Doug Soles - Great Oak (CA)

This year is Doug’s 18th season as a head cross country & track coach in Southern California.  

He has led his Girls’ XC teams to 10 league titles in the first 13 years of the school, including 9 straight from 2008-2016.  His girls have qualified to CIF all 13 years, making CIF Finals 12 out of those 13 times. The girls’ team has won eight CIF Southern Section Division 1 XC Titles (09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17), as well as State Runner up in 2009, and seven Division 1 State Championships in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.  He has also had 3 girls teams podium (2, 3, 3) at NXN.  His boy’s xc teams have won 6 league titles, 3 CIF SS Southern Section titles, and were the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Division 1 State Champions. The boys 2015 team was also the NXN National Champions. His combined cross country program usually has around 130-180 athletes on it, with various training groups and levels. Coach Soles was named the California Coaches Association Girls Cross Country Coach of the year for 2012, and the Girls CA Coach of the Year in 2014 & 2015 by the USATFCCCA. In 2015 he was also named Boys State and National Coach of the Year by the USATFCCCA.

His girls’ track program has 7 league titles in the school’s short history as well.  He has consistently built some of the largest and most competitive track teams in the country, making cuts to around 300 athletes each season.  In the 2014 track season, he had 3 girls break 4:50 for the 1600 in the same race, going 4:44, 4:45, and 4:48! His girls 4x1600 team ran 19:52 in 2016 which is #3 all-time US. His boys relay teams also put up some amazing numbers in 2016; 4x800 - 7:35, 4x1600 – 16:52 (NATIONAL RECORD at the time), DMR – 10:01. His boy’s teams have won 5 Mt. SAC Relays titles in track (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) While his girls have won 2 (2015 & 2016). His boys have won 3 boys Southwestern League Titles and 2 CIF SS D1 Titles (2013 & 2016). In the 2016 season, he had 4 boys run 4:10 or better for 1600 (4:04, 4:05, 4:08, 4:10). He averages 40+ girls under 6:00 for 1600, and 40+ boys under 5:00 per season over the last few track seasons. His 2015-16 teams were arguably the deepest and most competitive XC/distance teams in US History. Coach Soles was named the 2016 USA Today Boys National Track & Field Coach of the Year, and 2017 Boys CA Track & Field Coach of the Year.


Dan Iverson - Naperville North (IL)

  • Assistant Girls’ XC Coach 1994-95, Head Girls’ XC Coach 1996-present
  • Head Girls’ Track and Field Coach 1995-2003, 2017-present, Assistant Girls’ Track and Field Coach 2004-2016
  • Won seven state cross country championships (2001, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017)
  • Earned trophies (top three) at Illinois State Meet 15 times (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Coached 33 All-State XC Runners
  • Coached multiple All-State Track Athletes, including State Champion 4x800m relay (2015) and Judy Pendergast as State Champion in the 3200m (2015) and in XC (2015)
  • Earned 7 berths at NXN (2005, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017)
  • 2017 Girls NXN Runner-Up 

Joan Hunter - Loudoun Valley (VA)

Joan and her husband, Marc, are in their 4th year of coaching cross country at Loudoun Valley HS, in Purcellville, VA. For 10 years in the 1980’s and 1990’s, Joan coached at James Madison HS and South Lakes HS, where she and Marc had the privilege of being Alan Webb’s 9th grade coaches.  During this time, they coached numerous state qualifiers and a handful of state champion relays and individuals.  

After an 8 year hiatus from coaching while raising their many kids, Joan and Marc started a youth running club, NOVA Athletic Club, which enabled them to be involved in the sport without the huge time demands of high school coaching.  However, once their son Drew began running in 9th grade, the Hunters saw his potential and wanted to ensure he would have every opportunity to develop, so they began volunteering at Loudoun Valley and eventually took over the distance program spring of Drew’s sophomore year.

The Hunters have led the Viking boys XC team to 3 consecutive state team titles, and 3 Viking boys (Drew Hunter, Peter Morris, Sam Affolder) have won the last 6 individual state titles.  In 2017, the Viking boys scored 15 points at their state meet- something no Virginia team has ever done. That team went on to win the 2017 Nike Cross Nationals. Drew Hunter qualified for Foot Locker in 2014 and 2015, winning in 2015.  Last year, Peter Morris qualified for NXN.  The Viking girls have been state runners-up in XC for the last four years, have had one individual state champion (Natalie Morris, 2017) and have had one individual girl, Ciara Donohue, qualify for Foot Locker in 2014.  In track, the Viking boys have won 2 outdoor state team titles. Last year, in Loudoun Valley’s first full official indoor track season, the Viking boys were state runners-up. Other important wins include the 2016 NB indoor nationals DMR and the 2016 Penn Relays DMR.


John O'Malley - Sandburg (IL)

Head Sandburg High School Boys Cross Country Coach 2003-present and Asst. Track/Distance Coach 2003-present.

Cross Country: State qualifiers every year of his coaching career and placed in the top 10 in state seven of the last 10 years in the largest class division.

State Champions: 2015

State Runner-up: 2014

NXN: 2014 (15th) , 2015 (4th); NXR Midwest Champions 2014 and 2015

Coached multiple all state athletes including NXN champion and two time state and Footlocker national champion, Lukas Verzbicas.

Track: In thirteen seasons, fourteen 1600m state qualifiers, including three runners at 4:10 or better. 4 x 800m has run 7:49 or faster in six separate seasons and has placed 5-4-3-2-1 in state, including the 2014 runner in 7:40.7 and the 2015 state champions. Each of his teams have run 7:46 or better for the past four years in a row. 2nd place in state in the 1600m Zach Dahleen went on to be an NCAA DI National qualifier in the 1500 (3:41).


Jonathan Dalby - Mountain Vista (CO)

Mountain Vista High School Head XC/Track & Field Coach

August 2007-Present

Led and mentored our team to six top 3 finishes at the 5A Boy’s State Cross Country Championships, including a3rd place finish in 2010, 2nd in 2011, and winning the past four consecutive state titles in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

NXN Boys SW Champions 2015 and 2017

NXN Boys 3rd place finish - 2017

NXN Girls SW Runner-Up - 2017

Coached our team to 6, top 10 finishes at the 5A Girl’s State Cross Country Championships, including a 3rd place finish in 2011 and a 4th place finish in 2012 and 2015.

Nine time Continental League Boys and Girls Cross Country champions.

Guided athletes in both cross country and track to consistent state meet and league podium performances. Many of our athletes have gone on to run at the next level collegiately.


Charlie Kern - York (IL)

Charlie Kern teaches Philosophy, Sociology, World History and is currently the Head Boys Track coach and Assistant Cross Country at York HS in Elmhurst Illinois.  As a prep, Charlie was a Kinney (Footlocker) finalist and the NYS Outdoor 1600m Champion.  Charlie completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky and earned All-SEC honors in Cross Country and Track five times.  Charlie’s running career continued long after graduation culminating in a World Masters Age Group Championship in 2009 when he won the 40-44 1500m championship in Lahti Finland, covering the last 800 in 2:03.  Charlie has coached student-athletes from the middle school through the community college level.  He has also coached adult athletes.  He serves as Andrew Starykowicz’s run coach, currently the fastest American Ironman Triathlete.  Coach Kern also directs a summer running camp, the Championship Training Academy, which attracted over 400 runners in 2014.   Charlie lives in Elmhurst, IL with his wife, Lynne and three children, Charlie (15), Ethan (13) and Emma (13).

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Dr. Richard Hansen, DC, DACBSP, CSCS

Coach Hansen is a former collegiate distance runner for UC San Diego.  He was the head XC and Track coach at Peak to Peak High School from 2009-2014 before leaving to start the Roots Running Project.  Richard implements Coach Vigil’s training for Alia Gray, while incorporating much of the same philosophy with the Roots Running Project athletes.  Additionally, coach Hansen holds his Doctor of Chiropractic license, is a sports physician diplomate (DACBSP), and a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS).  He routinely lectures on proper distance running training, sports injury management, and proper implementation of strength and conditioning for endurance athletes.  He has had the opportunity to work with over 20 Olympians and has been a medical provider at the USATF Outdoor Championships and Olympic Trials.  He owns and operates a private sports medicine practice in Boulder, CO called High Altitude Spine and Sport.

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Jeff Messer, Phd

Dr. Jeffrey I. Messer serves as department chair and faculty in exercise physiology for the Exercise Science Department at Mesa Community College, Mesa, Arizona. Dr. Messer holds a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. His doctoral research program emphasized exercise biochemistry with a specific research focus in skeletal muscle mitochondrial bioenergetics. In addition, he has earned an M.S. degree in exercise science from Arizona State University, a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, and a B.A. degree in economics from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut.

Dr. Messer has taught a variety of courses including Introduction to Exercise Physiology, Introduction to Evidence-Based Inquiry, Introduction to Research Methods in Health and Exercise Science, Sport Nutrition for Fitness Professionals, Strength & Conditioning, and Methods of Enhancing Physical Performance. His ongoing teaching pursuits have been complemented by the September 2010 opening of the Mesa Community College Human Performance Laboratory. Prior to the transition to the aforementioned department chair position, Dr. Messer served as director of the laboratory with a corresponding mandate to not only complement the foundational teaching / learning mission of the college but also engage in scholarly research focused on optimizing human performance.

Dr. Messer applies his passion for teaching and scholarly inquiry through his strong involvement in coaching both interscholastic endurance athletes and, periodically, pre-secondary and post-collegiate endurance athletes.

From 2006 – 2012, Dr. Messer served as co-head coach for cross-country and assistant coach (distance) for track-&-field at Xavier College Preparatory, Phoenix, Arizona. The Xavier College Preparatory cross-country program earned six consecutive (2007 – 2012) Arizona high school girl’s state cross-country championships. During the three-year period from 2010 – 2012, the Xavier College Preparatory cross-country program concluded the associated cross-country seasons ranked 22nd, 8th, and 21st in the United States. During the 2012 Arizona high school track-&-field season, Xavier College Preparatory had twelve (12) student-athletes average 5:13 for the 1,600-meter distance.

In February 2013, Dr. Messer began to serve as head coach for girl’s cross-country and assistant coach (girl’s distance) for track-&-field at Desert Vista High School, Phoenix, Arizona. The Desert Vista High School girl’s cross-country program earned the 2013, 2014, and 2016 Arizona high school girl’s state cross-country championship. In late-May 2014, the Desert Vista High School girl’s distance program was ranked by MileSplit US as one of only two girl’s high school track-&-field programs in the United States with “top ten” groups in each of the 800-m, 1,600-m, and 3,200-m events. In December 2014, the Desert Vista High School girl’s cross-country program finished fifth (5th) at the Nike National High School Cross-Country Championship and thus concluded the 2014 high school cross-country season as the fifth (5th) ranked high school cross-country team in the United States. More recently, the Desert Vista High School girl’s cross-country program finished sixth (6th) at the 2016 Nike National High School Cross-Country Championship.

Subsequent to the 2016 high school cross-country season, Dr. Messer retired from his coaching endeavors in order to expand his community college leadership pursuits.

Most recently, Dr. Messer returned and transitioned to the Desert Vista boy’s distance program as a volunteer assistant for the 2017 cross-country season. The Desert Vista High School boy’s cross-country program earned its first opportunity to compete at and ultimately finished eighth (8th) at the 2017 Nike National High School Cross-Country Championship.

Dr. Messer has been recognized by the United States Track-&-Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association as the 2016 National Girl’s High School Cross-Country Coach-of-the-Year.


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Dr. Carwyn Sharp is a recognized expert in endurance sports who has authored and co-authored numerous book chapters, scientific articles and abstracts, and presented at international and national conferences and clinics on endurance sports topics such as nutrition, strength and conditioning, training and physiology. He has been interviewed by publications such as Runners’ World, Men’s Fitness, Women’s Health, Muscle&Fitness, MSN Healthy Living, and The New York Times.

Dr. Sharp is a sports scientist and nutritionist with degrees in exercise physiology (BS, MS) and nutrition (PhD) and has been coaching athletes from beginner to Olympic medalist for almost 20 years. He is a certified coach in strength and conditioning (CSCS), and USA Triathlon coach with a personal best marathon of 2:46.

Dr. Sharp is currently the Chief Science Officer at the National Strength & Conditioning Association, and worked previously as Project Scientist for Exercise Countermeasures at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and also as an Assistant Professor researching the roles of high intensity training and nutrition on endurance performance and recovery. 



Ryan Bolton

Ryan Bolton is the owner and founder of Bolton Endurance Sports Training (BEST). He is
also the Founder/Director/Head Coach of The Haramabee Project based in Santa Fe, NM.
After a successful college running career that included All-American and Academic All-
American honors, Bolton entered the World of professional triathlon with a sole focus of
competing in the Olympic Games. His running prowess combined with a strong background in both swimming and cycling provided the perfect foundation for a successful career as a
professional triathlete. In 2000, Ryan represented the United States in the Sydney Olympics and then went on to compete at a top level in long course triathlon racing. His race resume includes many international victories in Olympic, Half, and Full Ironman distances.

Upon retirement from racing in 2004, Bolton enrolled in graduate school and received a MS in Human Nutrition, with an emphasis on stress metabolism in 2006. Combined with his BA in Exercise physiology and long term background in endurance sports, this education provided Ryan with a perfect background for top level coaching.

Currently, Ryan coaches World class professional runners and triathletes, Olympians, and
amateur runners, cyclists and triathletes from around the World. In 2009, Bolton formed The Harambee Project in Santa Fe, NM; a group of elite distance runners, including the 2015 Boston marathon champion, Caroline Rotich. Ryan also engages in speaking engagements and endurance sports camps domestically and internationally.


Phil Wharton

Phil Warton is one of the most respected and sought after musculoskeletal therapists and trainers in the world. He has worked with and trained hundreds of Olympic medalists, world record holders, national teams, and professional teams; as well as luminaries of stage, screen and business. Guiding Olympic champions, medalists, and national teams over six Olympic periods. He has worked with world record-holders in the marathon for the past 11 years.

Phil Wharton mentored with some of the finest traditional and non-traditional medical professionals in the world. Traveling with national teams from Italy to Kenya and all over Europe and Mexico. In his travels he worked to create marathon training camps all over the world.

As the Founder a number of Performance Clinics he has created a space for the elite to learn and heal. Founder of Wharton Performance Clinic , Upper West Side of Manhattan, in

1993. Co-Founded of the first ever performance center in hospital setting – “Wharton Performance Center” Cleveland University Hospitals 2002. Founded Wharton Health Experience High Altitude Training Center in Flagstaff, AZ, serving hundreds of Olympians and teams from a variety of sports from around the world, as well as a wide range of persons suffering from muscular pain.

Phil is a member of the “Dr. Oz Top 100” – Dr. Oz’s list of the top 100 health professionals, and has been recommended and endorsed by Dr. Andrew Weil and listed on his healthcare referral list for scoliosis treatment. Phil’s knowledge and expertise have given him a platform as an international speak at medical and health seminars worldwide.

An accomplished author, Phil Wharton has co-authored of The Wharton Health Series: The Whartons’ Stretch Book, which is currently in its 15th printing. The Whartons’ Back Book, The Whartons’ Strength Book, and The Whartons’ Cardio-Fitness Book.

You can see Phil Wharton online in videos and interviews though YouTube, FloTrack and Armory Track. Phil contributed to Runner’s World for 5 years with the column “The Body Shop”. He has been featured in Runner’s World frequently as well as contributing to Shape Magainze, USA Today, Forbes, Prevention, and The Wall Street Journal. Featured television and radio with National Public Radio and Dateline, The Discovery Channel and CBS.

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Jay Johnson

Jay has coached collegiate, professional and adult runners for more than fifteen years, coaching three athletes that have won United States Track and Field national titles in indoor track, cross country and road racing. Renee Metivier-Ballie (3,000m – 2010), Brent Vaughn (Cross Country – 2011) and Fernando Cabada (25 km – 2011) are some of the quality runners Jay has had the opportunity to work over the years.

In 2016 Jay published a training manual, Simple Marathon Training, to help the busy adult with a hectic life run to their potential in the marathon. 

Jay coaches private clients and have helped dozens of adult runners PR over distances from 1 to 100 miles, working with athletes on several continents.

Jay has a BA in Kinesiology and an MS in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, both from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Jay has written for brands such as Nike, sites such as, multiple magazines and has been quoted in a variety of publications, including Wired, Outside and Runner’s World.