Cross Country Head Coach: Susan Empey
Susan Empey joined MIHS as a cross country assistant coach (boys and girls) in 2017 and became the head coach in 2018. She has coached distance track since 2018. MIXC recently completed a very successful season, with the boys winning KingCo for the first time since 2008, both girls and boys teams advancing to Districts, and boys finishing 9th at State.
While not a runner in high school she competed at the state level in swimming all four years at Kennedy High School but fell in love with running while a student at Santa Clara University. After eventually returning to Washington state she began running more competitively and qualified twice for the Olympic Trials in the marathon and won several national masters titles in XC, track and road racing. She also qualified twice for the Age-Group World Championships in the ½ Ironman distance.
Susan’s two children, Megan and Peter, graduated from MIHS. She and her husband, Gordon, happily still live on Mercer Island.
Cross Country Coach: Gavin Cree
Coach Gavin Cree enters his 9th year as an assistant coach for MIXC. Coach Cree is also going into his 14th year as head coach of the boys basketball program at MIHS, and 18th year overall. He has worked with a number of athletes during his time at school. During the school day, Coach Cree is a PE teacher at MIHS, leading classes such as Yoga, Net Sports, Walking for Fitness, Personal Fitness and more.
Coach Cree's affinity for cross country comes from the toughness shown by all of the athletes when they give it their all. Coach Cree states, "I love the sportsmanship displayed and appreciation that competitors have for each other. It is really special to see runners show their respect for each other after they cross the finish line."
Coach Cree is a proud alum of MIHS, having graduated in 2000, where he participated in the boys basketball program as a team captain and state champion. After high school, Coach Cree played 4 years of college basketball at Pomona College in Claremont, CA.
Gavin and his wife, Jessica, celebrated their 9th wedding anniversary this year and busy raising their 2-year old son, Julius.