LA JOLLA, Calif. — University of California San Diego women's track and field head coach Darcy Ahner will join the Team USA coaching staff as an assistant coach at the 2018 Thorpe Cup on July 27-28, in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Thorpe Cup is an international track and field competition between USA and Germany. Teams are composed of up to seven men and seven women who compete in the decathlon and heptathlon.
"It's an honor to work with this level of athlete," said Ahner, who recently completed her 11th season as head coach at UC San Diego. "I'm looking forward to getting to know personalities of athletes from all different places coming together in the USA."
Athletes receive a predetermined number of points based upon their performances in each event in both the decathlon and heptathlon. The top five men's and top three women's scores are added together to determine the overall men's and women's team winners.
The decathlon consists of the 100-meter, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400, 110 hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500. The heptathlon includes 100 hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200, long jump, javelin and 800.
This isn't the first Team USA experience for Ahner, who was also on the Thorpe Cup coaching staff two years ago. In addition, she was a coach for the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team in Beijing, as well as the 2016 Pan Am Combined Events Cup in Ottawa, Canada.
Although most athletes in the Thorpe Cup have their own individual coaches, Ahner will be available to help as needed. A former standout heptathlete at the University of New Mexico, Ahner says she enjoys being part of the event and intends to learn a few tips she can instill in her athletes on campus.
"It's easier to work with athletes who have done this for years," she said. "You learn from every athlete you coach, but at this level, it's more of the mental aspect.
"Watching their mental approach always helps with the athletes you have."