published Saturday, February 26th, 2011

SAS’s Stewart will run for Lady Mocs

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga running coach Bill Gautier still expects to add some recruits, but he’s pleased to have signed Keeley Stewart from St. Andrew’s-Sewanee this month for his Lady Mocs cross country and track teams.

Stewart is a two-time Division II-A state cross country champion who finished fourth last fall. She is a three-time Best of Preps all-area selection.

“We really like Keeley. We’ve been watching her for several years,” Gautier said Friday from Clemson, S.C., where his men’s and women’s track teams will compete in the Southern Conference indoor meet today.

“Keeley is a very bright young lady who fits our mold of giving academics priority along with athletics, and she’s from a very good family,” Gautier said. “And she’s a two-time state champion. Winning the first time is pretty good, but when you can handle the pressure and repeat, a coach looks for that. It’s a big plus.

“There’s just a lot of pluses with her.”

Stewart is running track this spring for the first time. She’s played softball in the past and hit over .300 the last two seasons as a middle infielder and center fielder.

“Keeley is one of the most versatile student-athletes we have had at SAS,” athletic director and track coach Ellis Mayfield said. “A two-year state cross country champion, lead in the recent musical ‘Seussical,” coach’s award recipient in softball, an honor student, a proctor and member of the Honor Council. ... We look forward to watching her D1 career at UTC.”

Stewart, who plans to major in elementary education, said SAS has been “a wonderful experience, and I think UTC will be as well. I am really excited about joining the cross country and track teams under Coach Gautier.”

Contact Ron Bush at rbush@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6291.

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