Criss Somerlot has been active and quite successful in the area of track and field for nearly all his life. As an athlete, Mr. Somerlot was two -time Ohio class A Discus Champ and school record holder at Ohio University in the hammer. In the NCAA, his achievements include a three- person record in the hammer in 1968, reset in 1969 and held until 1974.
Coach Somerlot is known for his outstanding accomplishments while coaching at Centerville High School. His 1981 girls track team won the State. In dual and triangular meets, his teams have a record of 114 - 9 with only one loss since 1979. They have also earned 215 invitational victories. Coach Somerlot is proud to have coached 14 All-time Ohio record holders. Outstanding athletes under his guidance include Alan Phillips-hurdles, Kristen Jumer-State champ in the 1600 and 800, Lisa Haws in the mile, and Kelly Greenlee- 2 time State champ in the 800. Criss has coached at least one athlete who has placed in every event at the Ohio State Championships.
Criss has been active as a speaker at many T & F clinics over the years in the areas of throws and developing a team. He has spoken in 36 different states and 7 foreign countries. He has further served as clinic director for the Gathering of Champion series coach/athlete clinics at Centerville HS that have had over 25,000 athletes and coaches attend over the past 25 years. Criss also served as clinic director for the USATF Super Clinic at the ’96, ’00, & ’04 Olympic trials. He further worked with Nike and designed a running shoe and 2 different models of throwing shoes.
Criss has been quite active nationally. He coached the 1991 Eight Nation Games held in Spain. He also coached in the US Olympic Festival in 1994. Criss served as assistant coach at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Maebashi, Japan in 1999. As an Olympic coach, Criss Somerlot served in 2004 in Athens, Greece, and 2008 in Beijing, China. He has further served as the USATF Director of Throws since 2002. He directs the development programs in conjunction with their personal coaches of the US elite men throwers in the areas of biomechanics, psychology, nutrition, and elite training with a goal of helping the US men prepare for the next Olympic and World Championship competitions.