Mark Covert just completed his final year as the Head Men’s & Women’s Cross-Country and Track & Field Coach at Antelope Valley College, located in Lancaster, CA. With a coaching career that spans over forty-years, Covert coached one of only four Junior World Cross-Country Champions to come from the United States, over thirty California State Community College Champions, and coached over twenty championship track and cross-country teams.
Mark began competing in cross-country and track in 1966, for Burbank High School in Burbank, California. During his Senior year on July 23rd of 1968, he began his streak of not missing a day of running that would go on for forty-five years. After graduation, Mark attended Los Angeles Valley Community College where he would go on to become the states cross-country champion, along with setting National Junior College records in the six-mile and 24-hour relay. He then went on to attend California State University, Fullerton, where in 1970, he became the NCAA Division II National Cross-Country Champion and schools first Division I All-American. The following year, Mark and his Fullerton teammates would go on to win the NCAA Division II Cross-Country Championship - a team that has been considered by many to be one of the greatest collegiate cross-country teams of all time.
Mark would go on to compete in the 1972 Olympic Trials in the Marathon, finishing seventh. While doing so, he became the first person to compete in Nike Waffle Racing Shoes, and later, operate one of Nike’s first stores, The Athletic Department, and recognized as a Pioneer Nike Athletics.
Mark is also a member of the Mt. Sac Cross-Country Hall of Fame, where is remains the only person enshrined as both an athlete and as a coach. He also has been inducted to the Los Angeles Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame, the California State University Fullerton Athletics Hall of Fame, and is a founding member of the NCAA Division II Cross-Country Hall of Fame. Mark’s success also led to Fullerton’s Cross-Country team naming their annual home meet after him, known as ‘The Covert Classic.”
After forty-five years of running without taking a day off, Mark ended his running streak in 2013, with several hundred people from across the country gathering at Antelope Valley College to participate in his last run. During his running career, he completed over 163,000 miles (149,000 of those miles being ran during The Streak) and ran for 16,436 consecutive days, while overcoming broken feet, surgery, seven different stress fractures, and multiple hospitalizations. Mark’s story has been featured on ABC Nightly News, The Today Show, along with other television and print presses all over the world including Runners World, CNN, ESPN, and the LA Times.
Chris Covert is Mark’s son and the Owner and CEO of Achievement Consulting, LLC., an Organizational Management, Mental Conditioning, and Sports Psychology firm based in Charleston, SC. He has worked with NCAA Individual and Team Champions in Football, Track & Field, and Baseball.
A former captain of the Cal State Fullerton Cross-Country team, Chris was the former Head Women’s Track & Cross-Country Coach at Southern Connecticut State University. During his four-year tenure, Chris was named either a Conference or Regional Coach of the Year on nine separate occasions, winning five Conference Championships and working with over thirty NCAA Division II All-Americans. In 2008, he became the youngest coach in NCAA Track & Field history to be named a Regional Coach of the year, at twenty-five years old. Chris also worked as the Secretary for the United States Track and Cross-Country Coaches Association of America from 2009-2011. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Cal State Fullerton in Kinesiology and a Master’s Degrees in Sports Psychology & Exercise Science from Southern Connecticut State University.
Chris moved from coaching to politics in 2011 and has worked over forty campaigns up and down the east coast as a manager and consultant - including acting as the South Carolina State Director for Bernie Sanders in 2016. As a speaker, he has spoken to colleges and non-profits across the country about how to enhance their organizational and mental conditioning skills.