Darcy Ahner to Serve as USA Heptathlon Head Coach in 2019 Thorpe Cup
LA JOLLA, Calif. – University of California San Diego women’s track and field head coach Darcy Ahner will add another event to her tremendous resumé upon being named the head coach for the USA Heptathlon team in the 2019 Thorpe Cup.
The 26th annual meet will be hosted by Bernhausen, Germany on Sept. 14-15. The venue for the contest has alternated almost every year between U.S. and German soil, with last year’s encounter located in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Thorpe Cup was originally an international decathlon competition between the United States and Germany beginning in 1993 and welcomed the talent of eager second-tier, developing athletes. The heptathlon joined in 2006 and the foreign encounter officially coined it’s name in 2007 in honor of the first Olympic champion decathlete, Jim Thorpe.
Founded by German decathlon head coach Claus Marek and USA decathlon head coach Harry Mara, the shared tradition has uplifted numerous contestants to Olympic opportunities and honors.
Entering her 13th season as head coach at UC San Diego, this is only Ahner’s latest national team assignment. She carries prior experience overseas, having served as an assistant coach for the Thorpe Cup in 2018. She was also part of the USA coaching staff for the Track and Field Pan Am Combined Events Cup in 2016 (Ottawa, Canada) and the Paralympic Team in 2008 (Beijing, China).
“I am excited to see what this year brings,” said Ahner. “Germany has been such an exceptional and gracious host and the rivalry and comradery between the German and U.S. team is second to none.”
Each team at the Thorpe Cup is composed of seven men and seven women in which points are determined based on performance. Ahner's athletes will undergo a standard heptathlon contest: 100 hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200, long jump, javelin and 800. She looks to lead the U.S. to consecutive team wins and an 11th overall having placed first in 2018 with a total score of 17,828 points.
“It is such a great honor to represent the USA Thorpe Cup team as the heptathlon coach for my second year,” Ahner added. “Last year’s Thorpe Cup heptathlon was very exciting as the U.S. trailed after the high jump and took the next five events to catch up and take gold.”
A standout heptathlete herself, Ahner set school records in the high jump and javelin at New Mexico. Honored as the Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Athlete in 1989 and conference heptathlon champion in 1988-89, it is no wonder she has landed such a prestigious position to represent the red, white, and blue.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 82 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 37 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
Follow The Tritons
For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDtritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@ucsdtritons), Instagram (@ucsdtritons) and Facebook (ucsdtritons).