Meet the Kids City XC League Coaches
Interested in coaching or volunteering?
Each site will have assigned volunteers helping the coaches. If you would like more information about coaching or volunteer opportunities with the City Cross League, please email our volunteer coordinator Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jory 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.
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 Minnetonka 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.
Tyler Morey, Como Park
Tyler grew up in Combine Locks in Wisconsin and is a graduate of Clemson with an MBA from UW Oshkosh. During his time at Oshkosh, he competed at Nationals in the 3000m steeplechase twice, and earned All-American honors in Cross Country. He enjoys spending time outdoors with friends and family while running, cycling, hiking, camping or kayaking. His favorite place to run in the Twin Cities is the River Road, specifically the West River Road.
Sharon Heyer, Highland Park
Sharon ran cross country and track at Luther College in Decorah, IA. Since then she has been having fun racing anything from 5k's to marathons and tackling Ironman triathlons. Sharon coached 7-8th girls' track in Forest Lake, MN for three years and loves sharing her passion with young runners.
Kate Eggers, Theodore Wirth
Kate lives in Minneapolis and teaches junior high Spanish in the Hopkin's school district. She is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College and was a member of the cross country team during her four years there. Kate continues to enjoy running as much as possible, biking and traveling.
Missa Morey, Como Park
Missa graduated with a bachelor of science in family social science from the University of Minnesota. As a gopher she competed in cross country and distance on the track earning All-Big Ten and All-Region honors. Missa completed graduate school at Clemson University and works as a School Counselor in the area. She loves the community running provides, and is excited to support young runners. In her free time she enjoys staying active running, biking, and practicing yoga.
Anna Truong, Nokomis
Anna graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2018 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Product Design. During her undergrad she served as president of the Minnesota Running Club where she competed in both cross country and track. She prides herself in having competed in every track event from the 60m hurdles to 5000m but her personal favorite is the 3000m steeplechase. Her love for the running community has motivated her to find ways to introduce both recreational runners and children to the life long sport. When she’s not running she enjoys backpacking, rollerblading, and sketching.
Allyx Kvasnicka, Nokomis
Allyx grew up in Brookfield, Wisconsin, a city right outside of Milwaukee. She recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Psychology. She was part of the Minnesota Running Club throughout college and enjoys racing track the most, specifically the 800. Her favorite place to run is anywhere with a view of the Minneapolis skyline. She loves that running is a lifelong activity and is excited to introduce it to young runners.
Emma Lee, Como Park
Emma loves to run on roads, trails, and tracks. She ran and skied for Como Park High School and St. Olaf College, where she earned four NCAA All-America awards. She still races; a highlight of her recent running career was competing in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Emma is working toward a Ph.D. in exercise physiology at the University of Minnesota. She is still not sure what she wants to be when she grows up but knows that it will involve running.
Jack Riley, Linden Hills
Jack competed on the cross country and track teams at Good Counsel High School in Maryland where one of his teammates is now current Vikings wide receiver: Stefon Diggs. Jack went on to compete for the University of Notre Dame where he ran the 3k, 5k, and 8k. He moved to the Twin Cities and began coaching for Kid's City in 2016. He now works for an engineering company in Blaine, helps with a high school robotics team, and just ran his first marathon in May 2018.