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Club History


Membership is open to all runners of all abilities, age 14 years to high school senior, who can commit to a serious training schedule and work with their high school programs.  Training spots are open for Dallas/Ft. Worth area runners and for remote coaching via phone/internet (for those outside the Dallas/Ft. Worth area).  Contact Terry Jessup for full details. Join us and meet your goals!

Our Club was started by Robert Vaughan and Terry Jessup in 1973 to give women a vehicle to compete in events locally and nationally.  In the 1970s women in sport was new, but opportunities were starting to appear.  By the late 1970s the Club had developed into one of the best in the nation as age group and overall titles were regularly won by Metroplex Striders.

In the 1980s adult runners included USA Olympians Francie Larrieu Smith and Joan Hansen, and USA Pan Am Games team member Mary Knisely.  Junior runners like Texas HS record holders Cindy Tolle (4:43.8 1600m) and Stacy Zartler (2:06.5 800m), and national age group track/XC champ Juanita Wilson, set the standard for excellence.

By the early 1990s many HS programs distanced themselves from year-round training clubs, so the Club focused on post-collegiates.  Runners like Juanita Wilson (15th-ranked US 3k 9:15), Tim Garguilo (multiple USA team member and 1996 Olympic Trials 5k finalist), Michelle Byrne (USA road race team member) and Katy Courtwright (USA road race team member) contributed during the '90s.

By the late 1990s "outside" coaching for high school runners was again possible, so the junior aspect of the Club was resumed.  Runners like Emily Field, Jessa Vacek, Valerie Lauver, Matt Chance, and Rob Morrow were the first wave of "new" Striders to win state titles and compete in the national spotlight.  In 2002, Valerie represented the US in the Junior World XC Champs in Dublin, Ireland.  In 2003, Rachel Collins ran the 2nd-fastest 3200m in Texas HS history (10:25).

Recent Strider stars included (athletic scholarship accepted):

RACHAEL FORISH (SMU): Foot Locker XC finalist 2002-2003 (17:55, 17:50).

LOGAN SHERMAN (Texas A&M): 2003 Texas Relays champ 3200m (9:06), 2003 Texas 4A state champ 3200m (9:16), 2004 Texas 4A state champ 1600m/3200m (4:19/9:08 class record).

KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ (SMU): 2004 Texas 5A state runner-up 800m (2:12), 10th place Foot Locker South XC (18:00).

LYNDSY BEDELL (Baylor): Texas Region 5-1A 3200m champ (10:42), 4th place USA Junior Nat'ls.

ERIN BEDELL (Baylor): 2003 Texas 5A state champ 1600m (4:47), 2003 Foot Locker XC finalist (17:47), 2004 Texas 5A state XC champ (10:39 course record), 2005 Texas 5A state champ 800m/1600m (2:08.16 state record/4:43.58 state record), Texas HS mile record (4:43.71), four-time USA Junior team member (1500m/XC).

CARLENE MAYFIELD (TCU): Foot Locker XC finalist 2004 (17:58).

JILLIAN ROSEN (Arkansas): 2005 Texas 5A state runner-up 1600m (4:53), 2006 Texas 5A state XC champ (10:48), 2006 Foot Locker XC finalist 2006 (17:15).

SAMANTHA MEANS (SMU): 2005 Texas Relays champ 3200m, 2005 Texas 4A runner-up 3200m (10:38), 2006 Texas 4A state XC champ (10:54 class record), 2006 Foot Locker XC finalist (17:21).

KINSEY FARREN (Missouri): 6-time TAPPS state champ XC/1600m/3200m & record holder, 2006 Foot Locker XC finalist (17:28).

KRISTIE KRUEGER (Georgia): 2007 Texas 3A champion 1600m, 3200m (class record), & runner-up XC; 1600m PR 4:54, mile PR 4:47, 3200m PR 10:41; Winner Congress Avenue road mile (4:46).

KELSEY JOHNSON (Alabama): 2008 Texas 3A champion 1600m (class record) & 3200m; 1600m PR 4:53, 3200m PR 10:34, 5K PR (XC) 17:56.

CATHERINE LODEN (Arizona State): 2006 Texas 3A champion XC, 3200m, & runner-up 1600m; 1600m PR 4:58, 3200m PR 10:41, 5K PR (XC) 17:32.



2010 - JEFF ARNIER (Oklahoma State University)

2011 - RACHEL JOHNSON (Baylor University): won the Nike Cross Country National Championship 2010; placed second at the Footlocker National Cross Country Championship 2010; Texas 5A state cross country champion 2010; Texas 5A state champion 2010 - 1600m, Texas 5A state champion 2010 - 3200m. Set Baylor record in six different distance events. Six time NCAA D1 All American including 2nd place in the 5000m indoor, 3rd place in the 3000m steeplechase, and 5th place in cross country. Signed as a professional athlete to run for ASICS in 2015.

2012 - ALEX DAVIS (Baylor University)  Qualified for the NXN cross country meet.  Alex was the first OKLAHOMA girl to qualify for the NXN.  She runs for Plainview High School.  CAMERON VILLARREAL became the first male Strider to qualify for a post season cross country championship by joining Alex at the NXN nationals!

2013 - The track season featured State champions in both the UIL and Private school meets.  JESSICA PRICKETT ( 4A 3200M  new state meet record ) and LAUREN GIBBS ( 1A 800m and 1600m ) in UIL, and LAINA EWOLDT and EMILY ALTON won Private school (TAPPS ) titles.  CAMERON VILLARREAL also ran the fastest 1600M in the state with a 4:06.6.

The cross country season belonged to the 4A UIL girls, with three top 10 State finishers.  NATALIE RATHJEN ( champion ), EVELYN CHAVEZ (2nd ) and DEVIN NORTON (9th).  NATALIE also qualified for both the NXN and Footlocker nationals.  LAINA, EMILY and ZACK POLLEY won TAPPS State titles as well.

2014 - Natalie Rathjen sets a new 4A State record by winning the 3200 at the State UIL track championships.

There are dozens of Metroplex Striders of ALL abilities who all share the goal of being better runners and paying the EXTRA price to make it happen!!!

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