Meet the Kids City XC League Coaches.
Tom Church, Como Park
Eric Thies, Como Park
Eric grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota and was part of the cross country and track teams since the 7th grade. After a successful high school career, he went on to compete for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. He returned to Minnesota for graduate school at the University of Minnesota and has worked in the finance industry since graduation. Eric continues to compete in local races from mile to marathon as a member of the Twin Cities Track Club.
Don Lorr, Como Park
Don grew up in Deerfield, IL about 25 miles north of Chicago and has been running since the 6th grade. He ran cross country and track in high school at Loyola Academy. He ran three years of cross country at St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN where he was the president of the Track Club before running on the inaugural track team his senior year. He counts his final collegiate XC race at the Como Golf Course as his best race of his career.
Since the invention of the Internet and the arrival of mobile phones and GPS watches, Don has enjoyed running recreationally, competing to challenge himself, and raising & coaching a daughter who enjoys distance running.
These days he enjoys family runs, running adventures like the Ragnar relays, and has taken up trail running again. Trail running reminds him of his XC days in Winona. Don recently completed the Saint Paul Urban Half Marathon.
Jory Zunich, Linden Hills
Erin Zunich, Linden Hills
Ben Merchant, Theodore Wirth
Ben ran Cross Country and Track & Field at Minneapolis South High School. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Psychology. He has coached at Minneapolis Edison and at the Math and Science Academy. He loves running in Theodore Wirth and enjoys racing every distance from the 800 meters to the marathon.
John Leaf, Theodore Wirth
John is a science teacher at Hopkins North Junior High School. He attended Chisago Lakes High School, and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College. He started competitive running by joining cross country in 7th grade; mainly to get in shape for basketball and because his brother was out for the team. Somehow, it turned into a sport that he's been dedicated to ever since.
Melissa Agnew, Kingfield
Melissa grew up in Onamia Minnesota. She started running in the sixth grade after the encouragement of her math teacher. As a high schooler, she qualified for the state meet twice in cross-country and track and was all-state in cross-country.
At the University of Mary she continued to improve and eventually earned 3 Division II national titles and 13 All-American honors. Since joining the Twin Cities Track Club, she has improved her mile personal best to 4:36 and qualified for the USATF Indoor Nationals. She is currently a chiropractic student at the Northwestern Health Sciences University.
Ethan Genteman, Kingfield
Ethan began running at a young age when he began tagging along with his dad to local road races. Enjoying the competitive nature of the sport, he continued to run cross country throughout high school. Upon graduation, Ethan attended the University of Minnesota where he studied Statistics and Economics. In 2011, after an extended break from running, Ethan began training for Grandma’s marathon which he ran with his father and brother. Since then he has ran 5 more marathons and his passion for running continues to grow.
Patrick Keyes, Highland Park
Mike Stoick, Highland Park
Angie Downin, West Metro
Angie grew up in a small town in southeast Michigan. She was a sprinter in high school running the 200, 400, and long jumping. After high school, Angie ran cross country and track for the University of Michigan. While at Michigan Angie specialized in mid-distance, and is a five time All-American in Track and Field, Big Ten Champion, and multi-year All-Big Ten athlete.
These days Angie keeps busy shuttling her three kids around to their activities, working as an attorney for the University of Minnesota, and when possible, running with her husband (slowly).
Matt Downin, West Metro
Matt lives in Eden Prairie and is the father of three future cross country runners. In High School, Matt won the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships (1994). He ran at the University of Wisconsin, where he was two-time Big Ten Cross Country champion and finished 4th at the NCAA Div 1 National Championships. After college Matt had a 10 year professional running career, highlighted by representing the United States at the World Cross Country Championships twice and finishing 11th in the New York City Marathon.
Matt and his wife Angie still run as often as they can and are excited about passing their passion for the sport on to the next generation of runners.