Bishop 'driven' to be best at SLU as she continues running career

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Perryville senior Tegan Bishop could hardly put into words what she was feeling as she finally put pen to paper on the next step of her running career.
Bishop signed her letter of intent to run cross country at St. Louis University next year.
“The feeling is very overwhelming and I couldn’t even sleep last night,” Bishop said. “It’s so nice to finally meet the biggest goal I’ve had for a while now. It feels like all the hard work has paid off. I’m excited to start the next chapter.”
Perryville Athletic Director Justin Dreyer noted that Bishop is the first athlete to sign with a Division I school during his six-year tenure.
“When they told me that, I was really surprised,” Bishop said. “I didn’t even know how to respond to that.”
Perryville cross country coach Shadrick Shafer noted Bishop is “different” than most runners he has coached in the past that have went onto run at different colleges and universities.
“All of the runners I have coached over the years have had their own areas of expertise and things they do really well,” Shafer said. “Tegan is probably one of the most driven in terms of self-motivation and all the things that has pushed her up to the next level. That includes her diet, to her pre-workout stuff and everything she does. She’s a runner all the time, not just at practice or meets.”
That kind of motivation and drive made Bishop one of the most decorated Perryville cross country runners in the history of the program. Bishop holds the single best time in the history of the girls program (19 minutes, 22 seconds) that she set at the Class 4 state meet in 2021.
Bishop is also a two-time winner of the Jefferson County Athletic Association Conference meet, a feat that Shafer noted is something he has “never seen before.” She also won six races alone this season. Bishop wasn’t always sure she wanted to be a collegiate athlete, but her competitiveness, drove her to be better.

“There were points that I could see myself as just a regular student,” Bishop said. “Anytime a race didn’t go the way I wanted it to that just made me work harder. When I started talking to coaches and other student athletes and they talked about how much they love the sport like I do, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”
What exactly does Bishop love about cross country? The ability to decide her own outcome.
“I get to decide how my races and my season goes,” Bishop said. “That comes with the mental stress that it is only up to me to win a race or run well. There’s no one out there to make me run faster. It’s something you have to overcome when you run. You just have to let it in and deal with it. When a race doesn’t go the way I want it to, that just makes me want to work just that much harder and run that many more miles to be better.”
Bishop understands there will be an adjustment when it comes to being a Division I athlete. The biggest being the amount of training.
“My biggest thing is that I will be training 24/7 around the clock,” Bishop said. “That’s probably the one thing that will be the biggest difference.”
Shafer noted that is what makes the Division I level different than some others.
“With Division I athletes their sport is just not something they do, it’s who they are,” Shafer said.
Shafer believes Bishop will do very well at the next level.
“I’m excited to see how she excels among those like-minded, highly driven people to train with,” Shafer said. “That old saying steel sharpens steel is true with athletes. I think she will rise to every occasion because that is who she is.”

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