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.
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