SMC Announces New Cross Country Coach

Juris Silenieks of Grand Rapids is Southwestern Michigan’s new cross country coach. SMC made the announcement Friday as it works to get the new Roadrunners cross country team up and running after it was disbanded 25 years ago. Silenieks was a member of Syracuse University’s 2015 cross country national champions and an Olympic trials qualifier for the Tokyo Summer Games, postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic. From September 2016 to December 2018, he was the track and field distance coach for Robert Morris University, an NCAA Division I school near Pittsburgh. Silenieks also holds the distinction of once winning a half marathon in dress shoes. He says the best advice he gives to athletes is, “Just be yourself.” He says running gives an athlete a lot of time to figure out who they are and who they want to become.