Not only was it the program's first ever NAIA national title but proved the first for any Huntington athletic team. At the national meet, eight athletes made up the championship roster which included Aspen Dirr who was tabbed the Athlete of the Meet and Most Valuable Performer.
HU's journey to the top was highlighted by claiming three individual titles and winning two relays. In all, Childs' crew nabbed 19 All-American honors and named 13 national champions over the three-day event.
It's a first in school history. The men's program was also deemed one of the top programs in the nation as evidenced by finishing fifth in the standings.
Prior to taking over the HU reins, Childs spent three years as the head cross country and track and field coach at Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky. His athletes also set 54 school records. Childs made his coaching debut in at Huntington as an assistant under Coach Tom King for both the cross country and track and field programs until departing for Union. During his time as an assistant, the cross country program won two conference titles, had 14 all-conference runners, and two individuals and two teams qualify for NAIA Nationals.
As a four-year member of the track and cross country teams, he helped lead the Ravens to seven conference titles and two NCAA Division III cross country national tournament appearances. Childs and his wife Brittany reside in Huntington, Ind. Arthur Wilson returns for his 10th year as an assistant coach for the Forester track and field program. He coaches dating a Huntington athlete in races up to the meter dash, hurdles and all sprint relays. Wilson brings several years of coaching experience to the position as a former assistant track coach and assistant football coach at Elmhurst High School.
He knows the hard work and discipline it takes to be successful and pushes his athletes accordingly. He, his wife Shannon and kids Vashtianna, Arthur Jr. Dale Gerke enters his 10th year of working with the HU track and field program as the pole vault coach. Gerke brings plenty of expertise to the position as a decorated high school and collegiate pole vaulter. After winning pole vault at the Indiana High School State Track Meet in the early s and finishing third at the National Junior Olympic track meet the year prior, Gerke took his talent to the University of South Carolina where his success continued.
He also boasts a conference championship to go along with tying the conference record, winning the prestigious Penn Relays and bringing home the pole vault title twice from the Eastman Kodak Invitational. Gerke graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Business Administration in Bryan Myers returns to campus for his 6th year as an assistant to the track and field program. Myers works specifically with throwers. Myers brings several years of coaching experience to the position. He spent three seasons as the throws coach at Fairfield Christian Academy in Ohio where he coached five all-conference finishers, an all-district honoree and a regional qualifier.
In addition to his coaching experience, Myers dating a Huntington athlete brings experience as a collegiate thrower having competed four years on the Forester track and field team. Myers graduated from Huntington in with a BS in Broadcasting. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in Sports Management. He and his wife Ashley, also an HU alum, reside in Huntington.
New to coaching but not to HU is fourth-year assistant Brooks Gerke. Gerke holds the indoor record with a mark of His name can also be found in the Forester record books in high jump, triple jump and long jump where he sits in the top ten of each event.
Curtis Hines ed the HU coaching ranks in as an assistant for the track and field program. He works primarily with middle distance runners.
Hines also serves as an assistant for the cross country program. A native of Huntington, Hines was a standout runner at Huntington North High School before spending his collegiate years as a Forester where he ran cross country and track for Coach Tom King.
Hines was inducted into the HU Hall of Fame in as a member of the Huntington cross country team that posted a 6th place finish at the NAIA National Championships, the highest finish by any Forester athletic team at the time and the second highest finish of any HU team to date. Hines brings nearly two decades of coaching experience to the program having coached cross country and track at Huntington North High School for 17 years. His success is well-documented as evidenced by guiding the Vikings to 13 conference titles, 11 sectional titles, 11 dating a Huntington athlete titles, four semi-state runner-up finishes and five state finals appearances with his team's highest finish of 4th place coming in He currently teaches at HNHS.
Logan Knox is in his 4th season as an assistant for the HU track and field program as a throws coach. A graduate of Huntington, Knox was an accomplished throw for the Foresters. His name is sprinkled throughout the HU record books with a spot in the top five in indoor weight throw and outdoor shot put as well the eighth spot in indoor shot put. He and his wife Kelsey, also a Huntington alum, have two girls Emery and Adley.
Lauren Davenport Johnson is in her 2nd year as the HU cross country coach. Johnson is the first female coach to head up the Forester program.
Johnson's inaugral season saw five runners earn Cross Country All-American honors which included National Champion Emma Wilson who finished 35 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. Johnson also serves as an assistant for the Huntington track and field program where she works primarily with mid- to long-distance runners. To date, the accomplishments of her track athletes include an Indoor Track and Field National Championship inseven indiviudal national titles, three national relay titles and 66 NAIA All-American badges.
An alum of Huntington University, Davenport Johnson is one of the most decorated athletes to ever sport green and white. She is the only Forester athlete in school history to earn NAIA All-American honors in three different sports - cross country, basketball and track - and for her efforts reserved a spot in the HU Hall of Fame in the fall of After spending four years playing basketball and running track, Davenport Johnson extended her athletic career by a semester to run cross country in the fall of where she dominated her peers by placing first in four of the six regular season meets.
She went on to finish second at the conference meet to punch her ticket to the NAIA National Championships where dating a Huntington athlete finished 16th out of runners to claim her third and final All-American badge.
Davenport Johnson left HU as the school record holder in both the meter hurdles Upon graduation, Davenport Johnson moved to Portland, Oregon where she began her professional running career. She wasted little time establishing herself as an elite runner by making multiple National Championship appearances including a 4th place showing at the Indoor National Championships in the meters. Davenport Johnson also qualified for the Olympic Trials in both the m and m steeplechase but was unable to compete due to injury. Davenport Johnson spent three years running for the Nike-sponsored Oregon Track Club Elite highlighted by a 4th place finish at the Outdoor National Championships in the m.
Davenport Johnson, who also ran for Adidas and the Boston Athletic Association high performance team, has twice achieved top five marks in the world in the indoor 1K and outdoor mile She finished 4th at the Outdoor National Championships and most recently competed in the Olympic Trials in the m and m. Darcy Hoopingarner is in her 2nd year as an assistant coach for the track and field program.
Hoopingarner serves as the jumps coach to help athletes with form and finding their approach for long, high and triple jump. In addition to bringing experience to the position as a former track and field athlete, Hoopingarner also has several years of coaching experience under her belt having spent two years as an assistant at Huntington North High School. Hoopingarner works at Coach House Day Spa. She and her husband Kyle have two kids Kyler and Megan. Luke Fillers made his coaching debut in the fall of as an HU track and field assistant under six-year head coach Joel Childs.
Fillers works specifically with pole vaulters. A HU graduate, Fillers is no stranger to the program having spent the last four seasons as a pole vaulter for the Foresters. His PR outdoor mark of 4. Fillers double majored in English and History at Huntington.
She works exclusively with throwers. Season Joel Childs. Head Coach - 6th season. Arthur Wilson. Assistant Coach - 10th season. Bio Arthur Wilson returns for his 10th year as an assistant coach for the Forester track and field program. Dale Gerke.
Bio Dale Gerke enters his 10th year of working with the HU track and field program as the pole vault coach. Bryan Myers. Assistant Coach - 6th season. Bio Bryan Myers returns to campus for his 6th year as an assistant to the track and field program. Brooks Gerke. Assistant Coach - 4th season. Curtis Hines. Bio Curtis Hines ed the HU coaching ranks in as an assistant for the track and field program.
Logan Knox. Bio Logan Knox is in his 4th season as an assistant for the HU track and field program as a throws coach. Lauren Davenport Johnson. Assistant Coach - 2nd season. Darcy Hoopingarner. Bio Darcy Hoopingarner is in her 2nd year as an assistant coach for the track and field program. Luke Filler.