Rachel Evjen, who completed her career at Northwestern in 2002 as arguably the Wildcats' most decorated runner and the leader of the 2002 team that made history by earning an NCAA Championship berth, returned to Evanston as an assistant coach in July 2004 and recently completed her first season back with the 'Cats.
"I am very excited to have Rachel on the staff," said NU head coach Amy Tush at the time of Evjen's hiring. "It is always an honor to add a former athlete to your staff. She will be an asset to the program in many ways-her knowledge of Northwestern will strengthen our recruiting goals, and the experiences that she had here will enhance our team goals and influence our young women in a positive way. She has always been a hard worker and was willing to learn new things to get better. Her attitude and desire to be the best will help lead us to a memorable season. She was a tough, smart competitor and will make a great coach."
Evjen spent the 2003-04 school year at Florida State University, where she assisted as a cross country coach. She worked with the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coach of the Year, Bob Braman, and helped the Seminoles to a fifth-place finish at the ACC Championships and a best-ever 18th at the NCAA Championships as two women earned All-America honors.
Evjen also completed a master's degree in physical education at FSU in June and competed in track for the Seminoles last year. She participated in the 5,000-meter run at the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships, finishing 12th, and also qualified for NCAAs in the outdoor 10,000.
Evjen graduated from Northwestern in June 2003 with the six best 6K times in Northwestern history and a total of 10 sub-22 6K races. She was the Wildcats' top finisher in every race she ran each of her final three seasons, including her senior year of 2002 when NU earned its only NCAA Championship appearance since its return to varsity status in 1998. Evjen was a four-time all-district runner and also earned All-Big Ten recognition three times, including 2001 when she finished fifth at the Big Ten Championships to become the first Northwestern woman to gain first-team status. In addition to running with her teammates at the 2002 NCAA meet (where she placed 67th), Evjen also ran as an individual at the 2000 national championship meet, placing 126th. As a junior in 2001, she won a pair of individual titles, at the Bradley Open and the Illinois Invitational.
Evjen is Level 1 Coaching Certified by USA Track and Field, earning her certificate in June 2003.
Evjen's bio as an athlete at NU...
2002: For the third straight year, finished as Northwestern's first runner in all six races she ran ... Placed 67th overall at the 6K NCAA Championships (21:11.6) with the second-best time at that distance in Wildcat history ... Established a personal best and set a school record for the distance at the 6K Midwest Regional (20:52.28) ... The first sub-21 6K in Northwestern history earned her seventh place and All-District honors ... At the 5K Big Ten Championships, earned second-team all-conference by placing ninth (17:51.9) ... Finished 32nd overall at the 6K Pre-National Invitational with the fifth-best 6K time in school history (21:16.2) ... Finished 16th at the 5K Notre Dame Invitational (18:02) and 30th at the 6K Roy Griak Invitational (21:58.6) ... Academic All-Big Ten.
2001: Northwestern's top finisher in all six races she ran ... Earned all-district at 6K NCAA Midwest Regional (21:15.0) ... Became NU's first first-team All-Big Ten runner by finishing fifth overall at 5K Big Ten Championships (17:23.7) ... Won individual titles in consecutive races, the 5K Bradley Open (17:41) and the 5K Illinois Invitational (17:22) ... Finished 23rd overall at 6K Roy Griak Invitational (21:29.2) ... Placed 25th overall in Purple Race at 6K Pre-National Invitational (21:58) ... Recipient of the Alfred S. Wiltberger Memorial Scholarship.
2000: Northwestern's top finisher in all eight varsity races ... First Northwestern runner to compete in NCAA National Championship meet since resurgence of program in 1998, finishing 126th out of 252 runners overall (22:11.7) ... Earned all-district with an 11th-place finish at the 6K NCAA Midwest Regional (21:13) ... Second team All-Big Ten selection after finishing 12th at 5K Big Ten Championships (17:45) ... Won individual title at 2-mile UIC Opener (11:09), earning Big Ten Runner of the Week honors ... Second overall at 5K Bradley Open (17:50) ... Third overall at 6K Lakefront Invitational (21:36) ... Also had Top 25 finishes at 6K Roy Griak Invitational (22nd/21:47) and 5K Notre Dame Invitational (23rd/17:44) ... Ran in 8K senior women's race at U.S. Cross Country Championships in February, clocking 29:29.40 to finish 34th overall.
1999: Ran in all eight races ... Earned All-District at NCAA meet by finishing 25th overall (18:00) ... Also finished 34th at Big Ten Championships (18:19.65) ... Best run came at Purdue Invitational, where she placed eighth with a time of 17:53.60 ... Top 20 finishes at Lakefront Invitational (18:50) and South Florida Invitational (18:45.78) ... Finished 13th overall at 2-mile UIC Home Opener (11:58).
High School: All-state performer all four years ... Finished second in the Wisconsin state championship race three times and finished in the top seven all four years ... Four-time conference and sectional champion ... Twice voted team captain ... Also a three-year starter on the basketball team ... Three-time all-state academic award winner.
Personal: Born Rachel Elizabeth Evjen on 12/25/80 ... Daughter of Timothy Evjen and Cheryl Hauser.