Events begin at 4 p.m. ET
OSU hosts Buckeye Classic Friday at French Field House
Brown to work with sprinters and hurdles, Muffet Duncan set to guide Buckeye throwers
Ohio State track and field hosts the Buckeye Classic at French Field House.
Photos by Jeff Mills
Sara Vergote is in her third season as assistant distance/cross country coach at Ohio State. Vergote has helped transform the Ohio State women’s cross country team into a contender at the national level and developed the Buckeyes’ distance runners into consistent point scorers on the track.
This past fall, Ohio State made its second-ever appearance at the NCAA championships, finishing 26th overall, and earned a fourth-place finish at the Big Ten championships, equaling the best team finish at the conference championships in school history. The team cracked the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Top 20 for the first time, peaking at No. 19 in the rankings. OSU featured a close-knit, veteran group in 2014, led by seniors Katie Borchers and Michelle Thomas. Borchers became the first two-time All-American, All-Great Lakes region and All-Big Ten performer in school history, while Thomas collected the third All-Region award of her career.
Under Vergote’s guidance, Borchers further cemented her status as the top female distance runner in Ohio State history during the track and field season, earning All-America honors in the 800-meter run and gold medals in the 800 at both the Big Ten indoor and outdoor championships, all while setting nine school records throughout the season (four individual, five relay). The distance team was an important contributor to Ohio State’s 2015 Big Ten women’s indoor title, scoring 20 of the Buckeyes’ 84 team points at the conference meet.
In 2013, her first season with the Buckeyes, Vergote led the cross country team to a fifth-place finish at the Big Ten championships, Ohio State's highest finish at the conference meet in 29 years. Thomas and Borchers finished fourth and sixth, respectively, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors and joining Maureen Cogan (1984) and Kathryn Monard (1986) as the only first-team selections in school history. The duo also captured All-Great Lakes region honors, with Borchers advancing as an individual to the NCAA championships, where she earned All-America recognition with a 40th-place finish. Borchers would go on to win the 800-meter title at the Big Ten outdoor track and field championships on her way to Honorable Mention All-America honors during the outdoor track season.
A former Mid-American Conference (MAC) champion at the University of Toledo, Vergote spent the 2013 season as an assistant track coach at Iowa State. In her lone season with the Cyclones, ISU placed ninth at the NCAA indoor championships and 13th at the outdoor national meet, while All-American Betsy Saina captured a national title in the 10,000-meter run.
Prior to Iowa State, Vergote was the associate head coach for cross country and track and field at her alma mater from 2008-2012. During her time on staff the Rockets won a pair of MAC cross country championships and qualified for the NCAA championships twice. Vergote was also a distance assistant at Manhattan College for three seasons.
Vergote was a member of three nationally ranked UT cross country teams from 2000-2002. The Rockets won the Mid-American Conference Championship in 2001 and 2002 with Vergote finishing as MAC runner-up in 2002. Vergote was a two-time NCAA Qualifier and MAC 10K champion in 2003. She is a member of the University of Toledo Athletic Hall of Fame.
Vergote graduated in 2003 from the University of Toledo with a bachelor's of science in education and biology. She also has a master's degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts and served as an intern in the compliance office at Ohio University for one year prior to coaching at Manhattan.
Vergote Coaching Career