Katherine Bloemker

Head Cross Country Coach (4th Season)
Assistant Track Coach (13th Season)

Men's Cross Country
Men's Track
Women's Track

After nine years serving as a volunteer assistant coach for the Johnson County Community College cross country and track teams. Katherine Bloemker was named the men’s head cross country coach in July, 2014. She added the women’s head coaching duties in the summer of 2017.

In her first season, the Cavaliers had an up-and-down campaign, and finished the season fifth in the conference and 12th in the region.

In 2015, the program rebounded to post a runner-up finish the East Jayhawk Conference, place fifth in the region and close out the year with a 15th place showing at the NJCAA National Cross Country Championships. She also coached one all-conference performer.

2016 was her most productive of her tenure. The men placed second in the conference, third in the region and finished in the top-10 at cross country nationals. The Cavaliers capped the year by placing fifth at the NJCAA Half Marathon. Individually, she coached one all-conference performer and freshman Kyle McRoberts and sophomore Edgar Renteria became her first athletes to garner All-America honors. They both were named NJCAA Coaches All-American at the Half Marathon Championship.

In 2017, the final season for the JCCC cross country program, Bloemker served as head coach for both teams. The men finished third in the conference, fifth in the region and 23 in the 44-team field. McRoberts capped his career by earning NJCAA Coaches All-American with his 34th place finish out of 320 competitors. He also finished second in the conference and fifth in the region, becoming the first JCCC runner to post a top-five region finish in 11 years.

The Lady Cavaliers finished fourth in the conference, 10th in the region and 32nd out of 42 teams at nationals. Sophomore Yulissa DelaTorre raced to all-conference and all-region honors, and had two other top-10 finishes during the year.

As an assistant coach,  Bloemker played a key role in the development of 14-time All American Christa Heideman, 10-time All American Timer Yimer, nine-time All American Francis Gipson, three-time All American James Carter and 10-time All American and national runner-up in the 1,000-meters James Tong.

Bloemker was also involved with the coaching of the 2006 men’s and women’s cross country teams.  The women finished 2nd and the men 8th at the NJCAA Cross Country Championships; and the women won and the men were runners up at the half marathon championship.  Bloemker was also very instrumental with the 2008 teams, where again the women won and the men were 3rd at the half marathon championship.
She played a key role in the development of 14-time All American Christa Heideman, 10-time All American Timer Yimer, nine-time All American Francis Gipson, three-time All American James Carter and 10-time All American and national runner-up in the 1,000-meters James Tong.

In addition to her coaching duties at JCCC, Bloemker has been very involved with meet management and timing, assisting with the management of many home cross country and track meets.  She was the Region VI cross country championship meet director in 2006 and 2009. Her duties included meet management, packet pick-up, timing, results, logo development, and course set-up. Bloemker also served as an assistant meet director for the 2009-2010 NJCAA National Half Marathon Championships.

As a post collegiate runner from 2006-2008, Bloemker trained with the team while assisting with coaching. During that span, she achieved personal best marks in the 800-meters (2:11.10), 1,500-meters (4:33.18), mile (4:58.50), 3,000-meters (10:14.00) and 5,000-meters (17:45.00).

Some of her racing accomplishments include being one of the top three female road racers in Kansas City from 2006-2008. She won multiple road races in Kansas City including: Hospital Hill 5k (2007), Mother’s Day 5k (2010), Race for the Cure 5k (2011). Bloemker won multiple track races in the Midwest including: two-time Iowa State Open (800m & 1500m – 2008), Cyclone Open (3000m – 2010). She also finished 12th place at two of the most prestigious road races in the country; Steam Boat Classic 4 mile (Peoria, IL 2007) and Fifth Season 8k (Cedar Rapids, IA 2007). Bloemker finished among the top 10 at multiple road races across the United States including the Wharf to Wharf 6 mile (2007), Medtronic Mile (2007), Austin Statesman Capital 10k (2007), New Las Vegas Half Marathon (2006) and just recently qualified for the Boston Marathon (2013).
Bloemker was a member of the varsity softball team at Stanford. During her time on the starting roster for the softball team, Stanford was third at the College World Series in 2004 and Pac-10 Champions in 2005.  In addition, in 2004 Bloemker led the team in stolen bases, a mark which still ranks in the top 10 all-time at Stanford.  Although she only played three years on the softball team, Bloemker still ranks the top 10 all-time career stolen bases. She was also Pac-10 Softball All-Academic First Team and National Fast Pitch Coaches Association All-America Scholar Athlete 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Bloemker is also an associate teaching professor in the mechanical engineering department at the University of Missouri Kansas City.  She has been with the UMKC since 2006, during her tenure has received the following awards; Computing and Engineering Good Teaching Award 2007 and 2011. While working on her PhD at UMKC she was awarded the School of Computing and Engineering Outstanding PhD Student.
Bloemker has a philosophy that academics are a student athlete’s number one priority.

“The experience as a student-athlete gives a person well-rounded collegiate experience., Bloemker said. “Athletics provides opportunities that other students don’t get during their years in college.”

Bloemker likes that JCCC is similar to Stanford because of the high priority the colleges puts on academics and how faculty and staff are always willing to help students.

“I like that focusing on student success is a top priority at JCCC, and the athletic resources that are available to student athletes.”

Bloemker earned her bachelors and master’s degrees at Stanford University in 2005. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri Kansas City in 2013. Bloemker and her husband Mike, have a son Griffin.