Graham-Perkins, Magoto: Ohio XC Coaches of The Year


Earlier this month, two high school coaches from each of the 50 states were announced as 2022 High School Cross Country Coaches of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) and recognized for their efforts and achievements this past fall during the cross-country season. 

Melissa Graham-Perkins of Marlington (Boys) and Jessie Magoto of Minster (Girls) were the two coaches from Ohio who were recognized for this prestigious award, to fit alongside their championship titles at the 2022 OHSAA State Cross Country Championships (Marlington D2, Minster D3). 

Ohio Boys USTFCCCA Coach of the Year

Melissa Graham-Perkins, Marlington 

With Coach Graham-Perkins at the helm this past fall, the Marlington Boys were an absolute powerhouse during the main season, going undefeated throughout the fall, and then defending their state championship title n November, later on competing at Midwest Team Regionals and placing 11th against some of the best in the surrounding states. 

Running it back to August 2022, the Dukes kicked things off with a dominant showing at the OHSAA Early Season Invitational, where they won 44 points (78 to 122) and sweeped the Top-3 podium spots to win the meet. This became a trend throughout the fall, as they would consistently have individuals placing high at meets, and ultimately defending their state title at the 2022 OHSAA D2 State Cross Country Championships, winning by a staggering 93 points (56-149). 

With 5 of their Top-7 returning next cross-country season, it would not be a surprise if Marlington continues their domination across the state this upcoming Fall. 

Ohio Girls USTFCCCA Coach of the Year 

Jessie Magoto, Minster 

 Coach Magoto's Minster Girls have always been a force on the course, possessing a staggering 15 state-championship titles to their trophy case, with the latest one being won this past fall at the 2022 OHSAA D3 State Cross Country Championships, making this the 6th title that they have won in 7 years. 

Leading up to the 2022 D3 State Cross Championships, the Tigers drew their claws and lived up to the hype by dominating the qualifying competitions by sweeping the 1-5 spot at OHSAA Division 3 District - Columbus Grove with a perfect score of 15 points, followed by a staggering 75 point gap between them and second place at OHSAA D3 Region 10 - Tiffin, and then ultimately adding to their state championship title tally with a 56 point lead over Ft. Loramie (63-119). 

Under the leadership of Coach Magoto, the dynasty of D3 is surely to continue their reign this upcoming Fall.