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Ivory Veale is new cross-country coach


Ivory Veale’s impressive background as both a coach and college runner made him the ideal candidate to be Mills’ new cross country coach.

Veale joins Mills after coaching Pittsburg High School’s junior varsity cross-country team for two years. He started as a track coach in 1996 as a graduate assistant for Chico State. His position eventually evolved into becoming a tenure coach for the school’s sprint and relays, and middle distance team. Veale transitioned to cross-country after coaching the women’s team at Bethany College in Kansas.

Since leaving Kansas, Veale has focused on coaching long distance running because he likes working with a small team compared to track teams that have more participants.

“I have more one on one access to the athletes to really design [fitness] programs that fits the needs of the individual, “ Veale said.

Veale’s  experience in both track and cross-country has broadened his coaching ability.

Not only does Veale have an extensive background as a coach, but also as an accomplished runner. Running track for Chico State, Veale was a Division II All-American athlete his junior year and three-time NCAA Division II conference champion in the 100, 200, and 4×100 meter events in his senior year. After 18 years, he still holds Chico’s relay race record.

Despite his achievements in track, Veale notes that he is “really proud for the fact that [he] was an academic all-conference student” maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher during his two years at Chico State.

After meeting his team for the first time, Veale was pleased by how the team easily took to him being their new cross country coach. He is excited to start working on the runner’s personal short-term goals for this upcoming season.

Because Veale joined at the beginning of the academic year, he was unable to create fitness programs during the off-season that were designed for long-term goals. Instead Veale and his team want to establish a starting point and focus on developing skills and techniques that can be accomplished in their first fall season together.

After meeting Veale for the first time, senior Mara Harwood feels that he will be a successful coach at Mills and appreciates the new training principles that he brings to the team. Rather than focus on running the distance, Harwood likes that Veale is more about “less mileage and more about quality over quantity.”

“[We are] working a lot with agility and doing drills and core strength that we have [not] seen,” Harwood said. “There is so many ways that you can approach training.”

Senior Natanya Friedeim believes that Veale has big shoes to fill as the new cross-country coach after the departure of their previous coach who was loved by the team. However, after meeting Veale and hearing what he offers to the team, Friedeim thinks his experience in both track and cross-country will bring a new dynamic to the team’s training.

“I’m really looking forward to helping these athletes out to reach their goals,” Veale said.