Cross Country Coaching Staff
Head Women's Coach
Christine Engel enters her second season with the Blue Devils in the fall of 2015. Engel was named Head Women’s Cross Country Coach and Assistant Track & Field Coach in August of 2014. Her primary responsibilities include coaching Duke’s middle and long distance runners.
During her first season as the Duke women’s cross country coach, Engel helped guide the Blue Devils to two first-place finishes, including at the season-opener Virginia Duals and at the Three Stripe Invitational. Engel also coached eight separate harriers to top-10 finishes throughout the season, including two first-place performances. At the ACC Championships, Engel led Duke to a top-10 showing, while two Blue Devils took the starting line at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships with Engel’s assistance, as well.
In her debut season with the track & field team, Engel helped guide the Duke women distance runners to a successful 2015 season, including two that captured All-ACC honors at the indoor conference meet and three that qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Round.
Engel brings a wealth of coaching experience to the Duke women’s cross country team. Before coming to Durham, Engel held the position of head men’s and women’s cross country coach and assistant women’s track & field coach at Elon University for six years. During her tenure at Elon, Engel coached four Southern Conference individual champions and two NCAA East Preliminary Round qualifiers. Engel also helped lead 24 different student-athletes to 75 All-Southern Conference honors.
Elon’s record books were rewritten during Engel’s time with the program. Overall, 17 of Elon’s top 20 all-time 5K performances and 16 of the school’s top 20 all-time 6K performances came during Engel’s tenure. Additionally, on the track, school records fell in the indoor 800, 1,000, one mile, 3,000, 5,000 and distance medley relay, while outdoor school records in the 800, 3,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 3,000 steeplechase all were set with Engel as the coach.
Most recently, Engel guided the Elon women’s cross country team to a second-place finish at the 2013 Southern Conference Championships with five runners earning all-conference honors at the competition. The second-place showing tied the team’s highest conference finish in program history. The Phoenix followed the performance with a ninth-place effort at the NCAA Southeast Regionals, also the highest finish in school history at the event.
On the men’s side, Engel coached Elon’s top male competitor, Luis Vargas, to a third-place finish at the 2013 cross country conference championships, the second straight all-conference showing of his career. Vargas also became the first competitor in Elon history to earn All-Region honors at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships after placing 22nd overall.
During the 2014 indoor track season, with Engel coaching, four school records fell for the women’s distance team, including school bests at 1,000 meters, the mile, 3,000m and 5,000m. With Engel’s guidance, Elon’s Allyson Oram won the Southern Conference Championship at 3,000m, after setting a school-record mark. All-Southern Conference honors were earned by Tereza Novotna as well, while Elyse Bierut and Kimberly Johansen garnered All-Freshman accolades.
Engel assisted in Novotna claiming the 3,000m steeplechase title at the outdoor conference meet in 2014, marking the second straight year an Elon competitor won the same event title. Novotna also set a school record in the process. In addition, Engel guided a second Elon competitor to All-SoCon honors for the 5,000. The 2014 outdoor season was also the second in which an Elon distance runner qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Round meet. Engel also had four members of the team earn All-Freshman conference honors during the same season.
Prior to Elon, Engel served as the assistant cross country and track and field coach at Columbia University, assisting three student-athletes to All-Ivy League honors in cross country and two to All-Northeast Region accolades. One Columbia harrier also garnered All-America honors following a 23rd-place finish in cross country.
In addition to her college coaching experience, Engel also helped qualify six runners for the 2008 Olympic trials in the marathon, serving as a coach of the Impala Racing Team, an all-women’s club team. Engel’s coaching résumé also includes three years as the head cross country and track & field coach at West Morris Central High School in Chester, N.J.
Engel proved to be a standout member of Clemson’s track & field team, earning All-ACC honors twice, including a conference championship title as a member of Clemson’s distance medley relay. Engel also served as a leg on Clemson’s school record setting 4x800, distance medley relay and 4x1,500m relay. Clemson recognized Engel’s extraordinary efforts as a student-athlete by naming her to the Clemson University Athletic Wall of Fame.