Cross Country Coaches

Pat Belling

Patrick Belling

Head Cross Country/Track and Field Coach
The University of South Dakota ’03
The University of South Dakota ’06


In seven 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 eighth season with the program, Belling hopes to continue and expand upon that success.

In 2012, Belling coached the first female track outdoor All-American in DWU history, and he followed that up in 2013 with the first female indoor All-American and the second straight female outdoor All-American. Freshman Nicole Court-Menendez set school records in the 3,000-meter race walk in the indoor season and the 5,000-meter race walk in the outdoor season, and she took eighth in both events at the national meets. Along with being the first female indoor All-American, she is the first female in DWU track history to earn All-American honors at both the indoor and outdoor meets in the same season.

Senior sprinter Tamika Irvin wrapped up her storied track career at Dakota Wesleyan with a pair of appearances at the indoor and outdoor national meets. She competed in the 200-meter dash at indoor nationals and the 100 at the outdoor nationals. Freshman Haley Brunke also competed in the marathon at the outdoor national championships.

The Tiger women set three records and recorded 12 top-10 finishes in the 2013 outdoor season. Brunke set records in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs and Court-Menedez set the 5,000-meter race walk record. Brunke earned All-GPAC honors in both events, Katie Johnson in the javelin and MaKenzie Hageman earned a pair of honors in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. The DWU men recorded five times in the top 10 in school history.

The DWU women set two records – Court-Menendez in the 3,000-meter race walk and the 3,200-meter relay team of Court-Menendez, Skylar Forgey, Kayleen Gupman and Heather Banister – and recorded 16 other times or marks in the top 10 in school history in the indoor season. Irvin and Hageman earned All-GPAC honors in the 60 and 200 and Brunke in the 5,000. The men recorded six top-10 times.

Overall, Belling had individuals qualify for the national meets in five individual events. He had 10 All-GPAC selections and one NAIA Scholar-Athlete. In seven seasons at Dakota Wesleyan, Belling has coached three All-Americans, 55 NAIA national meet qualifiers, 64 All-GPAC Selections, 20 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.

Eric Larson

Eric Larson

Graduate Assistant Cross Country/Track and Field Coach
Baker University  ’13

Eric Larson joins the Tiger cross country and track and field coaching staff as a graduate assistant starting with the 2013 cross country season. Larson comes to Dakota Wesleyan from Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan.

Larson, who graduated in August with a bachelor’s of science in exercise science, ran cross country and track at Baker. He was named his team’s most improved and most inspirational in his career, and he is part of the school record indoor 3,200-meter relay and outdoor 3,200, distance and 4X1-mile relay teams.

The Overland Park, Kan., native competed at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships in 2011 and 2012 and helped his team to a 25th-place finish in 2011 and a 10th-place finish in 2012. He also competed on the Baker distance medley relay team that took 14th at the 2013 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships.

During summers throughout college, Larson coached the Blue Valley West High School cross country team. He attended high school at Blue Valley, and is part of the school record-holding 3,200-meter relay team.

Larson is pursuing his masters in educational policy and administration at Dakota Wesleyan.

Ian Ames

Ian Ames

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.

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