Aggie women win title for fourth time in the past five years
Two-sport Big West Conference Athlete of the Year recovered from 2010 cancer diagnosis
Aggie coach continues to put pieces in place to keep UC Davis at top of the Big West
Former Aggie coach helped five cross country and track and field teams capture Big West Conference championships
Conference championship events come to Woody Wilson Track for the first time
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Drew Wartenburg is in his third year as the Director for Track and Field and Cross Country for UC Davis, having lifted the Aggies, particularly the two-time defending Big West women's track and field team, to elite status in the conference. He assumed his current duties after serving as an assistant track coach for four seasons while also leading the cross country team.
Success has been a mainstay of the track and field program over his first two years overseeing the track teams. Buoyed by seven individual titles, the Aggie women claimed their first-ever Big West Track and Field Championship in 2012, Wartenburg's first as head coach coach. UC Davis edged UC Santa Barbara by a half-point, helping Wartenburg to a share of Big West Coach of the Year honors.
Standout Sarah Sumpter received her second career Big West Athlete of the Year award - she also won the award during the 2009 cross country season - and was an All-America second-team honoree in the 10,000, while discus thrower Ashley Hearn also earned All-America first-team accolades after finishing third at the national championships, the best finish for an Aggie during its NCAA Div. I era.
At the 2012 conference championships, Sumpter set meet records in the 5,000 and 10,000, winning both events, while Alycia Cridebring won the 1,500. Melanise Chapman captured both the 100 and 200 while Hearn won the discus and Lauren Radke was victorious in the pole vault. On the men's side Jonathan Peterson was a two-time winner in distance events, claiming the 1,500 and 5,000 titles for a highly impressive double-win.
UC Davis returned to the Big West podium this past spring, winning the conference championship again but doing so this time in dominating fashion. The Aggies scored 172.5 points, well ahead of second-place UCSB which had 128.5. Sumpter repeated with another title in the 10,000 on the meet's first day while sophomore Katie Fry won the 3,000 steeplechase.
UC Davis then ran away from the competition on the final day, earning individual championships from Ashley Marshall, who had school-record efforts in the 100 and 200, and Lauren Wallace the did the same in the 800. Emily Bush added another in the pole vault, Raquel Lambdin captured the 1,500, Kayla Carter was victorious in the 100 hurdles, and the 4x400 relay capped the meet with a win in the 4x400.
The Aggies have sent 29 competitors to the NCAA West Regional meets during Wartenburg's two-year tenure. The 2013 contingent was headlined by Wallace, Marshall and Fry who advanced to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. Wallace highlighted the postseason appearances with her All-America finish, crossing in a school-record time of 2:02.91. Wallace lowered the Aggie record by an amazing five seconds during her senior season.
The track teams' success only adds to the strength of the distance program which has been cultivated by Wartenburg in both cross country and track since his arrival in 2008. Thigpen claimed the 10,000-meter run title at the 2011 Big West Conference meet, and in 2008, Kim Conley and Lorin Scott each earned a spot into the regional meet in the 1,500 and 5,000 while Russell Pfaff qualified in the steeplechase after winning the Big West Conference individual title in the event.
The 2011 cross country season saw the UC Davis women win their first-ever Big West Conference team title as three Aggies finished in the top 10. The women's championship came just one year after the men's squad won the 2010 championship and Jonathan Peterson claimed the individual title while, in 2009, Sarah Sumpter took home the women's individual championship and was named the conference's Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year.
For his cross country success, Wartenburg is a two-time Big West Women's Coach of the Year.
The program's success has translated to the classroom as well. Sumpter was named UC Davis' recipient of the 2011-12 Big West Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award, following Calvin Thigpen's 2010-11 selection.
Under Wartenburg, the UC Davis women's cross country team has achieved four USTFCCCA All-Academic Several Aggies have been named as Big West Conference Fall All-Academic selections. Seventeen women and 10 men have been honored in cross country during his tenure while 19 have been honorees on the Big West All-Academic track teams over the past two years as well. Additionally, Scott Himmelberger and Kaitlin Gregg each earned CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VIII honors in 2009 while Himmelberger would go on to earn prestigious Academic All-America accolades.
During his first season at the helm of the cross country program, the Aggies finished second at the Big West Conference Championships and women's runners Conley and Kaitlin Gregg became the first Aggies to qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships while also earning the first-ever Div. I all-region honors for the Aggies. In addition, Conley, Gregg and men's runner K.C. Cody earned all-conference accolades.
Wartenburg spent the 2007-08 season as an assistant coach for Oregon State's women's track and field and cross country teams. In only their third year since reinstating the programs for the 2004-05 season, the Beavers finished 13th at the NCAA West Regional during the cross country season and qualified their lone track and field athlete for the regional meet in the steeplechase - an event Wartenburg helped coach. Additionally, he mentored two Pac-10 Conference finalists in the 1,500 and the sixth-place finisher at the 2008 USATF Junior Nationals in that event.
In addition to his UC Davis coaching duties, Wartenburg has served as Kim Conley's professional coach for the past four years. Conley qualified for the 5,000-meter run at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in June 2012 and placed third in a dramatic, photo finish to earn the final spot on Team USA for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Conley clocked a personal best time of 15:14.48 in London.
She's continued her international success under Wartenburg's tutelage, competing in the 2013 World Cross Country Championships in Poland while also qualifying for the World Track and Field Championships in the 5,000 where she finished 12th last summer in Moscow.
Wartenburg graduated from Wesleyan University, a liberal arts college in Middlestown, Conn. in 1992, where he lettered in soccer.