Kayla Todnem a 2002 St. James High School graduate will be coaching close to home during the 2012 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championships.
The meet will be held at Minnesota State, Mankato on March 9th and 10th.
Kayla is in her 2nd year as the jumps and multi-event coach with the Grand Canyon University Antelopes. The track and field program is also in its second year at GCU
Going into the national championship meet the men’s Lopes are ranked 1st nationally. The females are ranked 3rd. Impressive for a track program in its second year. Todnem will be coaching five men and three women in the Long Jump competition, which will begin Friday March 9 at 3:00 p.m. Currently the 1st and 2nd ranked men and 2nd and 3rd ranked women in long jump are from Grand Canyon University.
On Saturday Todnem will be coaching a lady multi-event, and one female athlete is ranked 6th nationally in the pentathlon.
The ‘Lopes’ also have other nationally ranked athletes. There are two females ranked 3rd and 12th, and three men ranked 2nd, 4th and 8th in the triple jump.
While a St. James student, Todnem competed at state in the 100-meter hurdles as a sophomore and senior.
She continued her track career at the U. of South Dakota and St. Cloud State where she finished her career in 2007. Todnem earned several track and field honors for the Huskies in her career. She earned North Central Conference All-Conference honors in nine events.
She was the 2007 NCC Heptathlon Champion and 100-meter hurdle runner up. After college Kayla took a coaching and teaching position in Phoenix, AZ.
Three years later she was hired to be the jumps and multi-event coach for the first time ever track and field Grand Canyon University program. Kayla is excited to be coming close to home and to have her family and friends cheer on her Grand Canyon University Lopes.
Todnem is also working towards a Masters in special education. She has three weeks left until her degree is completed.