2017 Women's Cross Country Coaches
Chris Johnson Image
Chris Johnson
Head Coach - 3rd Season
Alma Mater: Dickinson College
Phone: 701-845-7157

The 2017 season is Chris Johnson's third year as head coach of the VCSU cross country and track & field teams. In his short time as coach Johnson has grown the track & field and cross country rosters significantly, including almost 40 new recruits for the 2017-18 seasons.

Johnson's first season was highlighted by the first national championship in VCSU women's history. Under Johnson's instruction, freshman Seri Geisler won the 2016 NAIA javelin title with a school-record throw of 51.37 meters. It was the first national title in women's history at VCSU. The Vikings set six new school records during Johnson's first season.

On the trails, the Vikings had three runners earn All Conference and qualify for the NAIA Cross Country Championships. On the track, VCSU won four individual conference titles and had a combined 20 All Conference performances in the indoor and outdoor seasons. VCSU had two qualifiers for the NAIA Track & Field Championships.

The success continued in Johnson's second season as Geisler won another national championship in javelin and VCSU qualified four athletes for the NAIA Track & Field Championships. The Vikings had six individual conference champions and 20 All Conference performances between the indoor and outdoor track seasons. In Cross Country, junior Dennis Gonzalez was named All Conference.

A native of Yardley, Pa., Johnson had worked the past two years as an assistant coach at Dickinson College (Pa.) and Buena Vista (Iowa). Prior to that he worked two years as a graduate assistant at University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D.

During his two years coaching as the head assistant at Dickinson and Buena Vista, Johnson’s student-athletes were awarded 26 all-conference honors, six individual conference champion awards, eight track & field athlete of the week honors, the 2014 Centennial Conference Outdoor Track & Field Rookie of the Year Award, and an NCAA Division III All-American merit in the javelin throw.  Johnson’s student-athletes also broke nine school records for indoor and outdoor track & field at Dickinson and Buena Vista during those two years.

Johnson completed his undergraduate degree at Dickinson College, Pa., receiving a Bachelor's degree in history and a minor in Spanish. He participated in both track & field and baseball as an undergrad. A three-time Centennial Conference champion at Dickinson, Johnson was also captain of the track & field team his senior year.

Johnson went on to earn his Master's degree in Education from the University of Mary in 2013. While at University of Mary, he worked two years as the graduate assistant for the track and field program. Johnson was a part of a coaching staff that helped lead the University of Mary women to back-to-back NSIC Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships.  While there, his athletes garnered five NSIC All-Conference honors, an NSIC individual champion award, the 2012 NSIC Indoor Track & Field Newcomer of the Year Award, three provisional NCAA Division II provisional qualifications, three USTFCCCA All-Region honors, and two USTFCCCA All-Academic honors.

Johnson continues to train and compete in javelin during his free time, and has a personal best throw of 214 feet, 2 inches (65.28 meters).

Josh Mower Image
Josh Mower
Grad Assistant - 2nd Season
Alma Mater: Brevard College
Phone: 701-845-7146

Josh Mower is in his second year as a graduate assistant coach for the VCSU cross country and track & field programs.

A native of North Carolina, Mower specializes in coaching cross country and long-distance athletes at VCSU. He helped guide junior Dennis Gonzalez to an All Conference finish in cross country and three conference championships on the track during the 2016-17 season.

Mower graduated from Brevard College (Brevard, N.C.) with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a minor in English.

Before joining the VCSU staff, Mower worked the past two years as the head running coach for Brevard College, and has also worked as a personal trainer.

Joey Marini Image
Joey Marini
Grad Assistant - 2nd Season
Alma Mater: Monmouth University
Phone: 701-845-7145

Joey Marini joined the Viking coaching staff in 2016 as a graduate assistant for the track & field and cross country programs. The 2017-18 season marks his second year on the staff.

Marini is a native of New Jersey, and specializes in coaching jumpers at Valley City State. During his first season, junior Megan Johnson qualified for the NAIA National Championships in long jump and set a new school record with a mark of 5.57 meters (18 feet, 3.25 inches).

Marini is a graduate of Monmouth University (West Long Branch, N.J.) where he earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education, and a minor in business management.

Marini holds three school records in triple jump and high jump, and earned several All-Conference honors while competing for the Monmouth track team. He was an NCAA Preliminary Round qualifier in 2016 and has the following personal records: High jump – 6'11.5"; Triple jump – 50'9"; Long jump – 23'4".

Spencer Aune Image
Spencer Aune
Student Assistant - 1st Season