton rounded out the Stars’ runners finishing with times of 26:40.60 and 31:05.00.

In two weeks, Stephens will head back to St. Louis for the third time this season to run in the St. Louis College of Pharmacy Fall Classic. The start time for the event is 10:30 a.m. at Forest Park.



Stephens Cross Country Runs to a Fifth-Place Finish at Maryville Open

Freshmen Brittany Stanfield and Fey Chavez paced the Stars with 21st, 22nd place

September 27, 2014

Complete Results

ST. LOUIS – The Stephens College cross country squad, led by the performances of freshmen Brittany Stanfield and Fey Chavez, placed fifth out of five teams on Saturday in the Maryville University Cross Country Open.

The freshman duo continues to lead the way for the Stars in the third meet of the season. After running 4Ks at the WashU Earlybird Invitational and UCM Mule Run, Stanfield and Chavez paced the Stars in Saturday’s 6K run. Brittany Stanfield clocked in at 27:59.30, which was good for 21st place. Chavez, who placed 22nd, was just two seconds behind at 28:01.30.

The next group of Stephens runners all finished within a minute of each other and placed 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th respectively. Sophomore Julie Valentine posted a time of 31:17.80, followed by senior Emily Mendoza (31:44.40), junior Allegra O’Keefe (31:59.80) and senior Ivi Lewis (32:07.40). Junior Melissa Brereton rounded out the Star runners with a time of 36:19.70 and 32nd place.

In two weeks, the Stephens cross country team will run its first 5K of the season as it participates in the NAIA Preview Meet held in Lawrence, Kan., the same site as the 2014 NAIA Cross Country Championship.



Cross Country Stars Place 15th at University of Central Missouri Mule Run

Stephens traveled seven on Saturday, all of which had strong performances

September 13, 2014

Complete Results

WARRENSBURG, Mo. – Several Stephens College cross country members registered top performances as they hit the course at Pertle Springs on Saturday for the University of Central Missouri Mule Run (4K). The freshman duo of Brittany Stanfield and Fey Chavez paved the way for the Stars, finishing 107th and 113th, respectively.

Stanfield and Chavez, who also finished 1-2 for the Stars at the WashU Early Bird Invitational, each improved their time from the opening meet. Stanfield clocked in at 18:41.48, more than 45 seconds faster than Aug. 30. Chavez broke 19 minutes for the first time this season and finished with a final time of 18:58.08.

Senior Emily Mendoza achieved her best 4K time since freshman year on Saturday, crossing the finish line at 20:13.03. Overall, Mendoza placed 126th.

Following closely behind Mendoza was the group of Ivi Lewis (20:24.92 – 127th), Allegra O’Keefe (20:46.20 – 132nd) and Julie Valentine (20:54.91 – 135th). Both Lewis and Valentine chopped off more than a minute from two weeks ago. And rounding out the Stephens runners was junior Melissa Brereton who was running in her first collegiate meet. Brereton placed 141st with a time of 22:55.38.

As a team, Stephens finished 15th in a field containing numerous NCAA DII and DIII institutions. Southwest Baptist University took home top team honors with all five scoring runners finishing in the top 10. Other NAIA schools competing included Benedictine (Kan.), Park, Evangel, Haskell Indian Nations, Avila and Central Methodist.

Next up for the Stars’ cross country team is the Maryville University Cross Country Open (6K) on Saturday, Sept. 27. The race will take place in St. Louis at 10 a.m.



Stephens Cross Country Opens Year at WashU Early Bird Invitational

Freshmen Fey Chavez and Brittany Stanfield pace the Stars with top-100 finishes

August 30, 2014

Complete Results

ST. LOUIS – The Stephens College cross country team kicked off the 2014 season on Saturday morning at the Gabby Reuveni Early Bird Invitational hosted by Washington University-St. Louis. Despite a break in the recent heat have, the humidity was still present at the start of the 4K race.

Leading the way for the Stars were freshman runners Fey Chavez (New Haven, Mo.) and Brittany Stanfield (Chillicothe, Mo.), who both navigated the fairly flat course at Forest Park in sub-20 minutes.

Chavez finished first among Stephens athletes and clocked in at 19:01 for 89th place overall, while Stanfield also broke into the top 100 with her time of 19:28 (95th).

Upperclassman Ivi Lewis (Sr., St. Louis, Mo.) was the No. 3 runner for the Stars placing 106th overall in 21:33. Rounding out the rest of SC’s individual competitors was newcomer Julie Valentine (So., Portland, Ind.) at 22:09 (108th).

In all, 111 competitors from 12 colleges took to the course on Saturday morning.

Former Star student-athlete and current Columbia College runner Lindsey Martin led the way in the women’s 4K race with a winning time of 14:27.

Stephens cross country will return to action Sept. 13 when it takes part in the University of Central Missouri Mule Run (4K) in Warrensburg, Mo.



Nancy Yaeger Announced as Stephens College Cross Country Coach

July 14, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. – XC NancyYaeger Stephens College Director of Athletics Deb Duren has announced the appointment of Nancy Yaeger as head coach of the cross country team. Yaeger becomes the fifth coach in program history and fourth in four seasons for the Stars.

Her training and coaching credentials will certainly bring a new flavor to the cross country program, which enters its ninth season in 2014.

“She has a very kind and motivated personality, a great background of training athletes of all ages and ability levels, and a clear passion for running,” said senior cross country athlete Emily Mendoza, who served on the search committee.

Currently, Yaeger is a coach and co-founder for the Tiger Endurance Company, a youth triathlon team in Columbia, Mo. She is involved with the day-to-day operations: writing training plans, coordinating race schedules, managing volunteer coaches, and maintaining the budget, marketing and sponsorships.

In addition to Tiger Endurance Company, Yaeger coaches various adults training for triathlons and marathons, including marquee events such as the Ironman.

As a runner and triathlete, Yaeger jumps at every opportunity to participate in community runs and triathlons. She was a finisher at the Ironman Florida in 2012, Ironman Racine 70.3 in 2013 and is currently training for Ironman Canada 2014.

In 2011, Yaeger was also a founding member of the Heart of Missouri chapter of Girls on the Run and served as executive director for two years. The non-profit organization focuses on inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident by using a fun, experience-based curriculum, which creatively integrates running.

A native of Kansas City, Mo., Yaeger studied finance at the University of Missouri for three years before graduating from MidAmerica Nazarene University with a B.A. in management and human relations.





New Haven Senior Fey Chavez Inks with Stephens Cross Country

March 11, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Fey Chavez Over the weekend, the Stephens College cross country team received a commitment from New Haven High School (Mo.) senior Fey Chavez, who plans to join the program in the fall.

Chavez becomes the first cross country prospect brought in by first-year head coach Travis Cook.

A two-time MSHSAA state qualifier, Chavez competed in the Class 1 Cross Country Championships as a junior and senior. In 2012, she finished the 5K race with a time of 23:03.61 (33rd). As a senior, she improved one spot in the individual rankings, clocking in at 22:18.27 for 32nd overall.

Chavez earned first-team all-district, first-team all-conference and academic all-conference while running for New Haven head coach John Tucker. Outside of cross country, Chavez excelled academically as a high honor roll student, a member of National Honor Society and the recipient of an academic activity award.

On campus for the Stephens College Fashion & Design School showcase Saturday, Chavez was joined by her parents, Fernando and Elizabeth. When enrolled at Stephens College, Fey plans to major in fashion design & development.



Crane, Mendoza Named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete

NAIA Bridge logo 300dpi RGB
November 22, 2013

LAWRENCE, Kan. – While the season is officially over for the Stephens College cross country team, the awards continue to roll in. On Friday (Nov. 22), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the 2013 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes for women's cross country and Star senior Kaylyn Crane and junior Emily Mendoza received the honor.

In all, 295 cross country student-athletes were named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes, including 10 from the American Midwest Conference. Stephens and AMC newcomer Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) were the only league schools to have multiple student-athletes on the list.

In order to be nominated by an institution�s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must be a junior academically and maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

With their hard work on the cross country course and excellence in the classroom, both Crane and Mendoza were also named to the AMC Academic All-Conference team, which was announced at the AMC Cross Country Championships on Nov. 8.

To learn more about the Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete award, click here.



Stephens Cross Country Places Seventh at AMC Championships

The Stars placed all five student-athletes on the AMC Academic All-Conference team, announced Friday at Cosmo Park


November 8, 2013

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Another season is in the books for the Stephens College cross country after competing in the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Championships on Friday (Nov. 8). In their first year under the direction of head coach Travis Cook, the Stars concluded the 2013 campaign with a seventh-place team finish.

The 5K race, which took place at Columbia's Cosmo Park, featured eight women's teams and 55 competitors from the conference. The Stars finished ahead of Benedictine-Springfield (Ill.) and were just nine points behind AMC newcomer Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.).

Seniors Kaylyn Crane and Dani Kelley, who ran in the final cross country meet of their careers, steered the Stars towards a seventh-place finish with their top-25 performances.

Crane placed 16th overall and registered the highest finish for a Star runner since the 2011 AMC Championships when Lindsey Jo Martin finished 14th. The senior, a Columbia, Mo. native, crossed the finish line in 22:03 and improved four spots from her overall place in 2012.

Only 30 seconds separated 15th through 23rd place and Stephens College senior Dani Kelley joined Crane in that crowded group. Kelley clocked in at 22:17 and was one spot shy of cracking the top 20. Her 21st-place finish marked the highest finish for Kelley at an AMC Championship event.

Ivi Lewis, a junior from St. Louis, Mo., carried over her strong performance from the STLCOP Fall Classic into Friday's race as she placed 32nd overall with a time of 24:04.

Juniors Emily Mendoza (26:40) and Tara Chronister (27:30) rounded out the Stars' five finishing in 47th and 48th place, respectively.

Also announced on Friday at the AMC Championships were the Academic All-Conference award winners. All five of the Star runners (Crane, Kelley, Lewis, Mendoza, Chronister) garnered Academic All-Conference honors and sporting a combined team grade-point average (GPA) of 3.59.

2013 AMC Women's Cross Country Team Standings
1. William Woods - 41
2. Columbia - 48
3. Park - 82
4. Missouri Baptist - 115
5. Hannibal-LaGrange - 125
6. Freed-Hardeman - 147
7. Stephens - 156
8. Benedictine-Springfield - 167



Stars Finish Seventh in Final Tune-Up Before AMC Championships

Stephens College cross country had a pair of top-25 finishers Saturday at the STLCOP Fall Classic


October 26, 2013

ST. LOUIS – The Stephens College cross country team wrapped up its regular season on Saturday (Oct. 26) at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy Fall Classic. The Stars made great strides in their final competition before the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Championships (Nov. 8), placing two runners in the top 25.

Senior Kaylyn Crane once again led the charge for Stephens as she finished 15th overall. Running at a pace of 6:37 per mile, Crane crossed the finish line at 20:32.

Fellow senior Dani Kelley had an impressive performance at Forest Park, turning in a time of 21:04, which was within seven seconds of her personal best. She set her PR at the Southern Stampede in Joplin, Mo. in September.

The Stars' third highest finisher was junior Ivi Lewis, who placed 38th out of 58 and raced to a season-best 23:04. Lewis was more than 30 seconds faster than her time from the MSSU Southern Stampede.

Junior Emily Mendoza was the next Star to cross the finish line (24:36) and placed 45th overall. Rounding out the Stephens runners was junior Tara Chronister with a 53rd-place finish at 31:24.

AMC foe William Woods University took home the STLCOP Fall Classic team title with an average time of 19:43. Eagles sophomore Samantha Berry finished with the day's fastest time (18:55) to take home top honors.



Stars Place Two in Top 30 at Gary Stoner Invitational

Senior Kaylyn Crane finished 19th overall with her time of 20:53.60 to lead Stephens College


October 12, 2013

FAYETTE, Mo. – On Saturday (Oct. 12), the Stephens College cross country team traveled to Fayette, Mo. to participate in Central Methodist University's Gary Stoner Invitational. Four Stars laced up their running shoes to navigate the 5K race at the Fayette City Golf Course.

Senior Kaylyn Crane cracked the top 20 and crossed the finish line first for the Stars. Her time of 20:53.60 was good for 19th place, but was slightly off her 5K performance from the Southern Stampede in Joplin, Mo. three weeks ago.

Dani Kelley, a senior from Sycamore, Ill., was the next highest finisher for Stephens, placing 28th overall with a time of 21:53.65. Junior Ivi Lewis clocked in at 24:05.92 and finished 48th, while junior Emily Mendoza (54th) logged her first 5K of the season and recorded a time of 27:03.13.

University of Central Missouri's Megan Glamann led all runners with an impressive time of 18 minutes, 36 seconds.

The Stephens College cross country team has one final tune-up on Saturday, October 26 before the American Midwest Conference Championships in early November. The Stars will trek to the St. Louis College of Pharmacy Fall Classic (5K) on the 26th.



Crane Has Big Day at Maryville Cross Country Open, Places Seventh Overall

The Stars finished seventh out of eight teams during Saturday's 6K race


September 28, 2013

ST. LOUIS – Kaylyn Crane raced to another top performance for the Stephens College cross country team this weekend at the Maryville University XC Open. The senior from Columbia, Mo. recorded her first top 10 finish of the season on Saturday (Sept. 28) placing seventh out of 57 runners.

Competing for the third week in a row, the Stars took five athletes to St. Louis, qualifying for a team score for the second time this season. Among the field of eight, Stephens College finished seventh overall ahead of Robert Morris University.

Crane crossed the finish line for the 6K race in 24:32.50 and finished more than three minutes ahead of the Stars' No. 2 runner.

Senior Dani Kelley notched the second-fastest time for Stephens, clocking in at 27:41.90. She finished 34th overall. Junior Ivi Lewis was the next to finish, placing 49th with a time of 32:03.70.

Junior Emily Mendoza returned to action this weekend and finished fourth among Stephens runners and 51st overall at 32:54.20. Rounding out the Stars' five was junior Tara Chronister (54th) with a time of 34:57.20.

The Stephens cross country team will have two weeks before the Central Methodist University Gary Stoner Invitational (5K) on Saturday, October 12.



Crane, Kelley Pace the Stars at MSSU Southern Stampede

Senior duo records top-100 finishes at Saturday's event in Joplin, Mo.


September 21, 2013

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Stephens College cross country team was in action for the second time in as many weeks at the MSSU Southern Stampede Cross Country Invitational on Saturday (Sept. 21). With just four student-athletes making the trip to Joplin, the Stars were unable to earn a team score, which requires a minimum five runners.

Leading the way for Stephens for the second weekend in a row were Kaylyn Crane and Dani Kelley. Both upperclassmen achieved personal bests at the Missouri Southern Cross Country Course, the site of the National Junior Olympic and Junior National Cross Country Championships.

Senior Kaylyn Crane was the Stars' top finisher on Saturday with her top-50 finish in the College Division 5K. Placing 46th overall, Crane crossed the finish line at 19:40.25, almost a whole minute faster than her previous collegiate best (20:30.70).

Kelley also recorded a personal best and inched closer to a sub-20 minute 5K. The senior from Sycamore, Ill., finished 83rd out of 141 College Division runners with a time of 20:57.12.

Rounding out the Stephens runners were Ivi Lewis (133rd), who clocked in at 23:38.63, and Tara Chronister (140th), who turned in a time of 25:33.18.

Next weekend, the Stars will travel to St. Louis, Mo. to compete in the Maryville University Cross Country Open (5K). The women's race is set to begin at 10 a.m.



Stephens Cross Country Kicks Off Season with UCM Mule Run (4K)

Seniors Kaylyn Crane and Dani Kelley lead the Stars to an 11th-place team finish


September 14, 2013

WARRENSBURG, Mo. – The Stephens College cross country team kicked off its 2013 campaign on Saturday (Sept. 14) with the University of Central Missouri 4K Mule Run. Together, the Stars' five runners combined for an 11th-place team finish.

Last season, the Stars took just four athletes to Warrensburg, Mo., one short of earning a team score at the event. Dani Kelley represented Stephens' highest finisher in 2012, placing 73rd with a time of 18:35.30. Finishing five spots below Kelley was Tara Chronister, who eclipsed the 20-minute mark with her time of 19:19.20.

This year, the Stars were paced by senior Kaylyn Crane who sprinted to a top-25 finish at No. 24. Crane crossed the finish line at 15:52.47 and was less than 10 seconds of the 20th-place finisher.

Kelley, a native of Sycamore, Ill., begins this year more than a minute ahead of where she began the 2012 season. On Saturday, the senior clocked in at 17:15.29 to finish 69th overall.

Another Stephens College runner who shaved off significant time from last season is junior Ivi Lewis. Last year, Lewis ran the 4K in 20:50.10, compared to this year's Mule Run, where she finished 107th with a time of 19:04.84.

Rounding out the Star runners on Saturday were junior Emily Mendoza at 20:38.20 and Tara Chronister at 22:29.05.

Up next for the Stephens College cross country team is the Missouri Southern State "Southern Stampede" on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 8 a.m.