Barth Named Head Coach Of Lakeland Track, Cross Country Programs

Pete Barth
Pete Barth

Courtesy of Lakeland University

PLYMOUTH, Wis. -- Pete Barth, who helped lead a rejuvenation of Lakeland University's cross country program this fall, has been named full-time head coach for Lakeland's cross country and track & field programs.

Serving as co-head cross country coach this past fall in a part-time role with Julie Steinert, Barth helped jump start both the men's and women's programs.

The roster surged to 14 runners, and Lakeland fielded two scoring teams for the first time in nearly two decades

Kassahun Lehman (So.-Whitelaw, Wis.) became the first Lakeland cross country runner to earn all-Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference honors by finishing 15th at the NACC Championships. He improved his PR by more than a minute, and is positioned as one of the league's top returning runners for next fall.

"I could not be more excited about the opportunity to work with our outstanding young men and women on a full-time basis," Barth said. "We will continue to build our program on the platform of having fun, working hard and supporting each other in a family atmosphere. I can't wait to recruit more great student-athletes into our programs."

Jim Bajczyk will continue to serve as Lakeland's part-time head men's track & field coach through this spring season, and Barth will serve a support role and lead recruitment efforts. Barth will take over as head coach for track & field on July 1.

Barth came to Lakeland in May of 2013 as manager of communications. He served an assistant coach with the Lakeland women's soccer team in the 2016 season, and was named co-head coach for cross country in the spring of 2017.

"Pete has brought tremendous energy and enthusiasm to this program, and we saw the results of that with some great results this fall," said Lakeland Director of Athletics April Arvan. "We're excited to see that continue as he takes on this new role."

Barth also has experience coaching with select-level girls soccer in the Sheboygan area, including coaching an eighth-grade team of which the core played on the United States' youth level team in the Donosti Cup interna­tional competition in Spain.

A cross country and track & field athlete in high school, he also has competed in half-marathons, triathlons and other competitive races.