Trine alum to lead women's cross country team

ANGOLA, Ind. – A 2004 graduate of Trine University has been named head women's coach for cross country after serving a year as an assistant coach for women's cross country and track and field.

Amanda (Portis) Malefyt was promoted to the position June 27. During her season as assistant coach, the women's cross country team finished 18th at the NCAA Regional meet, the highest since becoming an NCAA-member school in 2004.

"We're excited to have a Trine standout return to lead the women's cross country team," said Matt Land, Trine athletic director. "I look forward to Amanda recruiting top student-athletes to continue Trine's tradition and enhance athletic success."

Malefyt joined Trine in fall 2012 as an assistant professor of chemical engineering in the Allen School of Engineering & Technology. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in chemical engineering from Trine and a doctorate in chemical engineering in 2012 from Michigan State University.

"I'm honored to coach the women's cross country team, especially a team that was such an influential part of my life," Malefyt said. "I hope to encourage and inspire current and future student-athletes in the same way."

A runner from the age of 2, Malefyt is the daughter of a high school cross country and track coach. She is the only female track athlete in school history to capture a national title by winning the 2003 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics 10,000-meter title. Malefyt also set four university records and two Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference records in outdoor track, was a six-time national qualifier and All-American in the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs and was inducted into the Trine Athletic Hall of Fame in fall 2011.

After graduating from Trine, Malefyt spent two years as assistant cross country and track coach for Gull Lake High School (Richland, Mich.).  During this time, GLHS had 11 distance athletes qualify for the state finals.

Trine's cross country season is scheduled to begin Aug. 30 with a dual meet at Olivet (Mich.) College.