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Head Coach Curtis Vais started NIACC's cross country program in 2004 and it continues to make giant strides on the national scene.
In 2013, the Lady Trojans placed 13th at the NJCAA championships, which as the highest finish for a NIACC women's cross country team. Freshman Hannah Palmeter placed sixth at the national meet earning her second-team all-American honors.
Before arriving in Mason City, Vais was an assistant coach at College of Dupage, helping the women's track team to the NJCAA Division III National title while helping the men's team place second.
Vais was a three-time NAIA national qualifier while at Mount St. Clare (now Ashford University) in Clinton, Ia. He competes in marathons while raising his sons, Jacob and Miles, with his wife, Michele.
Using over 45 years of experience in distance running, Coach Krieger helped lead the 2011 men's cross country team to a fourth place finish at nationals and a Region XI title.
The NIACC men placed fifth at the 2012 NJCAA cross country meet and the Trojans repeated as Region XI champions.
Krieger was a 3-year varsity performer in cross country at Dubuque Senior and ran in the 1968 state cross country meet.
While he did not compete collegiately, he continued to train and race on his own and became a fixture at road races through-out the Midwest as an age-group competitor. He was successful at distances ranging from 2 miles through 50K as he eventually progressed from the roads to trail and snowshoe racing. He is a veteran of 25 marathons.
If not racing, he could be seen helping the local area cross crountry teams and at races as a volunteer.
Krieger lives with his wife, Cathy, in Mason City where he's retired from his work as an environmental specialist for the Iowa DNR. Their son, Cory, and daughter, Calynn, both ran cross country for Mason City High School in the late 1990's.