Remaining a Tiger: Festus Star Jamie Kempfer Chooses Mizzou

After placing second at the Nike Cross Midwest Regional, Festus Tigers XC Star Jamie Kempfer realized her already long season just got a little longer.  Of course, qualifying for Nike Cross Nationals is a nice reason to race once more this season. But, before she makes the trip to Portland, she made the decision where she will be running the next four years – the University of Missouri.

Coming off a successful junior track season, which Kempfer was all-state in three events; she knew her search for the right university to attend following her senior year was just getting started.  Kempfer began the process early in the summer by visiting Maryville University, and was followed by several other visits, including Saint Louis University.  But, out of the dozens of schools that contacted Kempfer, she narrowed it down to three: Tulsa, UMKC, and University of Missouri. “Each of the schools had unique and great opportunities, but I felt Mizzou was the right fit.  The girls on the team are really fun and supportive, and the coaches are great and truly care about their athletes.  Their training program has flexibility, which is very important to me.”

It isn’t just the cross country and track and field program that lead Kempfer to choose Mizzou. Kempfer, an excellent student, plans on entering college as a pre-med student, with plans to be an orthopedic doctor, specializing in sports science, while getting a minor in nutrition.  The University of Missouri’s reputation for high quality education played an important role in her decision.  The decision to verbally commit to the University of Missouri is one that has taken a lot of weight off her shoulders, and Jamie is excited to be able to focus on the rest of her senior year, instead of visiting different colleges every week.

Looking towards the rest of her senior year, Kempfer has some lofty goals for her final high school track season.  Allison Alyssa, whom is one of Kempfer’s role models, has both the 1600m and 3200m record at Festus High School and Jamie is gunning for them.  She also wants break 5 minutes in the mile, and break her school record, along with the class 3A state record in the 4x800 meter relay. 

When asked about those whom have influenced her running and her life, her responses were immediate.  “My family has been my biggest fans and support and I could never thank them enough for that!  Coach Wright is an amazing coach, and he has sculpted me into the person I am today, both on and off the course.  My team is like my family, and has made my running experience extremely wonderful!  Drew White showed me dedication and hard work will pay off, and to always push yourself.  Shaun Simms has been there to answer questions about summer training, shoes, injuries, and listen to my nervous rants.  Taylor Werner has been an inspiration.  Her work ethic and love for the sport has made me work even harder.  So many others, but those are the first ones that come to mind.” As Kempfer moves on to Mizzou, she can expect to have even more people influence her running in some tremendous ways, and it will be fun to see how fast and far she can truly run.

2014 College Signings