Former UC Davis standout Kim Conley returns for her third season on the cross country and track and field coaching staffs.
After serving as a volunteer assistant for the 2009 season, she was elevated to assistant coach for the 2010 and 2011 campaigns, but returned to a volunteer role after the 2011 season to focus full-time on training professionally. Her ultimate goal? A berth to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
She established her professional running career with SRA Elite in Sacramento and turned in several breakout road-race performances. With head cross country and track and field coach Drew Wartenburg serving as her personal coach, she finished eighth overall at the 2011 USA Cross Country Championships and tenth in the 5,000 at the 2011 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Under Wartenburg's tutelage, she set personal best times in both the 5K (15:38.13) and the 1,500 (4:12.05).
In June 2012, Conley turned in a historic finish in the 5,000 at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore. to realize her Olympic dream. She found herself as far back as seventh with around 600 meters remaining and yet, in the final stretch of the race, she surged into third place, leaning across the finish line to claim the final spot for Team USA.
In London, Conley turned in a personal best time of 15:14.48 to finish 12th in her preliminary heat.
Conley has lent her expertise as a distance runner to help the women's cross country team achieve new milestones. Under her shared guidance, UC Davis holds claim to a conference team title and an individual league champion in Sarah Sumpter. Additionally, Sumpter won UC Davis' first Women's Athlete of the Year award, receiving the honor in 2009.
Prior to her selection to the Aggie staff, the Santa Rosa, Calif. native completed a four-year cross country and track and field career at UC Davis that still stands amongst the best in Aggie history.
In 2008, Conley and teammate Kaitlin Gregg made program history by becoming the first Aggies to qualify for the NCAA Division I Championship. She earned All-West Region with her 12th-place showing at the regional, earning her the berth at the national meet.
During the fall seasons, Conley earned all-conference or equivalent honors three times. She was the Division I Independent champion as a freshman in 2004, then added her second All-Div. I Independent honor by placing seventh the following year. In 2008, Conley captured All-Big West Conference accolades with a seventh-place showing.
Conley's time of 16:17.51 set at the 2008 NCAA Track and Field West Regional in the 5,000 meters stands as a school record and her mark of 4:22.17 in the 1,500 meters currently ranks her No. 2 on UC Davis' all-time ledger. Additionally she is ninth in the outdoor 800 (2:10.73) and the outdoor 3,000 (9:45.85) and owns the indoor 3,000 record with a time of 9:19.16.