New Head Cross Country Coach

Tanner Kufeld, Reporter

  Mountain View has yet another new cross country head coach, and her name is Whitney Hornung. Hornung plans to end the revolving door of coaches and make a change in the cross country program; with her coaching and running experience, Hornung has serious potential to be the hero our team has needed.

  Hornung grew up in a small town known as Hamilton, Montana. A 2010 census showed the population in this town as just over 4000; this small population is a fundamental reason her love of track shined over her other sports.” I went to a small school, and our other sports teams were kinda crappy, and track allowed me to compete at a different level” In middle school, she fell in love with volleyball, basketball, and track. Hornung said, “Even though I started in middle school, I got serious about taking it to the next level in high school.” A coach holds a special place in her heart; his name is Mr. Yoakam. “‘He opened my eyes to what I was capable of doing in high school. He helped me take it to the next level,” and without Yoakam, she’s not sure she could have gotten to the level she is now. 

  Hornung is a very serious athlete with quite a history. According to the CSU cross country page, ‘Whitney lettered in volleyball, basketball, and track while at Corvallis, Mont. She was named all-conference as a volleyball and track athlete and received the All-Valley Sportsmanship Award. She was the state champion in the 4×100-meter relay in 2006 and 2007 and was also the state champion in the 100-, 200- and 300-meter races in 2008. Whitney set her high school record in the 400-meters with a time of 57.9. She was an all-conference player as she captained her volleyball team in 2008. She was also an all-star player as she captained the basketball team in 2008 and 2009. Whitney was named academic all-state and was on the honor roll and a member of the National Honor Society.” She didn’t stop in college, qualifying for NCAA nationals in 2013 and taking second place in the 2013 MW outdoor championships. 

 Although she has great successes,  it has not always been smooth sailing for Hornung. “I dislocated my knee and tore my ACL during a basketball game my senior year. I had just gotten back from an official visit with the University of Washington and was planning on deciding where I would attend college in the upcoming days. So when I went down, I felt a lot of things, including panic and a tremendous fear I wouldn’t be able to run in college or receive a scholarship. Fortunately, Colorado State honored their scholarship they had offered me, and the rest is more or less history.”

  She added,” The dislocation of my knee complicated the injury. I had a lot of nerve damage and what was thought to be a pretty severe bone contusion in my femur, so the first doctor I saw immobilized me. It only took a couple of weeks of not using my leg for it to completely atrophy. I had to teach myself how to walk again after the surgery, which was really frustrating. With the timing of everything, I didn’t get to run my senior year and was barely jogging when I left for college that summer. I was very fortunate to have the support system I did and spent most of that year working with my PT in Montana. He also continued to work with me when I would go home for the summers for the next couple of years. It definitely took a full two years before I felt close to being the runner I was in high school. It was tough, but it’s an experience I have become very grateful for. I learned a lot about myself and the importance of seeing things through, even when facing the unimaginable. Hard work and consistency always pays off, and the sooner you can learn to become patient and appreciate the necessary process of developing as an athlete, the happier you’ll be and the sooner you’ll see success.” That level of resilience and dedication is what is needed in the Mountain view cross country program. 

  Hornung has experience coaching at a d D1 level as well. She has instructed at the Division I level for both Wyoming and Montana State as an assistant. Most recently, she coached at REAL Training Colorado in Boulder. This club aims to develop middle school and high school, runners. She did all of this after graduating from CSU with a bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism.

 She loved coaching at the University of Wyoming. However, she had fallen for a basketball player at CSU. That basket player was Peirce Hornung. Pierce Hornung is now the Director of player development at CSU. This love resulted in her leaving her coaching position at Wyoming and taking a job at Mountain View. According to The Reporter-Herald, Mrs. Hornung said,” I’ve loved coaching, and I really missed it when I moved back to Fort Collins last year,” Hornung added “When the opportunity opened up for the coaching position, it was one of those things where everything aligned. I work for Colorado State again, and it’s definitely going to be a tricky balance for me to make sure that I give everything I can to both opportunities. But it’s something that just works out, and I’m really excited to be working with the Mountain Lions.”

  Mountain view has been in need of a coach who is used to training at a high level, and one who has actual experience coaching somewhere else. With everything Hornung has been through, this school can trust her when she says,” there is a lot of potential here, and I think through hard work this team can be great”. 

 

Whitney Henderson, Assistant Director of Development, Colorado State University (William Cotton/CSU Photograph)