St. John Fisher - Track

Cardinal Track Camps

Head Coach Mike Henchen

 

St. John Fisher College hired Mike Henchen to be the head coach for its track and field and cross country programs in 2012. Henchen moved up from his associate head coach position where he played a key role in developing the cross country and inaugural indoor and outdoor track programs for St. John Fisher College.

The 2017-18 year marked by far the best season in program history for the Cardinals as both teams reached new heights.  The men's program won the Empire 8 Championship in both the indoor and outdoor seasons while the women's team placed third overall at each.  During the indoor season, the men's team was ranked by the USTFCCCA for the first time in program history and went on to finish ninth at the NCAA Indoor National Championship - its best finish ever.  Under Henchen's direction, Mark VanMarter became just the second national champion in school history after winning the long jump.  The momentum carried into the outdoor season as the Cardinals had four student-athletes qualify for the NCAA Championship where all would earn All-American honors including two more for senior Peter Girardi who closed out his career with a national championship in the 400 hurdles after finishing as the runner-up in each of the previous two seasons.  Fisher, which finished tied for seventh in the team standings, saw VanMarter place third in the long jump while freshman Kyle Rollins notched his second career All-American nod after taking fifth in the high jump during the outdoor campaign.

On the women's side, Tayler Dence became the first track athlete to qualify for the national championship after setting a program record in the 400 hurdles to punch her ticket to Wisconsin.

Fisher made tremendous strides in 2014-15.  The men’s and women’s cross country squads enjoyed their best-ever finishes at the Empire 8 Championship, with the men finishing in third place and the women taking fourth.  The men’s track and field squad made history, winning both the Empire 8 Indoor and Outdoor Championships during the year.  Fisher defeated seven-time defending champion Ithaca College by 35 points in the indoor championship before overtaking the Bombers by 25 points in the outdoor championship at Fisher’s own Polisseni Track and Field Complex.  Henchen, along with his coaching staff, were named the indoor and outdoor Empire 8 staff of the year.  On the women’s side, Fisher finished second at the Empire 8 Indoor Championship and fourth at the outdoor championship, both program bests at the time.

During the storied 2014-15 season, Fisher sent three male athletes (Mark VanMarter – long jump, Devin Cornelius – decathlon, and Peter Girardi – 4000 Hurdles) to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships along with the first female athletes in program history (Paige Willson – Shot Put, Taylor Youngkrans – Hammer Throw).  Cornelius became the first All-American for the program, placing fifth in the heptathlon at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships, before earning an eighth place finish at the outdoor championships.

The 2013-14 season was another step in the right direction for Fisher as the Men's Indoor squad delivered an ECAC Championship along with a second place finish in the Empire 8 Championship.  Henchen was tabbed the men's Empire 8 Coach of the Year for his efforts.  The women's indoor squad was equally impressive finishing third at the Empire 8 Championship, nearly doubling their 2013 score.

In the outdoor season Fisher finished third at the Empire 8 Championship on the men's side, while the women took fifth place.

Under Henchen's direction Cornelius competed at the NCAA Championships in both the indoor and outdoor seasons, finishing in 11th place at the heptathlon and 11th place in the decathlon.

In the 2012-13 track and field seasons, Henchen helped 11 student-athletes earn recognition from the Empire 8 Conference. During the Indoor season, Henchen oversaw Eric Riley win individual Conference titles in the high and long jumps while also guiding Kyle Koehler to a shot put crown.

For the outdoor season, Fisher added a few more Conference champions, with Chris Wehner winning the 100 meter hurdles, Kyle Barry earning the win in the hammer throw and Paige Willson taking first in the shot put.

In 2017, the women's cross country team finished in first place at the Oneonta Airfield Invitational marking the first time the team has won an invitational in program history. The men’s and women’s cross country teams finished their first season with a fourth-place finish and fifth-place finish, respectively, at the 2011 Empire 8 Cross Country Championship.  Fisher’s number one male runner, Cohen Miles Rath, finished first in the championship race and was subsequently crowned Empire 8 Cross Country Male Runner and Rookie of the Year.  Miles Rath went on to qualify for the NCAA National Championships where his impressive finish ranked him as one of the Top 10 freshmen runners in the country.

A two-time Section V Class C Track Coach of the Year, Henchen was previously the boy’s track and field coach at Geneseo High School. From 2006 to 2010, Henchen’s boys team won six Livingston County titles and the 2010 and 2011 Sectional titles.  In his five years as head coach, Henchen coached over 20 individual Sectional champions, four state medalists, and one national All-American.

During his tenure both as the assistant coach and as the head coach for Geneseo boys and girls cross country, the teams captured a combined 13 league and 12 Sectional championships.  Both teams won the first ever state titles for Geneseo with the girls team clinching the State Championship in 2007 and the boys team winning its first State Championship in 2010. Henchen was named the 2010 Section V Class D Coach of the Year in both sports.

A Dansville native, Henchen graduated from Syracuse University and accepted a commission with the United States Army.  While serving as a Lieutenant Colonel in Belgium, he coached track and field teams at the Brussels American School and led the men’s team to divisional titles from 1999 to 2001 while coaching the individual European 800-meter champion in 2000.

Coach Henchen returned to the United States in 2002 and taught high school at Geneseo until he assumed the role of associate head coach.

He and his wife Joan have two sons.