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Katie LaValley begins her second season as part of the Valparaiso track and field coaching staff in 2012, working primarily with the Crusaders’ sprinters and hurdlers.
In her first season with the Crusader program, LaValley mentored Julian Smith, the Horizon League’s Running Newcomer of the Year at both the indoor and outdoor league championship meet. Smith was an All-Horizon League honoree outdoors in the 100m dash in 2011 and broke school records indoors in both the 60m and 200m dashes. He also posted times among Valpo’s all-time best outdoors in both the 100m and 200m dashes.
LaValley also helped a number of other Crusaders to post times among Valpo’s all-time best in her first season. Logan Coan broke into the Crusaders’ all-time top-five in the 200m dash indoors, while Joe Holy moved into Valpo’s top-five in the 400m and 600m dashes indoors. On the women’s side, LaValley helped Jorie Ballun to register the third-fastest 600m dash indoors in program history.
LaValley arrived at Valpo after an outstanding collegiate career at Michigan. A former school record holder outdoors in the 400m hurdles and a member of the program’s record-setting 4x400m relay indoors, she earned All-American honors in 2009 as one-fourth of the Wolverines’ distance medley relay at the NCAA Indoor Championships which placed seventh.
LaValley, who also competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2008, spent last season as an assistant coach at Forest Hills Central H.S. in Grand Rapids, Mich., assisting with the hurdles, sprints and relays. A four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, she graduated from Michigan in May 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in movement science.