Cross Country

With two Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (now the American Rivers Conference) Team Titles, including a perfect score (15) in 1959, the University of Dubuque Men’s Cross Country Team looks to build upon past success. The Spartans garnered their first All-American in 2016 with Alec Bass earning the honor.

The Spartan men not only enjoy success on the course, but in the classroom as well with a multitude of student-athletes being recognized as Academic All-Conference Student Athletes. On the national level, the Spartans have been awarded USTFCCCA Division III All-Academic Honors for four consecutive seasons.

Spartan Coach Rich Maleniak places an emphasis on energy system development and education, injury pre-habilitation, strength training, and nutrition. Heritage Trail and Mines of Spain are just two of the incredible training resources that the Spartans utilize within Dubuque’s running community.

Cross Country News

Cross Country Teams Named USTFCCCA All-Academic

Jan 30, 2020

The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the 2019 All-Academic Teams and All-Academic Athletes Thursday, January 30, 2020. The University of Dubuque earned honors for both women's and men's cross country teams for 2019-2020 for head coach Rich Maleniak.

Cross Country Ends 2019 season at NCAA Central Regional

Nov 16, 2019

The University of Dubuque cross country teams wrapped up the 2019 season on Saturday at the NCAA Division III Central Regional Championships. The Spartan men closed the season with a 16th place finish, while the women finished 25th.

View All Cross Country News

Become a Spartan!

If you're interested in running men's cross country at the University of Dubuque, complete the prospect form, and a coach will be in touch.

Twitter Logo (205x205 px)‌  Facebook Logo (205x205 px)‌  Instagram Logo (205x205 px)

Name Position Event Height Weight Year Hometown
Mark Biechler Sophomore Apple Valley, Minn.
Joshua Cash Sophomore
Tyler Cernohous Sophomore River Falls, Wis.
Kendall Morrow Freshman Arlington Heights, Ill.
Michael Orcutt Sophomore Spring Green, Wis.
Jayden Oshirak Sophomore Ankeny, Iowa

For complete team results for University of Dubuque women's cross country click here

For complete team results for University of Dubuque men's cross country click here

2019 Schedule

Aug. 30

Coe College Kohawk Relays and Chase Race




Noelridge Park

Cedar Rapids, IA

6:00 p.m.

Sept. 14

Luther College All-American Invitational




On campus course

Decorah, IA

11:30 a.m.

Sept. 20

Bradley University Intercollegiate




Detweiller Park

Peoria, IA

5:00 p.m.

Oct. 4

UW-Eau Claire BluGold Invitational




Whitetail Golf Course

Colfax, WI

4:15 p.m.

Oct. 19

UW-La Crosse Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invite




Ettrick Golf Course

Ettrick, WI

11:00 a.m.

Nov. 2

American Rivers Conference Championships




Hosted by University of Dubuque




Dubuque Soccer Complex

Dubuque, IA

11:00 a.m.

Nov. 16

NCAA Division III Central Regional




Hosted by Wartburg College




Max Cross Country Course

Waverly, IA

11:00 a.m.

Nov. 23

NCAA Division III National Championships




E.P. Tom Sawyer St. Park

Louisville, KY

12:00 p.m.


Chad Gunnelson - TFXC (2018)


Chad Gunnelson

Director of Track and Field | Cross Country
MMSM, University of Dubuque
BS, University of Dubuque

Phone: 563.589.3860
Office: 214 Mercer-Birmingham
Fax: 563.589.3425

Chad Gunnelson, now in his ninth season leading the cross country and track and field programs, is the first coach to lead the Spartans to back-to-back conference track and field titles in over 50 years and their first-ever indoor championship. He was named Track & Field Coach of the Year by the American Rivers Conference (formerly Iowa Conference) in 2014, 2017, and 2018, and Central Region Coach of the Year by the United States Track and Cross Country Coaches Association in 2017 and 2018. Throughout his first eight seasons at the helm, the Spartans have rewritten the record books, breaking 76 different school records in both track & field and cross country.

In 2019, the Spartans achieved their best collective performance on the national stage. The men's and women's program both competed for their share of top 10 team finishes at the NCAA Championships. The men's team placed 9th at the indoor championships and the women's team placed 9th at the outdoor championships. In 2018, the teams completed their best collective conference efforts as the Spartan men claimed their second straight Iowa Conference Championship indoors, a runner-up finish outdoors, the best in over 50 years, and the women set a program record for points at the outdoor championships with 150.33 points.

During Coach Gunnelson's tenure, the Spartans have had 90 NCAA qualifiers, earning 34 All-America honors and 3 National Champions (Blaze Murfin, Outdoor Shot Put, 2018; Tanasha Atwater, Outdoor Shot Put, 2017; Rick Valcin, Outdoor Pole Vault, 2014). The Spartans have crowned 113 conference champions and earned 348 all-conference honors as well during those 8 seasons.

The team has excelled off the track and course as well. The men’s and women’s cross country program has earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors for the seventh and tenth consecutive years respectively. The women’s track and field team has won their fifth consecutive USTFCCCA All-Academic award. Each team carries the respective GPAs as of Fall of 2019: men’s cross country – 3.62, women’s cross country – 3.76, men’s track and field – 3.19, women’s track and field – 3.49. 

Prior to his arrival at UD, Gunnelson, a native of Madison, Wis., spent six years as the head boy’s and girl’s track & field coach at Madison East High School. At Madison East, Gunnelson coached 22 school record holders and back-to-back state champions in 2010 and 2011. In his final year with the Purgolders, the team earned a 3.24 GPA, had four sectional champions, and placed all four state qualifiers on the podium at the WIAA state meet, including a state champion in the 400 meters.

Along with coaching, Gunnelson was the owner and CEO of Athletic Republic, a sports performance training facility, from 2007 to 2011 where he built Athletic Republic into the largest training facility in the Madison area and trained youth, high school, college, and professional athletes in football, baseball, basketball, hockey as well as Olympians.

Outside of his duties at UD, Coach Gunnelson is actively involved in the sport of track & field beyond coaching. He serves on the USTFCCCA Division III track & field executive committee, the American Rivers Conference coaches' chair, he is a member of the American Rivers Conference championships sub-committee, and the college coaches’ representative for the Iowa Association of Track Coaches. 

Gunnelson currently holds USTFCCCA Specialist Certifications in jumps, endurance, and strength & conditioning. He holds a USATF Level 1 certification and Level 2 sprints, hurdles, relays certification as well. Along with track & field coaching, Gunnelson is a certified performance coach with USA Weightlifting, certified in the Functional Movement Screen, and is a member of the National Strength & Conditioning Association.

Coach Gunnelson loves to pay it forward to the coaching world speaking at high school clinics around the country, coaching at various camps, and presented at the USTFCCCA National Convention. He also instructs the USTFCCCA Track & Field Technical Certification course.

Coach Gunnelson resides in Dubuque, Iowa with his wife Melissa and their children, daughter Taylor, and sons Evan and Dash. They also have two dogs, Willow and Luna.

Richard Maleniak - TFXC (2018)


Richard Maleniak

Head Cross Country Coach
Assistant Track and Field Coach
MS, Illinois State University
BS, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

Phone: 563.589.3310
Office: 215 Mercer-Birmingham
Fax: 563.589.3425

Rich Maleniak enters his third season with the Spartans and his second season as the head cross country coach. As the assistant track & field coach, he leads the middle distance, distance, and 400-meter runners for the program.

In Coach Maleniak’s first two years, 10 school records were broken in events 400 meters and up. The Spartan men won the Iowa Conference Championship in 2018 with 18 points coming from distance runner Alec Bass who won the 3000 meters and was runner-up in the 5000 meters. He has mentored Colfay Pointer to multiple NCAA Championships appearances, including All-American honors in 2019. Another school record was set in the 4x400m, as the team knocked over four seconds off the record set in 1961, en route to placing 10th at the NCAA Championships.

Prior to UD, Maleniak, a four-time USTFCCCA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year, lead the women’s middle distance and distance runners at the University of St. Thomas (UST) for six seasons. Throughout his tenure at UST, Maleniak helped runners gain conference, regional, and national success in cross country and track and field covering events from 600 to 10,000 meters. At UST, Maleniak coached 29 individuals and relays to MIAC titles and 57 all-conference finishes. On the national level, Maleniak coached athletes to 20 NCAA All-American performances in individual or relay events including back-to-back national titles in the distance medley relay (2015 & 2016) and a national championship in the indoor mile (2016). He has coached four USTFCCCA Regional Athlete-of-the-Year award winners. Maleniak wrote the training and lead the UST women's cross country team to the NCAA Championships for three consecutive seasons (2014-2016). He also coached three individuals to All-American performances at the NCAA DIII Cross Country National Championships.

Before joining the St. Thomas staff in 2012, Maleniak spent the previous two seasons as a graduate assistant coach for the cross country and track and field teams at NCAA Division I Illinois State University (ISU). While at ISU, he was responsible for on and off campus recruiting and help implementing workouts for the distance runners.

Maleniak began his college coaching career at UW-Eau Claire as an assistant coach for the men's and women's track and field and cross country programs. Maleniak was in charge of developing workout plans for the 800-meter training group. He coached two NCAA All-Americans and his group set multiple school records. He assisted with the women's cross country team as it improved from placing 12th at the NCAA Championship meet in 2006, to 8th place in 2007, and 5th place in 2008.

Maleniak earned his bachelor’s degree from UW-Eau Claire in Chemistry with an emphasis in business in 2002, and earned a master’s degree in Sports Management from Illinois State University in 2011. As a competitor himself, he competed in five national championship competitions and was a 2-time NCAA Division III Track All-American. Maleniak also served as a team captain and was named MVP of the track team after his senior season, while setting the UW-Eau Claire school records in the indoor mile and outdoor 1500-meter run. He holds a U.S.A. Track and Field Level II certification in the Endurance events, and a USTFCCCA Strength and Conditioning Certification.

Jordan Pingel - TFXC (2018)


Jordan Pingel

Graduate Assistant - Track and Field | Cross Country
BA, University of Northern Iowa

Phone: 563.589.7450
Office: 302 Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center
Fax: 563.589.3425

Jordan Pingel starts his second season with the University of Dubuque cross country and track and field programs in 2019-20. After a successful first year of leading the Spartan horizontal jumps, he will be transitioning to help assist with the middle distance and distance events. As the horizontal jumps coach, Pingel lead multiple athletes to indoor & outdoor conference championships as well as coached a national qualifier in the triple jump.

Prior to UD, Coach Pingel competed at the University of Northern Iowa where he was an All-MVC performer and a contributor to the Panthers MVC Championship in 2018. Pingel earned his degree in Kinesiology at UNI and was also honored as a scholar-athlete for the Panthers.

Pingel, a native of Pella, Iowa, now resides in Dubuque where he is completing his master's degree in sports management. Coach Pingel is First Aid/CPR/AED certified.

Past Seasons

Select a season for historical information and statistics

Recent Cross Country Record Books

Cross Country Record Book Cover 2019 2018 Cross Country‌  2017 Cross Country‌  2016 Cross Country