Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Thursday

September 19, 2013

Vergote lands at Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It's been a hectic few weeks for Sara Vergote.

The Kalkaska native moved to a different state and took a new job — all kind of unexpectedly.

Vergote left her job as an assistant track coach at Iowa State and accepted a similar position at Ohio State when a position came open late in the summer after she finished her first season with the Cyclones.

"It's been a little bit of a whirlwind," Vergote said. "There was a lot of movement in the coaching community this year. It's was unprecedented how much movement there was. The former distance coach here left to go to LSU, so this job opened up rather late. I started a week after school started."

The 1998 Kalkaska graduate becomes one of just three full-time coaches in the Buckeyes' women's track program, and also helps out with the cross country team.

"It's pretty huge," Vergote said. "Growing up in the Midwest, the Big Ten has a pretty strong presence. To not only coach at a Big Ten school, but also to have control over the distance program here at Ohio State is huge for me."

Ohio State has three full-time coaches — head coach Karen Dennis, associate head coach Rosalind Joseph and Vergote. Dennis handles the sprinters, Joseph the field events and Vergote the distance runners.

Vergote said she thinks Ohio State has perhaps the only all-female track coaching staff in Division 1.

It's also the first time collegiately that she'll coach only women. At her stops at Manhattan College, the University of Toledo and Iowa State, she coached both men's and women's runners.

"For me, it's nice," Vergote said. "I can obviously relate to the female distance runners. I was a collegiate female distance runner. But, that said, I don't really care either way, coaching men or women. ... I enjoy coaching any motivated distance runner and motivating distance runners, regardless of the gender."

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