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Northwest Bearcats

Coaching Staff

Scott Lorek

Scott Lorek

Women's Head Coach
Office: (660) 562-1303

Scott Lorek has been the head coach of Northwest Missouri State's women's cross country team and women's track and field teams since the 2004-05 academic year. He gladly accepted the men's coaching duties of both programs when Rich Alsup retired in the summer of 2008 after 31 years of service.

Since taking the reigns in Maryville, Lorek has accompanied 15 student-athletes to NCAA national championship track meets, half of which returned as All-Americans. Tyler Shaw (four) and Ben McKim (three) have combined to earn seven All-America awards in the last two seasons. Emily Churchman (two), Kate Walter (two), Lekiesha McKnight (one) and Brittany Poole (one) combined for six more on the women's side.

Lorek has coached at least one NCAA championship participant on the women's side in all six years and has had two participants on the men's side in each of his first two years as general of the Bearcats. For the first time in program history thrower Kate Walter became the first Bearcat to provisionally qualify for four events at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, although she only earned a spot in the hammer, earning a third place finish.

Northwest competes in arguably the best Division II track and field conference in the nation and Lorek has seen his squads shine on the league's brightest stage. Seven Bearcats have been crowned conference champions under Lorek, including Alisha Samuel (60-meter dash), Audrey Bailey (400-meter hurdles) and Kate Walter (hammer throw) who won two titles apiece.

Under Lorek, the Bearcat women have had 29 student-athletes capture 82 All-MIAA honors in seven seasons. Nine have earned four or more All-MIAA awards including Hannah Henry, who garnered eight all-conference honors during her Northwest career.

Eight Northwest men have combined for 16 all-league honors in two years. McKim and Shaw have earned five and four All-MIAA awards, respectively.

For team success, look no further than Northwest Missouri State's 2009 women's cross country team which placed fourth at the MIAA championships - the team's highest finish in 11 seasons - and fifth at the NCAA South Central Regional meet.

The success of the 2009 team was again trumped in 2011 when Angela Adams became the first Bearcat to claim the women’s MIAA Championship. Adams was also a two-time All-Region runner in her four-year after placing 14th in 2009 and 2010 and earning a top 10 finish in 2011.

Joining Adams as an All-MIAA runner, Anna O'Brien raced to an all-conference and all-region finish for the Bearcat women in 2007 as Kayli Hrdlicka and Katti Carroll earned All-MIAA honors in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Carroll’s finish in 2011 joined MIAA Champion, Adams, with her top five finish the first duo to claim a spot in the top five since 1997, the last Northwest MIAA team title.

Six Bearcats have earned All-MIAA cross country awards under Lorek, including Trevor Johannsen and Zach Layton, who placed ninth and 10th, respectively, at the 2008 championships, Lorek's first season with the team. Layton repeated his All-MIAA finish in 2010 and 2011 and was joined by TR Pursell who also earned back-to-back All-MIAA recognition. In 2011 Pursell and Layton were joined by Ryan Darling and Jacob Henry after top 20 finishes at the MIAA Championships for all-conference honors.

Before arriving in Maryville, Lorek spent five seasons as the head men's and women's track and field coach at Western State College in Gunnison, Colo. He led the Mountaineers to a second-place finish at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships in 2002 and a third-place finish in 2004. His men's team placed in the top five at nationals in each of his last three seasons.

Lorek was named Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Women's Indoor and Outdoor Coach of the Year in 2001 after winning the RMAC Indoor Championship that season.

Prior to his time at Western State, Lorek spent two years as the head men's and women's track and field and cross country coach at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. He was an assistant at Butler University during the 1996-97 season.

Lorek's resume also includes an 11-year stint at the University of Idaho where he led Vandals to school records in 23 of 33 events. He also served as an assistant at Idaho for two seasons and was a graduate assistant coach at the University of Illinois.

The former 10,000-meter record holder at Butler University, Lorek competed in the USA World Cross Country Trials, USA National Championships and was a guest competitor at the Canadian World Team Trials. He took fifth at the Hungarian National Championships in the 10,000-meter run.

Lorek currently serves as the South Central Region representative on the Division II Cross Country committee for the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association and is a member of its executive board.

Lorek and his wife, Shelly, reside in Maryville with their son, Benjamin.


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Emily Peterson

Assistant Coach
Office: (660) 562-0801

Emily Peterson begins her second season as the assistant men's and women's track and field coach.

Prior her full-time position, Peterson served as a graduate assistant for the Bearcats replacing Tessa Koschel, who is now working for University of Colorado Denver at the Anschutz Medical Campus helping aid in diabetes research. Peterson completed her track and field career in 2010 and continued her education at Northwest receiving her master's in health and physical education in May.

While at Northwest, she earned all-MIAA honors securing back-to-back trips to the NCAA Championships as a junior and senior. After an 11th place finish her junior season, Peterson scored a school record at the championships in the heptathlon with 5,116 points and a ninth place finish. She also was a two-time All-America in the indoor pentathlon and holds Northwest records in the long jump, heptathlon and pentathlon.

During the summer of 2010, Peterson tried out for the United States bobsled team. She passed the first two stages of qualifying and was invited to tryouts in Lake Placid, N.Y., where she bowed out to return to her alma mater.

Before her time at Northwest, Peterson prepped at Park Hill South High School, where she picked up all-state accolades in the long jump, triple jump and 4x100 meter relay.

She is married to Bearcat men’s basketball assistant Andy Peterson.