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The NorCal Distance Project Team Disbands

The NorCal Distance Project, a training group of talented female distance and middle distance runners based in Sacramento, has disbanded.

The Sacramento-based NorCal Distance Project has disbanded, according to a statement from head coach and founder Drew Wartenburg. He made the announcement over the weekend on social media.

“Back to basics, but heavy hearted that this chapter of the NorCal Distance Project has come to a close,” Wartenburg shared on Instagram. “I’m ready to move on with renewed perspective to what awaits. Good fortune to the athletes that have been part of this team’s accomplishments.”

At its peak, the NorCal Distance project was home to talented female distance and middle distance stars. However many of them have moved on from the team in recent months. In August, Olympian Kate Grace announced she was leaving. She signed with Nike back in January.

800-meter runner Lauren Wallace recently retired from the sport. Leah O’Conner, a two-time NCAA champion for Michigan State, posted on Instagram that she was returning home the same day Wartenburg made his announcement.

Wartenburg is married to two-time Olympian Kim Conley. He is expected to continue to coach her. Next steps are unknown for Lianne Farber and Rachel Mitchell, two other athletes associated with the group.

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