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SOURCE: Santa Fe New Mexican. Excerpts  and quotes from article written by Olivia Harlow.

christiangeringGering, a runner from San Felipe Pueblo, ran track his junior and senior years at Santa Fe Indian School and cross-country his senior year. Since then he has been chasing his dream — literally.

After High School, Gering ran at Fort Lewis in college, where he set multiple records and won the Outstanding Senior Award. Following college, Gering’s long-distance running hobby became a full-fledged passion, competing in race after race. Taking on course after course with the dream of becoming an elite athlete. However, Gering's races are not your typical 5 or 10k. Christian is an "Ultra" Runner. Now “going these distances is called ‘ultra,’ ” he said. “We’ve become so far removed from that — from everyday people going these distances. … I want to use ultra marathons to show we are capable of it. It never went away. It’s reconnecting, reigniting to this lifeway.”

In May, Gering competed in his first 50-mile run at the Jemez Mountain Trail race. Since then, he competed in the Speedgoat 50K in Utah — “one of the toughest 50Ks in America” — and finished in 10th place. In September, he won a 100-kilometer trail race at Lake Tahoe. 

That race also made one of Christian's goals a reality. Last year, Gering tried getting into the Salomon brand Ultra Academy in Hong Kong, but never heard back after submitting an application. This year, after his win at the Tahoe 100K — his first 100-kilometer distance — he qualified to attend the Academy in November. He finished in 9 hours, 48 minutes, and 24 seconds. Gering will depart for the running camp Nov. 25 and return Dec. 6.

This year’s academy, Gering explained, hosts 10 participants from around the world for a weeklong intensive training. The program will include running, health and business tips — including how to manage social media accounts and build a brand — as well as give them the chance to meet with Salomon executives and provide feedback on newer gear.

During the week abroad, Gering said the runners will compete in the Asian Skyrunner Championship Race in Lantau on Dec. 2. Gering said he thinks the race could determine which students Salomon will add to its international team, and he expects some degree of sponsorship or ambassador opportunity following the event.

The accomplishment, he says, is a first step in achieving potential sponsorship. But more importantly, it is also a way to inspire his local native community.

“I don’t see a large population of people out there [on the trails] who look like me,” said Gering, 27, his raven black hair pulled taut into a ponytail. “I hope it shows to Native people and to Pueblo people that anyone can run.”

A couple of months ago to help promote that message, Gering competed in and won the locally famed Big Tesuque Trail Run, which raises money for Wings of America — a nonprofit that promotes American Indian runners. Through all his hard work, Gering said he hopes other Natives — specifically youth — will realize that they can dream big, just as he has.

“You keep putting in hard work, and you’ll find your way there,” he said.

NOTE:   The original article speaks to Christian's diet and relationship to his native ways. For more information, you can read the original article here:





lobos2ndMADISON, Wis.— For the fourth time in the last five years, the University of New Mexico cross country team finished in the top-three after concluding the 2018 cross country season with a runner-up finish in the NCAA Championship behind three Lobos that finished in the top 10.

The second-place finish also marked the ninth-straight top-10 performance at the NCAA Championship.

"I thought it was fantastic," assessed head coach Joe Franklin. "The women continued on the New Mexico tradition of being great at the NCAA Championship."

Sophomore Weini Kelati crossed the line at 19:45.3 to finish runner-up in the 6K, held at the Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course, after leading for a portion of the race.  She was edged out in the backstretch by Colorado's Dani Jones, who won the individual title with a time of 19:42.8.

Kelati trimmed five places off of her 2017 NCAA Championship standings, although she ran about 10 seconds slower in Madison.  

Junior Ednah Kurgat placed fifth with her time of 19:55.8, followed by senior Charlotte Prouse, who capped her collegiate cross country career with a ninth-place finish of 20:02.1.

Kelati, Kurgat and Prouse were named All-Americans for their results, which are given to the top 40 finishers, giving UNM 21 All-American honors since their streak of top-10 team finishes started in 2010.  It is the second year in-a-row that all three have earned the distinction. 

Sophomore Adva Cohen was the fourth Lobo to score, placing 43rd overall, but 38th in team points, with 20:39.7. Senior Emily Martin was the final point-scorer for UNM with 49 points after running 20:44.7.

Junior Hannah Nuttall completed the race in 20:53.0 and sophomore Sophie Eckel rounded out the Lobo entries at 21:19.4.

Colorado claimed the team title with 65 points, placing all five scorers in the top 22, whereas the Cherry and Silver, wearing their signature turquoise, tallied 103 points. Oregon finished 57 points behind New Mexico to finish third in the standings.  

"We just got beat by a better team in Colorado," said Franklin. "They were absolutely on fire. There's nothing else we could have done.

"The race went according to plan. It went better than what we planned, just Colorado was on fire."

Through the first 2K of the race, Kelati ran in the lead pack, sitting in third at 6:38.2 and just 0.2 seconds behind the leader. Kurgat and Prouse ran close together further back in 15th and 17th at the first split, clocking 6:39.2 and 6:39.3, respectively.

At the 4K mark, Kelati held steady in third with a time of 13:27.7, while Kurgat improved her placement 10 spots to fifth, checking in at 13:27.9. Prouse was able to move up one spot in the second portion of the race, registering 13:29.8.

In the final portion of the race, at about the 15:17 mark, Kelati made her move and moved away from the pack to take the lead, holding off the competition until the very end when Jones overtook her in the final stretch of the course to take the win.

This season, Kelati has been the top-finisher for the Lobos in all five races that she's competed in, earning three individual wins and two runner-up finishes, including Saturday's NCAA race. Kurgat has also had a consistently solid season to follow up her remarkable sophomore campaign, collecting three runner-up finishes- with Kelati and Kurgat finishing 1-2- as well as a third-place result and and Saturday's fifth-place finish. 

"Not only has Weini grown, but Ednah, her roommate, has grown," said Franklin. "You have two of the best women in the country, two of the best young runners in the world, that are teammates.  Weini has put herself in an amazing place. I can't say enough good things about her."

Prouse held as the reliable third runner for UNM this season with all but one top-10 finish through her five appearances. 

INFO SOURCES: Santa Fe New Mexican/Santa Fe.com

ToveShereIt all started in a differrent time and a diffrent place..England. It all ended, a 21 year coaching stint at Santa Fe Prep, with one last victory lap around the Great Friends UNM Track Complex in celebration of a Girl's Class 3A State Championship this past May. 

It was the fourth State team title for Coach' Shere's girls team and the proverbial icing for her, as her last State meet to Coach the Blue Griffins. Shere has retired from the program that she built moment by moment, season by season, out of every form of success possible to celebrate, no matter how small it might seem to others. That has been Coach Shere's MO....honor the effort, honor and celebrate the inner battles and overcoming of her athletes. It has been a great journey.

Maybe it's Coach Shere's own journey in the athletic realm that brought such respect and joy to her kids accomplishments. As a teen in England, Tove is the first to say "I was not a great student. I was not an academic. I was very much an athlete. I grew up in a different time and place in a different country. And athletics sort of saved my bacon. I did not really like school, so I pretty much did every sport there was."

She is also the first to credit her own coaches. "I don’t think I would have made it without my coaches. I know for me that they were probably the most important people in my life during my teen years."

However, after about a 20 year hiatus from sports, Tove found herself wanting to make a comeback at the age of 37, weighing almost 200 pounds and smoking 2 packs a day for almost 30 years. "when I came back to it, the struggles were beyond imaginable, they were enormous, they were excruciatingly painful to get back into shape."

It was those struggles she faced herself, that has been her biggest assett in relating to her athletes. "To start from nothing, to start from scratch, to start from a memory, to start from a wannabe, and just struggle to get little tiny pieces of it put back together again. I mean I was a mess. So putting it back together again was a really hard endeavor."

It was those insights that Coach Shere brought to the table and the real feelings of what it meant to overcome, even the smallest battles, that became the next badge of courage for each step in getting back to a better place personally and athletically. "Everybody can do something to honor that part of what, I believe, God gave them, which is an athletic body.  That’s what we are: athletes by nature. It doesn’t mean you have to be an Olympian, but you have to get out there and honor your body, or you end up like I did at 37, just not feeling to good about yourself."

It is safe to say that the Blue Griffin's "Track Mom" of the past 21 years helped more than herself get to a better place. She helped two decades of young people to believe not only in themselves, but to believe in the values, the character, the tools and skill sets that will help them for the rest of their lives.

That is all Coach Shere has wanted to do: to help.

Mission accomplished Coach.




GregWilliams2Head Mens Track Coach, Lancaster High, TX

Greg Williams is a native Waco and the son of former Waco High School principal Willie Williams and former LaVega High School teacher and coach, Robbie Williams. Greg graduated from Richfield High School in 1983.

At Richfield, Greg played football and basketball. He then attended Texas A & M – Commerce (formerly East Texas State University) where he received his Bachelor’s degree in General Business. Greg received his Master’s Degree in School Administration in 2015. 

Greg began his teaching and coaching career at Lancaster High School as an assistant football and assistant track coach. After 8 years, Greg left Lancaster for one year to teach United States History and become the Offensive Coordinator and Head Track Coach at Wilmer- Hutchins High School. Greg then returned to Lancaster and became the Head Boys Track Coach in 1998.

Under Greg’s leadership, the Tigers have won 19 District Championships, 13 Regional Championships, 7 State Championships (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012) and 3 State Runner-up titles.

Greg a former president of the Texas Track and Field Coaches Association (2015-2018) and is currently on the Board of Directors.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas High School Coaches Association.


INFO CREDIT: Las Cruces Sun News

davidNunezIt's often said that new coaches tend to coach the way that they were coached. An important thought for all of us to consider. That what we do has the opportunity to reverberate far into the future with either postitve "or" negative effects. However, in this case it is especially good to know that there may be future coaches that were part of this man's programs and influence.

In his 28th Season at Onate High School, Coach David Nunez has demonstrated excellence on and off the XC course and track. Just this past May, David Nunez was named "Las Cruces Public Schools's Teacher of the Year" in a rigorous process that took over five months of nominations. interviews and scrutiny by a committee of his peers in the profession. Honories were selected based on factors such as professional accomplishments and community service.

When you talk to David about his successes on the track or cross country course, he is quick to point the finger back at his coaches, Marilyn and Bob Sepulveda. The family atmosphere that they provided, still to this day, provide him with special moments and memories. Their effect still shapes his life today. Their effect still shapes other athletes lives as well, through Coach Nunez, still today.

In order to be a great coach, it takes great teaching. David is both. In his nomination essay for his teaching award, Nuñez said, “In order to get students to become capable learners, involving them in a more authentic learning experience where students have a voice in their own learning is essential. By emphasizing communication, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, I help to ensure my students obtain the skills, knowledge and expertise needed to succeed in work and life in the 21st Century.”  

If you have ever met Coach Nunez, or have been fortunate to have been part of his programs, you can bet that those same thoughts and philosophies go for his coaching as well!


GregCoplen2Valor Christian High, CO

Valor Christian coach Greg Coplen has donned the stopwatch around the neck since 2012. And in that short time he's coached state champions in every distance event.

More recently, Coplen guided Colorado distance prodigy Cole Sprout to a stellar 2017-2018 season that saw the sophomore claim three state titles, national class records in the 3,000, and the 3,200, and two Gatorade Athlete of the Year awards.

Coplen's got a recipe, and like my mother's delicious homemade spaghetti, it's good. He shares his Tips from the Top, and even a bonus tip for coaches.

Since taking over Valor Christian’s young program in 2012 Coach Coplen has coached Individual State Champions in the 800, 1600 and 3200 as well as an Individual State Champion in XC. He’s also coached two State Runner-ups as well as several All-State runners during that time. His girls teams have consistently been one of the top teams in the state after finishing almost dead last at the Regional Meet back in 2012.

This past year Valor’s top boy broke the Colorado All-Classification record in the 3200 as well as the US Sophomore national record and was named the “Gatorade Runner of the Year” in both XC and Track. Valor has produced multiple collegiate and Division 1 runners over the past several years.


kashonHarrison18By: Staff, Farmington Daily Times
(Photo: Courtesy of PhotoRun.net)

FARMINGTON — Kashon Harrison concluded his illustrious high school cross-country career by earning consecutive third-team All-American honors today.

The Kirtland Central cross-country star placed 11th out of 40 runners across the nation at the 2018 Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Finals in San Diego.

Harrison’s time was 15 minutes, 34.4 seconds, a 16.5-second improvement from his first nationals appearance in 2017. 

He was also the top finisher among those representing the West region, which sent 10 boys and 10 girls to nationals.

Harrison had to contend with stout competition while placing near the front of the pack.

Harrison tried to push ahead of the front line of runners, darting into the far-right lane during the first mile, but he struggled to get the slot he wanted. He found space by shifting to the left shortly afterward, but couldn’t pull ahead while approaching the first downhill portion of the course.


Despite his struggles to take the lead, Harrison stuck with the front pack in the right lane while trekking across a big loop approaching the second mile.

"I think I was just being patient," Harrison said.

Harrison hung in there among the leaders for roughly 75 percent of the race. But he fell back significantly from the front going up the last big hill on the course at approximately the 12-minute mark.

Despite the final outcome, Harrison was named a third-team All-American for the second straight year. Runners must place in the top 15 to be named an All-American.

Harrison is also a four-time district champion and two-time state champion. Today marked the final chapter of his high school cross-country career, which is filled with accolades.

Harrison said competing at nationals during his final two high school seasons helped him reinforce his drive to keep pushing. He said he appreciates the experiences that giant stage made available to him. 

Harrison said he is planning to continue his cross-country career at the college level, but he is still undecided on which school he will choose.

RolandDesonier2University of Maryland - Throws

Roland Desonier, now retired, was an assistant coach at the University of Maryland. His primary responsibility is assisting with the throwing events.

Desonier graduated from C.W. Post-Long Island University in 1976 with a degree in psychology.

As an athlete, Desonier was a five-time All-American, placing second in the nation in the hammer throw and third in the discus in 1974. In 1988, he was inducted into the C.W. Post Hall of Fame. After 30 years, he still holds all the school records in the discus and the weight throw.

At Maryland, Desonier coached 38 All-Conference performers and a pair of All-Americans in the throwing events, including Ruth Kura, who was ranked fourth nationally and 10th in the world. He coached thirty-two throwers to appearances in NCAA regional meets since 2004.

Of the 60 female athletes on the top-ten lists for throws, Desonier coached 56 while at Maryland, including all ten on the javelin, hammer, discus, and weight throw. He coached 28 of the male athletes on the all time top-ten lists, including all 10 javelin throwers and 8 of 10 weight throwers. Most recently, Desonier coached Chioma Onyekwere to 2 Big Ten podium finishes in the shot put.

He had been a member of the coaching staff that worked with Kiani Profit, who won the NACAC U-23 Championship in the heptathlon. Another heptathlete under his tutelage, Traci Ojenyi, had been among the top-10 in the world in the heptathlon shot put. He also assisted with two-time pentathlon All-American Thea LaFond in the pentathlon shot put.

Desonier coached several walk-ons to become conference scorers during his tenure. He also coached a Penn Relays discus champ while with the Terps. As a further testament to Desonier, two of his former throwers have gone on to coach NCAA champions in the shot and hammer.

Coach Desonier is now spending his retirement with his wife and family in Belen, New Mexico.



Owl Athletic Club (Houston, Texas) /Carlsbad HS Grad, 1997

The Carlsbad, N.M. native has over 25 years of experience in the sport of track and field as an athlete and coach. Pyle holds education credentials through USATF, the USTFCCCA, USAW, and is a member of the Gambetta Athletic Improvement Network (GAIN) Network.

Pyle serves as director and coach of the Owl Athletic Club, a post-collegiate track and field training group based in Houston, Texas.

In 2018, Pyle became the first coach in US history to have led both an American male and female high jumper to a top-10 final world ranking. The 2018 season saw Jeron Robinson win the USA Outdoor Championship title with a personal-best jump of 2.31m (7’7”), win gold at the Athletics World Cup, as well as winning gold at the NACAC Championship. Robinson finished the season with a #8 world ranking by Track and Field News.

During the 2016 season, Pyle coached Inika McPherson to a 10thplace finish in the women's high jump final at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Prior to the Olympic Games, McPherson finished 3rdat the 2016 USA Olympic Trials, to complete the three-member team to represent the USA in Rio. McPherson would finish the 2016 season with a #10 world ranking by Track and Field News. 

In 2015, Pyle produced a Nigerian national champion in the women’s 100m when Gloria Asumnu took the title at the Nigerian National Championships. Later that summer, Asumnu would represent Nigeria in the women’s 4x100m relay at the IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Beijing, China.

In 2014, Pyle led McPherson to a win at the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships and a 12th place overall finish at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland. Later that season, McPherson would win the women's high jump crown at the USA Outdoor Championships, jumping a personal-best of 2.00m (6-6.75) to become the shortest woman (1.63m/5’4”) ever to clear the two-meter barrier, and in turn, setting a height-over-head world record. She finished the 2014 season with the second highest jump in the world.

During the 2013 season, multi-event athlete Ryan Harlan would finish 2ndat the USA Indoor Championships in the men’s heptathlon. The season was capped off by a 2ndplace finish by McPherson at the USA Outdoor Championships, solidifying her spot on Team USA at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

The early years of the Owl Athletic Club were based in success in the men’s decathlon. In 2011, Harlan finished 2nd at the USA Outdoor Championships with a score of 8011pts to make the USA team for the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, Korea. Prior to that, in 2010, Darius Draudvila, competing for Lithuania, placed 5th at the 2010 European Championships with a personal-best score of 8032pts. Draudvila would represent Lithuania in the men’s decathlon at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu. 

The OAC has produced one Olympian and five IAAF World Championship team members in Robinson (USA: Men’s High Jump), McPherson (USA: Women's High Jump), Gloria Asumnu (Nigeria: Women’s 4x100m Relay), Ryan Harlan (USA: Men's Decathlon), and Darius Draudvila (Lithuania: Men's Decathlon).

Collegiately, Pyle has coached at the University of Memphis, as well as six seasons at Rice University. Pyle spent one season at Memphis, and in that time made an immediate impact. In the 2017 season, Pyle’s jumpers won five medals, including four gold. That season saw sophomore Jordan Wesner sweep the conference championship titles while producing a personal-best jump of 2.23m (7’3”). Wesner finished the season with a top-10 finish at the USA Outdoor Championships.

During his six seasons at Rice University (2009-2015), Pyle coached the high jumpers and wrote the physical training for pole vaulters. He guided the Rice Owl jumpers to nine Conference USA championship medals, including six gold. Chris Pillow won five C-USA men's pole vault titles and finished his career as a three-time All-American. In 2015, Pillow would also add a USA Indoor Championships 2ndplace finish to his resume, with a personal-best jump of 5.60m (18’5”). In the high jump, Pyle coached Belle MacFarlane to the C-USA Indoor women's high jump crown and outdoor All-American status at the NCAA Outdoor Championship Final in Eugene, Oregon.

Pyle competed collegiately at Kansas State University as a multi-event athlete, earning All-Big 12 Conference honors in the decathlon, heptathlon and 4x100 meter relay. He earned a bachelor's degree in social science from Kansas State University in 2002.





Member-Spotlight David Nunez

davidNunez It's often said that new coaches tend to coach the way that they were coached. An important thought for all of us to consider, and in this instance it is especially good to know....


HOF-Spotlight Tove Shere

ToveShere It all started in a different time and a different place..England. It all ended, a 21 year coaching stint at Santa Fe Prep, with one last victory lap around the Great Friends UNM Track Complex in celebration ....


Alum-Spotlight Christian Gering

christiangering Gering, a runner from San Felipe Pueblo, ran track his junior and senior years at Santa Fe Indian School and cross-country his senior year. Since then he has been chasing his dream — literally ....


NM-Spotlight Lady Lobos XC


MADISON, Wis.— For the fourth time in the last five years....


We are the NMTCCCA !!!

Begun in 1987 by a small group of visionaries with the goal of a NM Meet of Champions, as well as developing better communication and unification between all track and cross country coaches, the New Mexico Track and Cross Country Coaches Association was born and has grown to what you see today. Our association has and must continue to be the guiding force for positive change and the protection of all aspects of New Mexico Track and Cross Country that we believe important to our athletes and our coaches. Changes are a part of life. We are our best "Advocates" for helping to direct that change in a positive and constructive way. We must continue to "Educate" our membership and give them the best tools for success. And, as a professional organization, we must "Celebrate" those successes, those stories, those special moments and actions that make our sports such wonderful tools in helping to mold the youth of New Mexico. We ARE the NMTCCCA !!!