Track & Field Adds Harmon to Coaching Staff
Aug. 11, 2014
"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," Anderson said. "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."
Harmon, a cross country All-American and two-time 5,000m NCAA qualifier, spent the last three and a half years coaching at Oregon State, two years as a full-time assistant coach.
During her two seasons as a full-time assistant, Oregon State student-athletes recorded 11 performances that ranked in the top 10 in school history in the 1,500m (four), 3,000m (two), 5,000m (three) and 10,000m (two).
"I think it's going to be a great fit," Anderson said. "She was a really good high school coach at one of the better distance programs in the state of Oregon. She also was a University of Oregon grad and competed in track & field there. Her expectation and perspective on what is good in the distance field means a lot to me and where we're trying to go."
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 Indoors 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.