High school runner dies after race

Thursday, September 9, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:44 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 16, 2008

LEE’S SUMMIT A 15-year-old girl who collapsed after a high school cross country race during the weekend has died.

Rachel Dent, a freshman at Lee’s Summit North High School, died Tuesday evening, said officials at University Hospital in Columbia.

Dent raced Saturday in a junior varsity event at the Capital City Classic in Jefferson City. She collapsed after finishing and was taken to a Jefferson City hospital, then transferred to Columbia.

Her stepsister, Kaytee Schifferdecker, 18, said she went into cardiac arrest after the race and had been on life support at the hospital.

She said Rachel had been running every day this summer and never complained of feeling ill, except for a cold last week.

Friends said Rachel placed seventh in the two-mile race.

“All I had heard was that she finished her race and had gone through the chute, her dad was there and she was wobbly,” said Kris Solsberg, the boys coach at Lee’s Summit North.

“Her dad went to get her water, and she went down.”

About 200 people attended a prayer service Monday evening at the family’s church in Lee’s Summit.

“Rachel was a wonderful girl, a great student, just a great girl,” said the Rev. Jim Preisig, a senior pastor. “She always strived for personal excellence. Her best sports were swimming and basketball, and all she was striving for on Saturday was her personal best. That’s true in everything she did.”

HICKMAN SOCCER: The Kewpies defeated Smith-Cotton 1-0 on Tuesday in Sedalia, bringing their record to 2-0.

Senior Michael Washington scored for the Kewpies on a pass from senior co-captain Jay Johnson. The Kewpies play tonight at Hannibal.

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