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UMD Selects Laura Harmon as New Women's Cross Country and Track and Field Coach

WDIO Sports
Created: November 05, 2018 06:56 PM

Duluth, Minn. - UMD has hired Laura Harmon is the new Head Women's Cross Country and Track and Field Head Coach.

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"I'm thrilled to become part of the Bulldog family and immerse myself and my family in the community of Duluth and UMD," said Harmon in a statement. "Becoming the leader of the UMD women's track and field and cross country programs is an incredible opportunity for me in my career. I know my coaching experience at multiple levels has prepared me to take the women's programs to even higher levels in the classroom and in competition in the NSIC and on the regional and national stages

"Thank you to (UMD Athletic Director) Josh Berlo, (UMD Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator) Karen Stromme and (UMD Assistant Athletic Director) Abbey Strong and (UMD Associate Athletic Director and Sport Track Administrator) Jay Finnerty, and the rest of the search committee for their confidence in my leadership and welcoming me to the department with open arms."

Her coaching resume has nine seasons of service at the collegiate level. She currently is the Head Women's Cross Country and Track and Field Coach at Sierra College, a two-year institution in Rocklin, Calif. She helped resurrect those two programs in 2016 after a seven-year hiatus and since that time has directed the Wolverines to a pair of berths in the California State Junior College Championships. Prior to joining the Sierra College staff, Harmon was employed at a trio of NCAA Division I schools -- Sacramento State University (head men's and women's cross country and assistant track and field coach; 2015-16), Texas Christian University (head men's and women's cross country and assistant track and field coach; 2014-15) and Oregon State University (assistant women's cross country and track and field coach; 2011-2014). Sacramento State claimed an Big Sky Indoor Track and Field championship during her tenure.

Harmon, a native of Vancouver, Washington, enjoyed a rewarding four-year running career at the University of Oregon. As a senior in 2004, she qualified for her second NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship and attained All-American status. Harmon, who was a two-year Duck team captain, also took part in a pair of NCAA I national track and field meets in the 5,000-meter run and was a four-time NCAA I regional qualifier in the 1,500- and 5,000-meter runs.

After graduating from Oregon in 2005 with a B.S. Degree in psychology, Harmon returned to her alma mater -- Jesuit High School in Beaverton, Ore. -- to enter the coaching arena. As the assistant girl's cross country and track and field coach from August 2005 to June 2009, she was part of four Oregon State 6A cross country title-winning teams. Harmon also coached three Crusaders to Oregon 6A individual state track and field crowns.

Harmon, who received a Master's Degree in Kinesiology from Fresno Pacific University this past summer, and her husband, Taylor, have one daughter (Quinn).

"We are honored to welcome Laura Harmon to Bulldog Country and the UMD Athletics family," said Berlo in a statement. "Our student-athletes will be well served and supported by her extensive coaching experience and diverse expertise. We are excited about the future of UMD women's cross country and track and field and for Laura to elevate the program to even greater success academically and competitively."

Harmon officially starts at UMD on November 26.  She replaces Joanna Warmington, who resigned in August. Scott Keenan served as Interim Head Coach for the Fall fo the cross country team.

(Contributions from UMD Athletics.)

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