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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

Sept. 4, 2008

Meet Assistant Coach Tessa Koschel

Northwest assistant cross country and track and field coach Tessa Koschel is in her first season at Northwest Missouri State.

Koschel competed for current Northwest head coach Scott Lorek at Western State College in Gunnison, Colo., where she was a four-year member of the Mountaineers' track and field team. Koschel combined for 12 All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honors in high hurdles, pole vault, high jump, long jump and heptathlon.

A recent conversation with coach Koschel can be found below:

How did you get into running in college?
I actually didn't get into running until Coach Lorek made me run at Western State. I was a pole vaulter in high school. I was a gymnast first, but my high school coach thought I could pole vault since I was use to being in the air and upside down.

What was your favorite track and field event?
Hurdles. I think there's something beautiful about them. If you don't hit the rhythm right, it's not going to work. There's a joy in running full speed and making it over 10 objects that are right in front of you.

What was it like competing for Coach Lorek at Western State?
Lorek is the best coach I've ever met, which is why I'm honored to be working with him now. From all the coaches at all the other schools I've been at, I've yet to meet a coach who values people and his athletes as sincerely as Coach Lorek does.

How has your degree in psychology helped you as a coach?
Psychology can easily be applied to everyday life. I think it's given me a better understanding of student-athletes and their individual needs.

What were your first impressions of Northwest Missouri State?
The support of the Maryville community is amazing. Everyone says "we see green" and the whole town is green. My husband, Brad, and I went to the football game Saturday and the atmosphere was awesome. We were very impressed.

How did you meet your husband, Brad?
We actually met when we ran for Coach Lorek at Western State, which is funny because he discourages relationships on the team. He was an All-American decathlete and was MVP of the football team so he's quite the athlete in general.

Besides rooting for the Broncos, what other teams do you cheer for?
I'm a diehard Broncos fan, but there's something about the Bears. It's not really as much about the teams as it is the individual players and Brian Urlacher is amazing.

What's something most people wouldn't know about you?
I was a finalist on a CMT reality show shot in Denver.

What's impressed you the most about the cross country teams you've inherited here?
Probably the fact that we have so many freshmen and that creates an every day competition in practice to get better and beat someone. They push each other, they don't make excuses and they all want the same goal. Their drive for change and for success is impressive.

What will you be watching for Saturday morning at the home meet on campus?
I want to see who's going to bring it. It's a hard course and I want to see who's ready to compete as soon as the gun goes off.

Northwest's men's and women's cross country teams open their 2008 campaign this weekend at Saturday's Bearcat/Spoofhound Open. The women are scheduled to race at 10:20 a.m. with the men to follow at 11 a.m. The meet will take place on the Bearcat Cross Country Course on campus.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468