SACRAMENTO, Calif. (August 14, 2018) – Earlier this summer, on the far end of a cross-country road trip, I visited the Sacramento and Davis areas of Northern California. There I spent time with Olympian Kim Conley, and her husband/coach Drew Wartenburg.
The first stop in joining the tandem was at Sacramento’s 23-mile American River Parkway (below). The Parkway is comprised of multiple segments, including the paved Jedidiah Smith Memorial Trail, which winds from Folsom to Old Sacramento, and is a leg regularly frequented by Conley in her training. It cuts a green, often-shaded swath through the capital city, and on the morning we visited hosted runners and cyclists taking advantage of a rare traffic-free respite in a major urban center.
Later we traveled to UC-Davis (below) some twenty miles west of Sacramento. The University is the alma mater of Conley, and also where Wartenburg got his head coaching start in the college ranks, after a stint as an assistant at Oregon State, and before moving on to the professional ranks.
Conley became one the program’s first standouts at the DI level in both cross country and track & field, while offering only the smallest of glimpses into the success that awaited her on the professional level – including two USATF national championships and spots on consecutive USA Olympic teams (2012, 2016).
Wartenburg played a key role in continuing the Aggies’ transition from a highly-successful NCAA Division II program to its current place in the Division I Big West Conference.
Conley makes an appearance on the East Coast this weekend, when she travels to compete in the 46th running of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod on Sunday. (photos – T. Flynn)
Check back here, and at @tomflynn51 (twitter) and @tom_flynn_writing (Instagram) next month for an exciting announcement on the two-time Olympian.