Head Cross Country/Track and Field Coach
The University of South Dakota ’03
The University of South Dakota ’06
In six seasons with the Dakota Wesleyan University cross country and track and field programs, head coach Pat Belling has seen many records fall and coached numerous athletes to Great Plains Athletic Conference honors and NAIA National Championship appearances. In his seventh season with the program, Belling hopes to continue that success.
Belling coached the first female track All-American in DWU history in the 2012 outdoor season. Tamika Irvin set school records in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and finished in the top eight in both events at the NAIA Outdoor National Championships. She took third in the 200 and fifth in the 100, and is the first Tiger track athlete to earn multiple All-American honors in the same season. Irvin also won GPAC titles in both events at the outdoor championships and was named the GPAC Women’s Track Athlete-of-the-Week in the spring.
Senior Derik Fossum ended his career at the national meet and finished just outside of All-American honors. He took 12th in the triple jump at the national meet. Fossum – who earned NAIA Scholar-Athlete status – also took third at the GPAC championships. Freshmen Katie Johnson and Lindsey Sanftner also earned All-GPAC status in their first seasons with the Tiger track program. Johnson took fifth in the javelin and Sanftner was seventh in the long jump.
The Tiger women set two records and recorded eight top-10 finishes in the 2012 outdoor season. The Tiger men recorded three performances in the top 10 in school history.
In the 2012 indoor season, Irvin and Fossum also qualified for the national meet. Fossum finished one spot outside of placing in the triple jump with a ninth-place performance. Irvin made the semifinals in the 200-meter dash, but failed to make the final round. She also qualified in the 60-meter dash. Irvin took second in the 200 at the GPAC Indoor Championships and Fossum finished fourth in the triple jump.
The Dakota Wesleyan women set two school records and recorded eight performances in the top 10 in school history during the 2012 indoor season. The men recorded five marks in the top 10 in school history.
Overall, Belling had individuals qualify for the national meets in six individual events. He had six All-GPAC selections and one NAIA Scholar-Athletes. In six seasons at Dakota Wesleyan, Belling has coached 54 All-GPAC Selections, 19 NAIA Scholar-Athletes and three GPAC Athletes-of-the-Week.
Belling came to DWU after three seasons as the track and field graduate assistant coach at the University of South Dakota. He worked with the sprinters and was part of the Coyote outdoor squad that finished fourth in the nation, the second-best outdoor finish in school history.
Belling, an Omaha, Neb., native, was a three-time NCAA All-American sprinter at USD and a member of NCC Championship teams. He was a member of the 4×400-meter relay squad that finished sixth at the 2002 NCAA Division II Outdoor National Championships. Belling was also a member of the 4×100-meter relay team that set a state record with a time of 40.80 in 2001-02.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from USD in December 2003 and completed his Master of Arts degree in athletic administration from USD in May 2006.
A graduate of Omaha Roncalli Catholic High School, Belling was a Nebraska Class “B” State Champion in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash at the 1999 Nebraska State Track Meet. His time of 21.92 won the 200-meter dash All-Class Gold Medal that year, and his time of 10.79 in the 100-meter dash set a new Class “B” state meet record.
Belling currently lives in Mitchell.
Graduate Assistant Cross Country Coach
Midland University ’11
Chris Creal enters his second season as a graduate assistant coach for the Dakota Wesleyan cross country program in 2011. Creal graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in fitness and sports management from Midland University in 2011.
In the 2011-12 track season, Creal guided two athletes to top-five times in the Tiger track history books. Under Creal’s leadership, Andrew Hernandez recorded the second-fastest indoor 800-meter run time and Heather Banister recorded the third-best time in school history in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. In the spring of 2012, Creal completed his USATF Level 1 Certifications in Philadelphia, Penn.
Creal spent the first three years of his college career at Dana College, where he ran cross country and track for the Vikings until the school closed before the 2010-11 school year. He attended Dakota Wesleyan in the fall of 2010 and finished out his running career with the Tiger cross country team. While at Dana, he was a diverse runner, competing in everything from the 800-meter run to the half marathon and the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He earned NAIA All-America Scholar-Athlete status twice during cross country and once in indoor track and field.
At Midland, Creal was a student assistant coach for the track team where he coached the team’s sprinters. He helped guide one of the team’s sprinters to the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships in the 200-meter dash and a Great Plains Athletic Conference title in the same race during the outdoor season.
Creal, an Omaha, Neb., native, was a member of the 2006 Millard South State Championship cross country team. He currently lives in Mitchell and is pursuing a master’s degree in educational policy and administration at Dakota Wesleyan.
Assistant Cross Country/Track and Field Coach
Ian Ames will help with the Dakota Wesleyan cross country and track and field programs this year.
The Woonsocket, S.D., native will help with the jumpers and middle- and long-distance runners.
When he is not coaching at DWU, Ames enjoys Special Olympics basketball, softball and bowling. His favorite team is the Denver Broncos, and he also enjoys watching WWE Monday Night Raw and Cops.