Head Coach Damon Martin has built the Adams State University cross country and track programs to the absolute premiere level, not only at Division II, but in all of collegiate athletics. Winner of 33 National Coach of the Year awards, Martin is recognized as one of the best coaches in the country, especially with distance runners.
After 26 years in charge of the women’s program and 19 at the helm of the men’s, Martin has coached a total of 30 National Championship teams (17 women’s cross country, 9 men’s cross country, 2 women’s indoor track & field, 1 men’s indoor track & field, 1 men’s outdoor track & field), including a stretch of nine straight women’s cross country titles from 1991-99, another stretch of seven straight women’s titles from 2003-09 and two separate runs of three straight men’s cross country national titles (2008-10 & 2012-14). He has also guided athletes to 986 combined all-America honors and 100 individual national championships while coaching seven national championship relay teams.
Joe Vigil was head coach at Adams State College for nearly 30 years. Vigil led teams to 12 NAIA National Cross Country Championships and the 1995 NCAA Division II National Cross Country Championship, the last with a perfect score of 15 points. In cross-country and track & field, Vigil’s teams won a total of 19 national championships. His overall record at Adams State stands at 94.2 percent with 3,014 wins and 176 losses. Vigil was named National Coach of the Year on 14 different occasions. He also produced 425 All Americans and 87 individual national champions during his tenure at Adams State. Vigil has also had success in coaching post-collegiate athletes, including 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist in the marathon, Deena Drossin Kastor. He has served on 17 international coaching staffs including the World Cross Country Championships, the Pan American Games, the World Championships, and the Olympic Games.
Coach Doris Brown-Heritage, Deena Drossin, Coach Joe Vigil, 2003 World XC, photo by PhotoRun.net.
Jon Sinclair’s career has been marked by consistency and longevity as a road racer with more wins and placings than any other male runner in modern road racing history. While at Colorado State University, Jon Sinclair set several long distance records, competed on two NCAA Cross Country teams along with the NCAA indoor nationals, and in 1979 he won two All-American awards. From 1981 to 1993, Jon Sinclair won 25 long distance road races. In 1984 he was the USA National 10,000 meter track champion and a finalist for the 5,000 meters in the 1984 Olympics along with being a finalist in the marathon in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. He is the current U.S. record holder for the 12km on the roads and former U.S. record holder for the 5km on the roads. Among numerous international team-racing achievements, Jon Sinclair is the all time cumulative men’s point leader in the Runner’s World Road Race Rankings. In 1995, he co-founded Anaerobic Management, an internet based coaching business.
Ted Castaneda’s career as a distance runner started during his prep years at Colorado Springs’ Palmer High School. From there he went on to the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he earned All-America honors four times in track and once in cross-country. His best times include a 3:58.5 mile, an 8:29 two-mile, a 28:30 in the 10k, and a 2-hour, 15-minute marathon. He also competed in two U.S. Olympic Trials (5,000m and 10,000m in 1976, marathon in 1980). Castaneda has served as head coach of the men’s cross country team at Colorado College since 1980, when he also started as a volunteer assistant with the track and field program. He took over as head coach for women’s cross-country in 1993 and for track and field in 1994. During his coaching tenure, 22 cross-country and track athletes have earned All-America honors.
10,000m race at the 1976 Olympic trials (#39). Photo: juanjosemartinez.com
photo: University of CO
Steve Bosley is the founder and former executive director of the renowned Bolder Boulder 10K, and former Bank of Boulder president. The University of Colorado regent was the senior referee for the men’s and women’s marathons during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. Steve has been recognized as a U.S. Race Director of the Year, and was inducted into the inaugural class of the Running USA Hall of Fame and the Colorado Distance Running Hall of Fame. He has coached youth soccer, YMCA basketball and Odyssey of the Mind. He was a founding member of the Boulder Options youth-at-risk program, and was a Boy Scouts volunteer and adviser. A graduate of the University of Colorado, Steve has distinguished himself by receiving an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the College of Business, Entrepreneur of the Year and many other awards.
Melody Fairchild was called the greatest high school distance runner in U.S. history. She was the first high school girl in history to break 10 minutes in the 2-mile (9:55.9) and although she struggled initially at the University of Oregon in the mid-1990s, she came away a 3,000m indoor NCAA champion and an Olympic trials qualifier in the 10K. Melody Fairchild was considered a star constantly on the rise from her earliest years, until 2000, when after a disappointing showing at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials, her name disappeared from race results for a decade. Fairchild, now 39 and living in Boulder, is rising once again and back at the top of the race results, this time on the trails. In 2012 she made the U.S. Mountain Running Team and went on to the World Mountain Running Championships in Italy, where she placed eighth, helping Team USA earn a gold medal for the first time since 2007. She then helped Team USA win another gold medal at the World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge at the Jungfrau Marathon in Switzerland. In 2007 she founded the Melody Fairchild Running Camp for High School Girls in an effort to help other athletes overcome the struggles she experienced first-hand in her own running career.
Mark Plaatjes was the marathon champion at the 1993 World Championships in Athletics in Stuttgart. Born in South Africa under apartheid, Mark won two national titles at the marathon and two at cross-country. He ran a personal best marathon of 2:08:58 in 1985 in Port Elizabeth, but was unable to compete outside South Africa, barred from the 1984 and 1988 Olympic games due to the international boycott of South Africa. He sought political asylum in the United States in 1988. In 1993, Mark finished 6th in the Boston Marathon, qualifying for the U.S. team at the World Championships. In the greatest success of his career, Mark stole the lead in the last three minutes of the race at the 1993 World Championships in Stuttgart with a time of 2:13:57, becoming the first American to win a gold medal in a long-distance event at World Championships. Mark is the winner of 38 marathons worldwide and has made his home in Boulder, Colorado, where he is a coach, physical therapist, and the owner of Boulder Running Company.
Steve Jones is a Welsh athlete and former world marathon record holder. He has won both the New York City and London Marathons, as well as the Chicago Marathon twice. He finished 8th in the 1984 Olympic 10,000m. In his first full marathon, he won the Chicago Marathon, coming in at 2:08:05 and thus breaking the world marathon record. In 1985 he achieved his career best marathon time of 2:07:13 in winning the Chicago Marathon, just missing the world record again by one second. This time remains the fastest of any British runner. In the 1988 New York City Marathon, Steve won by over three minutes with a time of 2:08:20. He was the first Welsh athlete to appear on the cover of the prestigious running magazine Running Times. Steve currently coaches runners through the training group Boulder Express.
photo: Rick Heitman for Denverwoman.com
Maureen Roben is one of a few American women to qualify for four Olympic trials for the marathon. She has held the women’s Colorado half-marathon record with a time of 1:14:08 since 1986. In 1987 she was the top female marathoner in the country and graced the cover of Runner’s World Magazine. She attended the 1988 Olympics and placed seventh in the marathon. Through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program, she’s prepared over 5000 athletes to complete marathons and half marathons. Maureen is the Co-Race Director of the Platte River Half Marathon, the Buckhorn Exchange Relay, and the Aetna Park to Park 5 and 10-Mile races. As the owner of Run Strong, a Denver based running club, Maureen prepares personalized programs, weekly workouts, and running related clinics including nutrition, injury prevention and form evaluation.
Considered one of the best female marathoners in U.S. history, Kim Jones could also be included in a list of the country’s top 5 marathoners, male or female. She has more high level placings in world class marathons than any other U.S. female marathoner in history with 17 performances under 2:33.
Kim’s experience as a marathoner is unrivaled and her ability to coach that event extends from the beginning level to world class. She is also uniquely qualified to work with people struggling with asthma and allergy issues as she has herself successfully overcome asthma problems to become a world class runner.
During her career as a marathoner Kim has trained with and learned from some of the best runners in the world (Steve Jones, Rob DeCastella, Benji Durden, and Mark Plattjes, Colleen DeReuck, to name just a few).