penned by Pat Goodwin, President and Founder of Team USA Minnesota
Four Team USA Minnesota distance runners – Meghan Peyton, Heather Kampf, Rob Molke and Katy Moen – are coaching either college or high school cross country teams in the Twin Cities area this fall. The teams include Augsburg College, Apple Valley High School, Edina High School and Totino-Grace High School.
Meghan Peyton is the head men’s and women’s cross country coach and assistant track & field coach at Augsburg College. She’s been head coach for the past three years and has coached at the Minneapolis college for seven years. “I enjoy coaching because I enjoy helping others pursue their goals and discover ones that they never dreamed possible,” said Peyton, who has been with Team USA Minnesota since 2008, was the 2013 USA 20k Champion, and a two-time Olympic marathon trials qualifier. She competed collegiately at the University of Iowa.
“Augsburg College is a very special place to coach because the college is grounded in the idea of helping its students become informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers and responsible leaders. This calling also shapes the way I lead the team. I feel my position as the coach is more than helping the student-athletes become better runners, but also better citizens. The goal is to help them become citizens who will help build on the already wonderful community we have here in the Twin Cities.”
Four-time USA Road Mile Champion Heather Kampf and two-time Olympic trials qualifier in the 1500 meters is in her seventh season as an assistant coach for the Apple Valley Girls Cross Country team. She has also coached track for five seasons at the high school and has been with Team USA Minnesota since 2010. “Coaching is an opportunity to share my knowledge and passion for the sport and also be a positive role model for the girls I work with,” said Kampf, who was a standout cross country and track athlete at the University of Minnesota.
“Of course I want them to be successful runners, but even more importantly I want to help them be confident in who they are as people, empowered by what they can accomplish with their bodies, unafraid to set and chase down big dreams, and intentional about surrounding themselves with good people. My favorite part of coaching are those workout days where the team shows up hungry to work hard, and they enthusiastically support each other every step of the way. It’s cool when you see you’ve helped create a culture that embraces the work because they know it makes everyone better.”
Rob Molke joined Team USA Minnesota in January as an Olympic marathon trials qualifier after a successful collegiate career at Syracuse University. He is a volunteer assistant cross country coach at Edina High School and was an assistant distance coach in track at the school last spring. “I enjoy coaching, especially at the high school level, because I am able to share my passion for the sport with others,” said Molke.
“It’s a lot of fun and very fulfilling to watch the athletes you coach improve over time and achieve goals they set for the team and themselves. I’m extremely grateful for everything I learned through my high school running experience and want the kids I coach to learn the same life skills for their future as well.”
At Totino-Grace High School, Katy Moen is the girls and boys head cross country coach and was also the girls and boys head distance track coach last spring. Moen joined Team USA Minnesota in 2015 after a collegiate career at Iowa State University where, among other accomplishments, she finished eighth individually at the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships (with her Iowa State team placing second overall).
“At Totino-Grace, I have found collaborating with a great group of student athletes to be a uniquely rewarding experience,” said Moen. “Through coaching, I aim to facilitate community, meaningful experiences, and promote athlete development. I believe it is an integral part of the sport to welcome all students to be part of an inclusive team while emphasizing that everyone can be equally contributing members through varying means of support and performance.
“I absolutely love the opportunity to give back to the great community I have found at Totino-Grace by using my own experiences as a high school, collegiate, and now a professional runner. It is incredibly rewarding to assist athletes in achieving their goals both athletically and personally.”
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 major sponsor is Twin Cities In Motion. Its silver sponsors are the Houston Marathon Foundation and the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon. For more information, visit the team’s web site at www.teamusaminnesota.org.