Sarah Sumpter leads UC Davis with strong 12th place finish
In his five years at the helm of the UC Davis cross country program, Drew Wartenburg continues to reach new heights and has turned the Aggies into one of the premiere cross country teams on the West Coast.
The 2011 season saw the UC Davis women win their first-ever Big West Conference team title as three Aggies finished in the top ten. 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 Athlete of the Year.
For his cross country success, Wartenburg is a two-time Big West Women's Coach of the Year.
In September 2011, he was appointed Director of Track and Field and Cross Country and led the women's track and field team to its first Big West Conference championship. Sumpter received her second career Athlete of the Year award and was an All-America second team honoree while Wartenburg was chosen, yet again, as Women's Coach of the Year.
At the 2012 championships, Sumpter set meet records in the 5,000 and 10,000, winning both events, while Alycia Cridebring won the 1,500. On the men's side Peterson was a two-time winner in distance events, claiming the 1,500 and 5,000 titles.
The 2012 success only adds to the strength of the distance program which has been cultivated by Wartenburg since his arrival in 2008. Thigpen claimed the 10,000-meter run title at the 2011 Big West Conference meet and in 2008, 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 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 team has achieved four consecutive USTFCCCA All-Academic Honors and several Aggies have been named as Big West Conference Fall All-Academic selections. In his five-year tenure, 17 women and 10 men have been honored in cross country. 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 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 Kim 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.
Wartenburg graduated from Wesleyan University, a liberal arts college in Middlestown, Conn. in 1992, where he lettered in soccer.