By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer
Savannah Beaver will get her wish after all.
Beaver, a senior at College Heights Christian School, signed a letter of intent Friday to run cross country and track at Missouri State University in Springfield.
“I’ve been wanting to go there pretty much my entire high school career,” Beaver said. “I just like the feel of the campus and I love the coach.”
Beaver will follow her sister, Emily, a College Heights grad who helped the Bears win the Missouri Valley Conference indoor title in 2012 with a personal best time of 4 minutes, 54.16 seconds in the mile at the MVC Indoor Championships.
Beaver had been steadily gaining on her sister — she broke Emily’s school record in the 1,600 meters as a junior last spring — before she sustained a foot injury in practice just before cross-country season began last fall.
“I’ve been able to follow Emily’s progress and I’m hoping they’ll be able to take me to the next level,” said Beaver, who plans to major in communications.
Beaver said she is working out regularly in preparation for track season this spring and another chance at the record book. “I’ve recovered very well from my broken foot,” she said. “Mostly, I’m increasing my mileage so by track season I’ll be ready to go.
“That was huge motivation,” she said of breaking her sister’s record in the 1600. “We’ve always had a friendly rivalry and to break her mile record was pretty huge.
“I missed her 800 record by about a third of a second (at the state meet in 2012), but it looks like her cross country record is still going to stand.”
Beaver was all-state in cross country three times by placing 19th, seventh and second in her first three years in high school. She was chosen as the Class 1 Southwest Missouri Runner of the Year in 2011.
She is a two-time all-state selection in track who placed third in the 800 as a sophomore. She won the 800 and was second in the 1600 as a junior.
“Obviously, she had a great track season last year,” said head coach Daniel Lewis. “If we had gone a couple of more weeks she could have hit 5:10 in the mile. We were five seconds back last year (in the 1600 and she was still trying to get the feel of it.”
She is the daughter of Doug and Nina Beaver of Diamond.