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Support the LETU Racers!

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  • Meet the Team
  • Individual Giving
  • Team Sponsorships

Air Race 2020 TeamWho are the LETU Racers?

The LETU Racers are the LeTourneau University Women's Air Race Team. Our team exists to showcase who we are at LeTourneau University and our exceptional flight training program! LeTourneau University has entered the Air Race Classic in 2015, 2016, and 2019. During the 2019 race, we won our first ever leg prize, placing 4th on the second leg of the race. The goal of the team is to place in the top 30% of approximately 50 teams entering the race and within the top 10 of the collegiate division. We also want to build upon the foundation of what we have learned in the past races we have entered. We will fly a 2017 Cessna 172S Skyhawk in the next race. The Skyhawk is very reliable, loaded with electronics to help our navigation and weather monitoring, and a great overall cross-country airplane.

2021 Update: Our teams will participate in the 2021 ARC Derby event. While not the same as the traditional Air Race Classic, this event will allow our teams to showcase their ability to plan and fly an accurate flight in the East Texas area in mid-June 2021. For more information, visit and check our Facebook page for updates as the event approaches.

What is the Air Race Classic?

The Air Race Classic is an annual all women’s air race approximately 2,400 miles in length. The competition objective is to fly the “perfect cross country.” Each aircraft is given a “handicap” groundspeed. The contestants who beat their personal handicap by the largest margin win the race. The race dates back to the 1920s when air racing opened to female competitors, some of whom included Amelia Earhart, Louise Thaden, and Ruth Nichols.


Air Race 2020 Route

How can I follow along with the team?

Please follow us on Facebook for racing updates and more information about our progress toward this year's Air Race Classic!

Who are the team members?

Flight Crew

Marena Decker (Team 23 Pilot) - Marena is studying Professional Flight and Aircraft Maintenance. She is already a private pilot with instrument rating and a member of LETU's Sting Precision Flight Team. She is from Oregon and hopes to fly in corporate aviation one day. 

Erica Swenson (Team 23 Copilot) - Erica Swenson is a graduate of LeTourneau University. She is originally from Rockford, IL and attended high school in McKinney Texas. She works as a flight instructor in the College of Aviation and Aeronautical Science through the Envoy Airlines Cadet program. Erica is a member of the LETU STING Precision Flight Team and is the team’s co-captain. She has also worked as a camp counselor for PreFlight Camp for girls, introducing 11 to 14 year old girls to aviation. Erica served as team pilot in the 2019 Air Race Classic and was awarded the Distinguished Cadet Award by Envoy Airlines in February 2020.

Sadie Morgan (Team 21 Pilot) - Sadie Morgan is from Cost, Texas, a small farming and ranching community. She loves softball, playing for St. Paul High School in Shiner, Texas before joining the LETU YellowJackets varsity softball team as a Freshman in fall 2019. She loves traveling, kicking off her aviation journey by earning her private pilot certificate in October, 2019. Sadie plans a career as an airline pilot, and she is thrilled to race in the next Air Race Classic to build experience for future races.

Meyeon (Cecilia) Kim (Team 21 Copilot) – Cecilia Kim is originally from Fiji. She was born in Korea, and her family emigrated to Fiji when she was 8. Cecilia is a 2018 graduate of LeTourneau University, and she is currently a flight instructor for LeTourneau University. Cecilia loves to volunteer for Girls in Aviation Day and Women in Aviation International. Cecilia was an assistant manager for the Office of Global Initiatives until she graduated. She researched logistics for participation in the 2019 Air Race Classic and is thrilled to be racing in the next Air Race Classic.

Claire Key (Team 50 Pilot) – Claire Key is a 2019 graduate of LeTourneau, originally from Hobe Sound, Florida. She has worked as a student dispatcher, a supplemental instructor for instrument ground school, and served as a Safety Intern for the LETU Aviation Department. Claire flew in the 2016 Air Race Classic, and she is excited to help this year’s team succeed. She currently works for LeTourneau as an Assistant Chief Instructor. She regularly serves as a camp counselor for PreFlight Camp for girls, introducing 11 to 14 year old girls to aviation.

Emily Hogenson (Team 50 Copilot) – Emily is studying Aviation Management and Professional Flight at LeTourneau University. She is from West Texas and is the current Vice President of LETU's Women's Aviation Society. She has her private pilot certificate.

Sidney Richey (Team 50 Teammate) – Sidney is studying Aviation Management and Professional Flight at LeTourneau University. She is from South Texas and hopes one day to be a corporate pilot. She earned her private pilot certificate in January 2020.

Sadie Morgan, Erica Swenson, Cecilia Kim (L to R)

Marena Decker, Mia Edaga-Alleyne, Sidney Richey (L to R)

Three women in front of an airplane

Claire Key, Laura Laster (L to R)

two women in front of an airplane

Ground Crew

Mia Edaga-Alleyne (Social Media Coordinator/Finance Officer) - Mia is from Hawaii and is studying Aviation Management and Flight. She earned her commercial pilot certificate - multiengine and instrument rating and is the current Vice President of LETU's Women's Aviation Society. Her aviation goal is to become an airline pilot.



Laura Laster (Faculty Advisor) – Laura Laster is a 2004 graduate of LeTourneau University who has worked as a flight instructor, dispatcher, survey pilot, and operations manager at Dynamic Aviation and at LeTourneau University as former Director of Flight Operations. A native of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Laura is married and has two children. She is currently Assistant Professor and Chief Dispatch Instructor in the College of Aviation and Aeronautical Science and completed a Master’s degree in Commercial Aviation in December 2019. She is excited to mentor the LeTourneau University Women’s Air Race Team in future races after flying as Team Co-Pilot in the 2019 Air Race Classic. She has her Airline Transport Pilot - multiengine certificate along with several other FAA certificates.


Individual Giving Levels

$40 - Chow Time

Pay for one racer's meals for one day during the Air Race Classic. 

$75 - It's a Rental!

Sponsor one day of a rental car for the time before/after the race during pre- and post-race activities. 

$100 - Good Night's Sleep

Pay for a night in a hotel along the race route.

$150 - Nifty Numbers

Cover the cost of our racing numbers on the airplane.

$165 - Practice Makes Perfect

Sponsor an hour of our flight time practicing before the race.

$200 - Fill it Up!

Pay for the fuel to power our aircraft on one of the legs of the Air Race Classic.

$300 - Fees, Fees, Fees

Help cover the LeTourneau University team's entry fee into the Air Race Classic Collegiate Division.

Corporate & Individual Sponsorships

Our team will partner with you or your organization and thank you with public recognition and other experiences! Please contact us directly ( for more information and to donate at these levels. Thank you for your generous support! 

Gold Level ($5,000)

When you give at our highest level, we will put your name or company logo on our team airplane flying in this year's race. We will also place your name or company logo on our team jackets, and you will receive everything listed in all other levels.

Silver Level ($2,500)

When you give at our silver level you will receive everything at the bronze and blue levels plus your logo on a polo that the team will wear during the race dedicated only to you. You will also receive four race team t-shirts.

Bronze Level ($1,000)

Giving at our bronze level allows you to receive everything at the blue level plus a flight for one or two people with one of the race team pilots in a LETU Cessna 172 Skyhawk! We will also put your name or company logo on our race team shirts, and you will also receive two of these t-shirts.

Blue Level ($500)

When you give at the blue level, you will receive a race team t-shirt and a personalized post on Facebook in the weeks leading up to to the race as we thank you for your generous donation to our team. 

Erica Swenson and Laura Laster at the 2019 Awards Banquet