CORVALLIS, Ore. – Laura Harmon, who spent the past three and a half years on the Oregon State track and field and cross country staff, including the last two as a full-time assistant, has accepted a position at TCU it was announced Monday. In her new role as an assistant in Fort Worth, Harmon will serve as the Horned Frogs’ distance coach and oversee their men’s and women’s cross country squads.
"Laura comes from Oregon State University, where she's been the last couple of years working with Kelly Sullivan, who is a very reputable distance coach in our country and has done a great job in resurrecting the Oregon State program," TCU's director of track & field and cross country Darryl Anderson said in a press release. "He did a great job in the SEC when he was at Auburn and he highly recommended Laura. I've known him for a long time so that went a long way."
During her two seasons as a full-time assistant at OSU, Harmon closely tutored some of the Beavers’ best distance performers, including two-time NCAA West Preliminary Championships participant Kinsey Gomez.
Gomez, who made her first postseason appearance in the 5K in 2013, earned her second trip to the NCAA West Preliminary Championships in 2014, this time in the 10K. Her school-record time of 34:37.80 at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. on April 17 was seeded 38th in the west. In just her second-ever try at the grueling distance, Gomez ran 34:41.41 at the West Prelims to finish 13th, just eight seconds behind 12th place and a spot at the NCAA Championships in Eugene. She is in the top four at OSU all-time in the 1,500m (4:26.89; 4th), 3,000m (9:49.17; 3rd), 5,000m (16:24.17; 2nd) and 10,000m (34:37.80; 1st).
Over the past two seasons, Oregon State student-athletes have put forth 11 performances that rank in the top 10 in school history in the 1,500m (four), 3,000m (two), 5,000m (three) and 10,000m (two).
“We are all very excited for Laura and this next step in her career,” Sullivan said. “More importantly is the fact that she has an opportunity to work for Darryl Anderson, who is truly one of the top head track and field coaches in the country. These types of opportunities are rare and Laura joins a great group from our staff over the years that have moved on to similar positions nationally. We wish Laura and TCU the very best!”
A native of Vancouver, Wash., Harmon was a 2004 cross country All-American and NCAA qualifier in the 5,000m in both 2004 (outdoor) and 2005 (indoor) at Oregon. She claimed All-America honors in her final cross country race at the NCAA Championships in 2004. Her time in the 6k race (21:08) was the Oregon's highest NCAA women's placing since 1998.
In the spring of 2004, Harmon posted a personal best in the 5,000 final at the West Regional, earning an invite to the NCAA Indoor Championships. She would also compete at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships, tallying a 15th place finish in the 5,000.
After her collegiate career, she returned to her high school alma mater, Jesuit High School, leading the Crusaders to a quartet of cross country state titles and the school's first women's track state championship in 2008.