Freshmen fuel new generation for MU women’s cross-country

“We need them,” Coach Marc Burns said of his freshman class, which includes local standouts Mikayla Reed and Tori Findley.
Mikayla Reed, MU cross country runner, was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Sept. 4, 2018. Courtesy of Mizzou Athletics

Missouri cross-country has reputed itself for its recruitment of international athletes. But freshmen Mikayla Reed and Tori Findley have proven that you don’t have to travel far to find talent for the program.

Reed came from Washington, Missouri, and Findley from Blue Springs in the Kansas City suburbs. When making their college decisions, they were not set on staying in-state. It just worked out that way.

“When I first started the recruitment process I wanted to go as far away as I could,” Findley said after a recent practice. “But I looked at Mizzou, and ever since I came here for the tour I knew this is where I wanted to go.”

Besides Reed and Findley, there are four additional freshman recruits from Missouri; Abby Hake, Mollie Rogan, Emma Roth and Anna Sullentrup. Regardless of their new status, the freshmen have been making a name for themselves.

Reilly Revord, a freshman from Illinois, recently placed second overall at the Illinois State Invitational on Sept. 14. Meanwhile, Findley and Reed have both placed in the top 10 overall at the last two meets.

Findley and Reed began their season placing eighth and seventh overall respectively on Sept. 1. Findley swiftly jumped up in the rankings, placing third overall on Sept. 14 while Reed took sixth. In addition, Reed was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Sept. 4.

“I was not expecting it, it was definitely a surprise,” Reed said. “It feels pretty cool.”

The incoming freshmen, along with leading returners Jordyn Kleve, Melissa Menghini and Sophia Racette, have all played a key role in the overall team success. The women’s team placed first overall in the first two meets this season.

“[Reed and Findley] come in as highly touted recruits, very accomplished high school careers,” Coach Marc Burns said. “We’re very excited about what they bring to the team and the future of the program. I think they showed right away from [beginning of practices] that they are going to be in our front group, we need them.”

Reed and Findley are looking forward to what the rest of the season holds.

“I’m still brand new, but I definitely think it would be amazing if our team could go to nationals and rank in the top four in the SEC,” Reed said. “That would be amazing.”

Edited by Bennett Durando | bdurando@themaneater.com

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