Past Academy Speakers

HPDA 2013 1099


BEN THOMAS | Virginia Tech


PETE WATSON | University of Virginia


BRAD HUNT | Wake Forest University


PAUL SPANGLER | University of Florida


TODD MORGAN | University of Virginia


MIKE COX | Concord University


FINN PINCUS | Roanoke College






PHIL LATTER | Running Times Magazine


DR. KATHLEEN POOLERadford University


DR. ROB TUPPER | Podiatrist


GARY BENNETT | Sports Psychologist


JORDAN CHANG | Physical Therapist


DR. ETHAN COLLIVER | Orthapedist


JAMES DEMARCO | Academy Director, Blacksburg High School

Owner of RunAbout Sports, Blacksburg High School XC and Track & Field Coach James DeMarco is the Director of the High Performance Distance Academy. In high school, DeMarco was a member of five state championship teams for Bartlett High School in Alaska before attending South Dakota State University where he was a cross country All-American and a member of the 1996 NCAA Division II National Championship squad. His coaching career began in Anchorage, Alaska at Bartlett High School prior to assisting at Virginia Tech and ultimately becoming the head coach at Blacksburg High School. The hard-working athletes under DeMarco’s guidance have earned:

  • 18 state championship girls teams (six in cross country, seven in indoor and five in outdoor) plus five runner-up teams (three for  cross country and two in indoor track)
  • Five state championship boys teams (four in cross country; one in indoor) plus eight runner-up teams (two in cross country, two in indoor, four in outdoor track)
  • 18 athletes have received college scholarships with 30 competing for their college teams
  • Distance Medley Relay (DMR) girls broke national high school record in 2010.
  • Three Relay National Champions (4xmile boys NIN, DMR girls NBN, 4xmile girls NBIN)
  • Penn Relay DMR Champions of America girls race champions and set meet record at time of performance
  • 16 relay teams have earned All-American Honors (4xNIN, 2xNON, 5xNBON, 5xNBIN)
  • Three Two-mile All-Americans (NSIC, NIN)
  • Four One-Mile All-Americans (NIN, NBIN)
  • Five freshman All-Americans (NIN, NBIN, NBON)
  • 2012 Boys Team Nike Cross Nationals qualifiers (finished 10th; smallest public school)
  • 2013, 2009 Girls Team Nike Cross Nationals qualifiers (finished 6th in 2009; smallest public school)
  • Three Nike Cross Country All-Americans
  • One Nike Cross Nationals Qualifier (2008)
  • Nike Southeast XC Girls Individual Champion (2009); went on to finish 2nd at NXN
  • 24 state champion relay teams
  • 15 individual state champions for a total of 42 state titles
  • Eight VA state meet records broken
  • Virginia state All-Time fastest girls DMR (11:31.26)
  • Virginia state All-Time fastest girls indoor and outdoor 4xmile (20:24.07 | 20:32)
  • AA Virginia All-Time fastest three times in boys 4×800 (7:37.31, 7:44.19, 7:45.21)
  • AA Virginia All-Time fastest girls 4×800 (top seven times ever run: 9:09.39)
  • 18 girls have broken 5:10 led by Kathleen Stevens’ 4:45.69 1600 meters (3 under 4:50)
  • 8 boys have broken 4:25 led by Kenneth Hagen’s 4:10.40 (5 under 4:17)
  • 2013 NHSACA National Girls XC Coach of the Year Finalist
  • 2012 VHSCA Girls XC Coach of the Year
  • 2010 VHSCA Boys Indoor Coach of the Year
  • 2009 VHSCA Girls Indoor Coach of the Year
  • River Ridge District/Conference 32 Coach of the Year 42 times
  • 2013, 2012, 2008, and 2005 Roanoke Times Girls XC Timesland Coach of the Year
  • 2011, 2010, and 2009 Roanoke Times Boys XC Timesland Coach of the Year