Steidl runs down dream job at Seattle U.

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Steidl runs down dream job at Seattle U.

After she accomplished everything she could as a rower, Trisha Steidl looked for another outlet to fuel her competitive juices. Now she's embarking on a new career in new sports — as cross-country and track coach at Seattle University.

Steidl was on the University of Washington team that won three national rowing championships in the late 1990s, but ended her rowing career after the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials.

In the fall of 2000, she started running competitively. Then known as Trisha Rosenberg, she joined a running club that worked out at Husky Stadium every Tuesday. In the winter of 2001, she met Uli Steidl, already an accomplished runner. She wanted to run with him as much as possible, to learn what it took to become an elite runner.

Six years after she started running, Steidl, who became Uli's coach as well as his wife, has landed what she calls her dream job. Hired as Seattle University's head cross-country and track coach last April, she saw her runners compete for the first time under her tutelage Saturday at the Emerald City Invitational at Woodland Park.

With 13 freshmen and sophomores among 19 runners, Steidl knows this is a building year. For the student-athletes, the coaching staff and the training program are new, but the 29-year-old coach wants to get her runners to realize that they have the potential to compete with anybody.

"I wanted this job because I saw a program with a ton of potential," she said. "This year's focus is to get the athletes stronger because I know they have the ability to make huge improvements. I am excited about the opportunity to teach these student-athletes that they can become better runners than they ever imagined."

Steidl's competitive career is far from over. She won the Virginia Mason Seafair Marathon last summer in Bellevue in 2 hours, 59 minutes, 48 seconds despite recovering from an injury. She plans to resume competitive running in October.

And she plans to put the Seattle cross-country and track program on the same fast track on which she put herself in 2000.

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