Patty Ley -- Head Coach, Cross Country/Distance
Patty Ley joined the CNU Track & Field/Cross Country staff for the 2010 Track & Field seasons and brought with her a legacy of success both as an athlete and as a coach. Recognized as one of the top developmental distance coaches in the country, she represented the United States as the Head Coach for the Team USA Junior Women's Team at the World Cross Country Championships in March 2010.
In her first season with the Captains, she has already made a positive impact helping the distance squad win 6 Conference Titles with Elizabeth Bissell(Wyckoff, NJ) named Outstanding Track Athlete at the outdoor championships for her 5k/10k sweep. Indoors, they earned 9 CNU All-Time Rankings plus the School Record in the women's Distance Medley Relay. Outdoors, they added 14 more All-Time Rankings plus School Records in the women's 4x800m Relay and men's Steeplechase.
She held Washington State AA Meet Records in the 1600m (4:57.1) and Cross Country (3mi - 17:13.9) and is a 7-time State Champion from the 4x400m to Cross Country. She competed in 9 State Championships in XC, Basketball, and Track & Field.
Ley was named to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer All-Century Cross Country Team in 2000. She was inducted in to the Pierce County (WA) Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
Overcoming injuries during her collegiate career, she lettered at the University of Oregon, Washington State University, and Pacific Lutheran University where she still holds School Records in the 800m, 1500m, and 3,000m. Her 1500m Record (4:15.61) qualified her for the US Olympic Trials in 1992. In 1994, she ranked #19 in the US in the 3,000m training with her former HS coach Joel Wingard working as an assistant coach at Gig Harbor HS.
The next four years were unprecedented: In 1992-93, the boys’ XC team was State Runners-Up and the girls placed 2nd at the State Track & Field Championships; the next year, the girls won both State Titles and the boys were Runners-Up in both; in 1994-95, the boys were twice Runners-Up again while the girls added a 2nd Place XC trophy and another Track & Field Championship; the boys swept the State Titles in 1995-96 while the girls added another Track & Field Runner-Up trophy.
Upon Coach Wingard’s retirement in 1999, Ley took over both programs before handing off the Track & Field duties in 2003-04. The next year started the most successful run in school history. In 2004, the girls’ XC team lost the State Championship on a tie-breaker without any seniors. They won the next three Championships with the boys’ team placing 2nd in 2007. The 2005 girls’ team placed 7th at Nike Team Nationals. They added another Runner-Up finish at State in 2008 and the distance squads were crucial to the boys’ State Track & Field Titles in 2005 and 2007 (and their Runner-Up finish in between). The girls’ Track & Field Team also won the 2007 State Title.
Patty is the architect of the most accomplished combined boys’ and girls’ XC program in the state of Washington, and one of the finest high school coaches in the nation. She was named Washington State Cross Country Girls’ Coach of the Year for the 2006 season, as well as being National Federation of High Schools' Northwest Regional Girls' Coach of the Year, one of eight finalists for the NFHS National Coach of the Year award, and received the same honor in for the 2007 XC season.
With young squads again in the fall of 2009, her girls placed 4th at the State XC Championships and her top boys’ runner placed 2nd (5k - 15:22).