St. Edward's coaches kick off regional with half marathon

St. Edwards head coach Todd Ohlmeyer and assistant coach Chris Massoletti after completing the Tacoma City Half Marathon.

The St. Edward's men’s golf team opened its trip to DuPont, Wash., for the NCAA South Central/West Regional with a sleepy Sunday morning in the Northwest. While players stayed in bed, however, the coaches were getting a look at the countryside. Head coach Todd Ohlmeyer and assistant coach Chris Massoletti toed the line at the nearby Tacoma City Half Marathon at 7 a.m. on May 5, a race for which they’d signed up just eights days earlier.

“It wasn’t something we had been training for for awhile,” said Ohlmeyer, 38. They received the regional bid on April 26, which prompted Ohlmeyer to do a quick internet search for a nearby race. They registered the next day.

Ohlmeyer and Massoletti, 28, begin most days with a run, either before or after the team workout. St. Edward's, a Division II school in Austin, Texas, has no golf-specific trainer, but Ohlmeyer’s fitness knowledge has been put to good use. The team works out together three days each week.

The Tacoma Half marked Ohlmeyer’s eighth half marathon. He ran the 13.1 miles, along Puget Sound, in an hour and 36 minutes, and finished 22nd out of 1,048 runners. Massoletti, in his maiden half, finished in an hour and 43 minutes, and in 72nd place.

Ohlmeyer said his players were only “curious” which coach might win, but not curious enough to trek out to the starting line so early in the morning. The team was divided about evenly in their predictions. Experience, as it turned out, beat youth.

Before the Tacoma Half, Ohlmeyer completed a half iron-man triathlon (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run) in 2007, and has run a few half marathons since. He took up running around the time he turned 30.

“I kind of have a deal with my wife where I’m always training for something,” Ohlmeyer said of his ability to run a half marathon on such short notice.

Even more impressive, Ohlmeyer and Massoletti walked Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Wash., with the team the day before the race.

“(Chris) turned to me on about the third hole (at Chambers Bay) and said, ‘So much for saving our legs,’” Ohlmeyer said.

After a post-race pancake breakfast, the coaches tagged along for the practice round at The Home Course in DuPont. This time, they rode golf carts – a rarity for both coaches.

St. Edward's put up a 3-over 291 in Monday’s first round at The Home Course for a share of 10th. The top five teams will advance to the NCAA Championship from this regional.

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