Team USA Minnesota News

Giving Back: Team USA Minnesota Coaches High School, College Cross Country Teams

Minneapolis/St. Paul - Oct. 24, 2017 - Seven Team USA Minnesota distance runners along with head coach Chris Lundstrom are coaching either high school or college cross country teams in the Twin Cities this fall.  The schools include Apple Valley High School, Edina High School, Champlin Park High School, Totino-Grace High School, Washburn High School, Augsburg University and the University of Minnesota.

 

"Coaching is a time when I am able to step away from my; own focus in running and focus on others' training, motivation and commitment to be great," said Katy Moen, who is in her second year as head boys and girls cross country coach at Totino-Grace High School and during her collegiate career (Iowa State University) finished eighth at the NCAA Div. I Cross Country Championships.  "It is truly refreshing to see others aim for a goal and to be part of that celebration when a goal is hit.  But also to be part of the moments when an athlete falls short of his or her expectations and be there to be loving, encouraging and understanding."

At Apple Valley High School, Heather Kampf has been coaching since 2010 and stepped into her first year as head girls cross country coach this fall.  "My favorite part of coaching is observing my athletes rise above the challenges they face and the change that occurs in them as they come to view themselves as a stronger and more capable person," said Kampf (University of Minnesota), who is a four-time national champion in the road mile.  "Cross country comes at a perfect time as it provides an opportunity for me to stay connected with our local running community when I am on break from my competitive season, and inspires me all the time to stay true to the lessons I try to instill in my team.

"Of course I always want to help each of my athletes reach her best potential in running, but I think it's most improtant for me as a coach to set these girls up to live happy and successful lives through their positive experiences and the lessons they learn in the sport."

Also coaching at the high school level are Ryan Rutherford, (Illinois State University) who is the assistant boys and girls cross country coach at Champlin Park; Rob Molke (Syracuse University) who is a volunteer assistant boys cross country coach at Edina; and Tyler Jermann, (Iowa State University) who is also a volunteer assistant boys cross country coach at Edina.

"This is my first experience coaching at the high school level," said Jermann, who is the USA 50k Champion and a 2:16 marathoner.  "Coaching works well with my own training and a lot of days I'll join the kids on an easy run at their afternoon practice.  I've learned from the high schoolers to put my workouts and races in perspective.  As an athlete it's easy to get caught up in the little workouts or races, but seeing it from a coaching position makes me realize the value is in the overall process and not on the individual performances along the way."

Meghan Peyton (University of Iowa) has been coaching at Augsburg University for eight years and is now the head men's and women's cross country coach.  "Coaching is my way of giving back and sharing the sport that I love with the next generation of athletes," said Peyton, who is a 20k national champion and top 10 performer in distances from the mile up through the marathon.  "I love helping each athlete develop as a whole person.  I want them to leave Augsburg with an appreciation of running that will carry them through a lifetime and develop skills like cultural acceptance, understanding and fortitude that will help them have successful careers.

"When I first started coaching I couldn't understand how not everyone took the sport as seriously as I did in college.  But I have come to learn a lot about myself which has helped to shape me into a better leader and empathy for each athlete's different experience.  If you don't understand the whole person, you are not going to be able to help the athlete reach their true potential."

Also coaching at the collegiate level is Danny Docherty (Loyola University-Chicago) who is a volunteer assistant coach for the University of Minnesota men's cross country team while he pursues a Master's of Education degree in sports and exercise science at the U.  He previously spent three years coaching cross country at Cretin-Durham Hall High School, and last year coached a youth cross country team.

"Coaching has enhanced my professional running career because it reminds me of the coaches who guided me throughout my life and helped me along the way to who I am now," said Docherty.  "I want to give back what was given to me.  Sometimes there is no way to know how you have influenced a life until you go down the line 10 years and that's one great aspect of coaching."

Last but not least, in addition to his responsibilities as head coach of Team USA Minnesota and teaching in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota - where he received his Ph.D. - for the past five years Chris Lundstrom (Stanford University) has been a volunteer assistant coach for boys and girls cross country at Washburn High School.

About Team USA Minnesota

Team USA Minnesota is based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Founded in 2001, the purpose of the training group is to improve the competitiveness of post-collegiate American distance running and to develop Olympians.  The athletes are coached by Chris Lundstrom.  Team USA Minnesota's gold sponsor is Twin Cities In Motion.  Its silver sponsors are the Houston Marathon Foundation, the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, and Twin Cities Orthopedics.  For more information, visit the team's web site at www.teamusaminnesota.org.

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Contact:  Pat Goodwin, 952-454-8876, pfgoodwin@teamusaminnesota.org

 

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