July 9, 2005

Wemple Resigns To Pursue Other Options

July 9, 2005

Providence, RI-- Rick Wemple, women's distance coach at Brown for the past seven years, has resigned from his position in order to move closer to his family and eventually pursue other coaching opportunities.

Wemple made an immediate impact in both the cross country and track & field programs during his first year with Brown in 1998-99. He took the cross country team from the previous year's fifth place finish to runner-up honors at the Heptagonal Championships. He followed that up with an impressive fourth place finish at the NCAA Regional meet when the squad had taken 11th the year before. Meghan Moriarty '99 qualified for NCAAs by finishing eighth out of 180 runners. On the track that year, the middle distance and distance runners doubled their scoring output from the previous year, and the team won both the indoor and outdoor Heptagonal Championships. In addition, the indoor distance medley relay team of Mary Hale '02, Nakia Thomas '00, Michelle Gross '01, and Sara Tindall '01 set a new school record.

In 1999, Wemple coached the cross country team to a Heptagonal League Cross Country title, with Tindall taking the meet's individual crown. It was the first time in Brown cross country history that either an individual or team title had been garnered. Wemple's squad went on to finish ninth at the NCAA National Championships in their first NCAA appearance. The team followed-up these efforts with NCAA berths in both 2000 and 2001. Tindall repeated as individual Heptagonal Champion in 2000 and earned All-American status with her 19th place showing at the NCAA Championship meet. She went on to set the 3,000-meter indoor school record (9:34.37), which still stands to date.

Wemple coached seven other track and field individual and relay Heptagonal League champions during his tenure; in addition, six individual and two relay school records were set under him. The 4 x 800 relay team, in particular, found success under Wemple's guidance. The team set four school records in four years (2002-2005) with four different combinations of athletes. Many other athletes have made Brown's all-time Top Ten lists since Wemple's arrival at Brown. Kim Thalmann '02 set the still-standing outdoor 5,000-meter record in the spring of 2002 under Wemple, and Anna Willard '06 posted a new school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:35) this spring to complement her third-place finish at the outdoor Heptagonals and runner-up effort at ECACs in the event.

The middle distance squad has continued to be a positive impact on the track and field team, and had its best showing in 2004 with four Heptagonal titles. Naja Ferjan '07 captured the indoor and outdoor open 800-meter titles. Both the indoor (Caci Cambruzzi '04, Katherine Kosub '04, Anna Willard '06, and Kate Cushing '04) and outdoor (Kosub, Cambruzzi, Cushing, and Ferjan) 4 x 800m relay teams captured first place.

Off the track, all of Wemple's athletes have graduated, and three of his cross country teams earned NCAA All-Academic with Distinction. Cushing '04 was named RIAIWA Distinguished Student-Athlete of the Year for Brown in 2003 for her athletic accomplishments combined with her service to the community through education.