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Cross Country
Layne Schwier
Position: Assistant
Hometown: Richmond, Ind.
Alma Mater: Wittenberg
Graduating Year: 1997
Phone: (910) 962-7624
Email: schwierl@uncw.edu


Layne Schwier enters his tenth year as an assistant coach with the Seahawks and is responsible for coaching the men's and women's distance programs during both the cross country and the track seasons. His squads continue making strides in the CAA in cross country and expect to make a contribution once again this spring on the track as both teams make another run at a CAA Championship.  Distance runners under Schwier currently hold 104 spots on UNCW's Top 10 all-time lists (43%). They have established 10 individual school records and four relay records.  In addition to improved running performance, the squads have excelled in the classroom with both the women's and men's cross country teams being named All-Academic teams by the USTFCCCA in 2011. For the women, that marks the ninth straight year they have earned that distinction under Schwier. Individually, Schwier's athletes have been named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team 11 times.

The 2011-2012 seasons saw a lot of continued success in the distance events for the Seahawks. In the fall, senior Wil Zahorodny was named the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year. On the track, Zahorodny also once again lowered his indoor 1000m school record. Senior Bob Vanderham defended his CAA Championship in the 800m and ran in the First Round of the NCAA Championships. Ryan O'Connor set a freshman record (1:50.44) in the 800m and finished third at the CAA Championships to claim his first All-CAA award. Zahorodny, Vanderham, and O'Connor teamed up with Connor Brooks to bring home the College Championship in the 4x800m Relay at the Penn Relays. It was also a record setting year for the women. Senior Becky Boulay set the indoor 1000m record, the outdoor 800m record, and was a member of the record setting indoor 4x800m relay team. She also finished third at the CAA Championships to earn All-CAA for the first time. Also making All-CAA by finishing second in the 3k Steeplechase, as well as setting the school record, was senior Erin Brennan.

2010-2011 was a strong year for the Seahawk distance program. In the fall, Lindsay Ester finished sixth at the CAA Cross Country Championships to earn All-CAA honors. During theIindoor track season, Wil Zahorodny continued his assault on the record books as he set new standards in the 600m, 800m, and 1000m. The outdoor season also saw many records fall including a battle back and forth in the women's steeplechase with Erin Brennan and Lily Patterson each breaking the school record Patterson had set in 2010. Ultimately, Patterson ended up with the record again and would finish 3rd at the CAA Championships, earning All-CAA. On the men's side, Zahorodny not only broke his own 800m record from the previous year, but also took down a 15 year old 1500m record. The men's 4x800m relay would finish second at both the Florida Relays and the Penn Relays where they established a new school record of 7:26.15.  At the CAA Championships, the Seahawks finished 1-2-6 in the 800m, with Bob Vanderham edging out Zahorodny for the win, taking his school record in the process. Vanderham and Zahorodny were each named All-CAA and also qualified for the NCAA Regional in the 800m where Vanderham would advance to the quarterfinals.

The 2010 season saw a lot of success out of the distance program. Senior Kathleen Casto established herself as one of the best in school history when she established school records in both the 10k and the 1500m on the track. She was the CAA Champion in the 10k, establishing a CAA meet record in the process. In addition, Casto qualified for the First Round of the NCAA  Championships in the 10k. Lily Patterson established a new school record in the 3k Steeplechase and was a member of the school record setting 4x1500m relay team. Wil Zahorodny continued to make his mark on the program and in the CAA by establishing three school records and earning All-CAA. During the indoor season, he broke both the 600m and 800m school records. He later broke the outdoor 800m school record and would earn All-CAA by finishing third at the CAA Championships in the 800m.

During the 2009 season, the Seahawks saw two school records broken at the Penn Relays when Kathleen Casto set the 10k record and the women's 4x800m relay also was rewritten. Additionally, Casto would move up to second all-time at UNCW in the 5,000m when she finished fifth at the CAA Championships.  The 10,000m race at the CAA Championship saw three Seahawks score points, led by Junior Bernadette O'Neill in fourth-place, along with Sophomores Lauren Wells and Lauren Mohr in seventh and eighth respectively.  All four of these ladies qualified for and ran in the ECAC Championships.  On the men's side, Wil Zahorodny finished fifth in the 800m at the CAA Championships and the men's 4x800m relay team qualified for the IC4A Outdoor Championships where they would run 7:35 and just miss making the finals.

In his first five years with the Seahawks, Coach Schwier was also responsible for the Seahawk throws program. Under his guidance, the Seahawks achieved 27 All-CAA performances (12 individual titles), 25 IC4A/ECAC qualifiers (seven All-East performances and four Champions), 17 NCAA Regional qualifiers, and broke 5 school records. They also qualified an athlete to the NCAA Championships four out of those five years, including the very first for the UNCW women's track & field program when Christie Schreckengost qualified in the javelin in 2004.  

A highlight in Schwier's coaching career was his role in the emergence of Anna Raynor in the javelin. Despite having no experience in the event before college, Raynor ended her career with the Seahawks as a three-time All-American (11th at NCAA's in 2005, fourth in 2006 and 2007), three-time CAA Champion and ECAC Champion, two-time Penn Relays Champion, as well as the CAA and UNCW record holder in the javelin.  In addition to being named the CAA Track & Field Athlete-of-the-Year for the third consecutive year in 2007, Raynor was also named the Southeast Region Field Athlete-of-the-Year. In the summer of 2007, Raynor finished third at the USA National Championships.  As a member of Team USA that summer, she took the silver medal at the NACAC Senior Games in El Salvador.

Prior to arriving in Wilmington, Schwier spent two seasons with the Ball State women's track & field program. During his stint with the Cardinals, Schwier coached NCAA qualifier Janee Langhorne to a Mid-American Conference Indoor Championship where she also set a Mid-American Conference record in the Weight Throw. BSU also became the first MAC school to qualify a women's team to the NCAA Cross Country National Championship while Schwier was on the staff.  Before Ball State, Schwier spent two years as assistant coach at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. He began his career at Chillicothe (Ohio) High School, where he was head coach of the cross country and track & field teams while teaching science.

Schwier graduated from Wittenberg in Springfield, Ohio, where he ran cross country and track for four years. While at Wittenberg, he was coached by 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist Bob Schul. He later received his Masters in Sport Biomechanics from Ball State University.  Schwier is a member of the USTFCCCA and USA Track & Field.  He holds USATF Level II Certification in Throws, Jumps, Combined Events, and Endurance. He is also a USATF Certified Level I Instructor.


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