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Member Spotlight: Krista McFarren

One of the most iconic women’s players of the 1990’s and 2000’s is Krista McFarren. A rangy fullback with explosive speed and accurate kicking, Krista was a fearsome competitor and supportive teammate. She stands alongside Candi Orsini, Patti Jervey and Jenn Crawford as players who, at that time, could take control of a game.

Raised in Potomac, Maryland, Krista started her athletic career in a field hockey skirt, earning a field hockey scholarship to Indiana State in 1978. While at IU, Krista was a three-sport varsity athlete, excelling in field hockey, badminton and softball. She earned multiple awards in all three sports, including being named 1982 Indiana State Woman Athlete of the Year and a member of the Gateway Conference Field Hockey All-Decade Team. Krista was an exceptional student at IU as well - a GTE Academic All-American and graduated cum laude in 1983. Upon graduation, Krista joined the United States Air Force and was admitted to the Uniform Services University of Health Sciences. She earned her MD and spent 20 years in the in Air Force as a radiologist, rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel before retiring from active duty in July 2001.

Krista started her club rugby career with the Maryland Stingers (1985-1990, 1994-2003) and also played for the New Orleans Halfmoons (1990-1994). She played for numerous Territorial Sides before moving up to the U.S. Women's National Team (1989-1994, 1997-1998). Krista played for the Women’s inaugural World Cup Team (1991) and subsequent World Cup Teams (1994, 1998). Her speed, handling and experience helped her transition well to 7’s. She played on numerous 7’s teams traveling the world with Atlantis and the U.S. Women’s National Rugby 7’s Team (1997, 2001). Her list of rugby tours includes New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Spain, Fiji, Trinidad/Tobago, Venezuela, Thailand and Cuba.

Krista representing the U.S. at the Women's World Cup

After club and national team retirement, Krista continued to play Olde Girls Rugby and Golden Oldies into her 50's. She only stopped playing completely after falling down the stairs and suffering a head injury in 2016, and emphatic medical advice to stop.

Not surprisingly, Krista found coaching. She tells us: “Coaching kept me involved starting with the Mid-Atlantic Women's Select Side in the early 2000's, I was also fortunate to be invited by the U.S. WNT 15's coaches (and WC teammates) Kathy Flores and Candi Orsini, to be part of their staff for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups as well as the match prep leading up to those events. Coaching was as magical as playing. Since 2010, I have been a guest coach for several local club and college teams in the DC area. Recently one of my other previous WC teammates, Nancy Fitz has been kind enough to welcome me to the staff of the Capital Rugby Union Women's Select Side. For the last 3 years, I also ventured into a completely different but even more fulfilling type of coaching, with the Washington DC Youth Rugby Initiative.”

Krista also shares that outside of coaching and her work as a Radiologist, she loves spending time with her daughter Parker, who is now 14, and her godson Jackson, who is 8. She also loves to travel with friends all across the globe, and had a packed travel schedule until the COVID-19 pandemic arrived this spring.

Krista recently did a great podcast interview for a DC gay sports affiliate, Manholes. Listen to learn more about her! Krista's interview begins around the 40 minute mark.

ERU v Mid-Atlantic Territorial Match - Krista's kick broke WRCRA Chair Kerri Heffernan's nose!

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