Kelli Blake is entering her fourth season at Washington University in St. Louis as a full-time assistant coach for the cross country teams after joining the sports performance staff track & field program five years prior.
Blake helped guide the WashU women to their fourth consecutive Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year award from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) in 2018-19. The Bears won the 2018 cross country national title, while placing second during the indoor and outdoor track & field seasons. The men also had program-best finishes during cross country (second) and indoor track & field (fifth), while placing 10th during the outdoor track & field season.
Last year the WashU cross country and track & field teams combined for five of six possible University Athletic Association (UAA) titles for the second consecutive season. WashU combined for 21 UAA event titles in 2018-19 and secured 24 All-American finishes. The cross country teams had seven All-American finishes en route to a national title for the women and runner-up finish for the men.
The Bears experienced unprecedented success in 2016-17 as the women’s track & field teams captured the program’s first NCAA Division III Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field National Titles. The women’s cross country program also placed second at the 2016 NCAA Division III National Championship race, while the men placed fourth as both teams placed within the championship top-five.
The track & field programs performed well during the 2015-16 campaign. The WashU men and women won both indoor and outdoor UAA conference meets and placed in the top 10 at the NCAA DIII Indoor National Championships. The women's outdoor track & field team had eight All-America finishes in 2016, finishing in third place at the NCAA Championships.
Blake is a 2011 graduate of WashU and former member of both the track & field and cross country teams. She returned to her alma mater after coaching at both the high school and collegiate levels upon her graduation.
Between graduating from WashU and coaching the Bears, Blake served as an assistant coach for both cross country and track & field at Occidental College in Los Angeles (2011-13), the head cross country coach and assistant track & field coach at Sacred Heart High School in Los Angeles (2011-12), and spent two years as the head coach for cross country and track & field at Fontbonne University (2013-2015).
Blake served as the assistant cross country and track & field coach at Occidental College, a Division III program that is a member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). While at Occidental, Blake worked primarily with middle-distance runners and coached four all-conference finishers and one conference champion. During her time at Occidental, Blake also helped Sacred Heart to first place in the cross country league championships in 2012, and in the track & field league championships in 2012 & 2013.
At Fontbonne, Blake expanded the program to include more sprints, hurdles and field events from what was previously a distance-oriented program. While at the helm, Blake saw her team break or establish seven school records and put 11 marks in the top-five all-time for the program during the 2014 Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field seasons. In 2015, the team broke 18 school records during indoor and outdoor seasons.
As part of the Bears’ staff, Blake mainly coaches the sprinters, but works with other event groups as well. She also serves a primary recruiting coordinator for track and field.
In addition to her other duties, Blake serves as a sports performance coach, joining the staff of the head sports performance coach, Terry O’Neill.
Blake graduated from WashU with a degree in biology and from Concordia University Irvine with a Master’s in Coaching and Athletic Administration. She is CSCS certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association while also holding USTFCCCA Strength and Conditioning, USTFCCCA Endurance Specialist and USTFCCCA Sprint, Hurdle, & Relay Specialist Certifications.
A member of both the cross country and track & field teams at WashU, Blake served as a team captain for both sports. In 2008, she was an All-American in the distance medley relay during the indoor season and a runner-up in the UAA indoor mile in 2008 and in the outdoor 800 in 2010.
Blake was also a two-time UAA Presidents Council Scholar-Athlete, earning the award in 2009 and 2010, and a USTFCCCA Track and Field Academic All-American in 2008 and 2010.
Blake is married to 2011 WashU grad and fellow track team member Kwin Keuter.
Updated July 12, 2019