University Park, IL,
10:14 AM

Govstate Track Coach John Niendorf on upcoming season

Governors State University men's and women's track teams with their three male coaches

By Mark Johnson, GovState Sports Information Director, Guest Writer

Recently, Governors State University (GovState) Head Men's and Women's Outdoor Track Coach John Niendorf (far right, third row from front) sat down for an interview about his goals for the upcoming first-ever outdoor track season.

Q: GovState's first-ever outdoor track season starts the end of the month - how are the men's and women's teams preparing for the meets and how exciting is it for the first-year track program?

 "It has been a huge blessing to start this track program here at Governors State. I am incredibly thankful to the staff here at the Athletic Department for giving me this opportunity to build something special here. I am ecstatic to be able to build this program from the ground up. Right now, we have just been training almost every day at 6 a.m. in the morning. We have been practicing all over the area at places like Rich Township, the Old Plank Trail, Volmer, and Goodenow Grove nature preserve. We have been doing a multitude of different workouts including fartleks, hills, distance runs, Vo2 Max workouts, tempos, long runs, etc. The team is starting to get in very good shape from where we first started, and I am excited to see how the athletes respond to the training."

Q: Your team and coaching staff - what will be the highlights of the next couple months of the outdoor track schedule & meets ahead? -  how they will build to the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Championship in May? 

"There will be a lot of highlights this outdoor track season. I know our distance runners are excited for the Washington University distance carnival. It is a premier meet for the midwest, featuring over fifty teams at the Naia, D3, D2, and D1 levels. We will be visiting Olivet a couple of times as well and Head Coach Kyle Rago always puts together a great meet. The Chicagoland Championships will feature over twenty incredible teams from the midwest. All of these meets will help fine tune everything in preparation for conference. Trevor Howard and Arthur Stringham over at St. Francis will be hosting conference and the last chance meet. The last chance meet is always a sought-after after meet for coaches to go to. They do a great job putting together a competitive and well-run race."  

Q: Obviously your first-year team has all runners from the cross country teams and you haven't recruited and built out the sprinters or middle distance races or the field events - what are your goals in building a GovState track team to go along with the successes of the CC teams?

"The goal this off-season has been to continue building up the distance side of things and we have brought in some incredible runners this off-season. Now the goal is going to be to bring in more sprinters to compliment the distance side. Over the next few years, we will also be bringing in jumpers and throwers as well. Once we can bring in high level athletes for each event, we will be much more competitive in the overall scoring."

To read the full interview, click here.