• Edina Girls Cross Country Coaches
    Jess McKenna
    JV-C Team Coach
    Jess says this about coaching at Edina: I coach at Edina because I really love the people who make up this team. Coaching is an opportunity for me to share my passion for running, along with the lessons it teaches us about teamwork, resiliency, and building confidence, with a remarkable team of student athletes who make me laugh, impress me with their dedication and willingness to work hard, and inspire me with their care for their teammates and each other's successes. It's definitely true that my mood greatly improves during cross country season because of the wonderful interactions I get to have with the athletes, their families, and the other coaches on this team. Jess was a Varsity Soccer Player at Wittenberg University (she really liked the running part); Completed 12 marathons, including 10 Boston Marathon qualifiers and 3 Boston Marathon finishes. This will be her 5th year as a coach with Edina XC. She previously coached gymnastics, soccer, and basketball and also directed a summer gymnastics camp program for two seasons right after she graduated from college. Jess grew up in Niles, Ohio, but currently lives with her husband Jeremy and cats Gracie and Nina in Minneapolis. Jess earned her B.A. in English Literature and American Studies from Wittenberg University; M.A. in English Literature from Simmons University; and worked toward her Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. She currently is the Associate Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the University of Minnesota English Department. Jess claims she was on a treadmill next to Jon Bon Jovi in 2003.
    Cleo Ferris
    JV-C Team Assistant Coach
    This is Cleo's first season coaching at Edina. She has a passion for running and has enjoyed the sport of running and racing for over 30 years. Cleo loves to help other's meet and exceed their goals and she gets excited to see them smile at the finish line. As a pacer for many WI and MN races, Cleo has gotten to know a lot of runners and enjoyed having the job of encouraging them the entire way. The best part was the sweaty hugs at the finish line and the smiles of accomplishment on their faces. Cleo had one of the best coaches ever - Mr. Russ Fameree who is now 89 years old and they still exchange Christmas cards every year. Cleo lives in Eden Prairie with her family - husband Steve and kids Ross, Carly, Jack along with their goldendoodle Pepper. Cleo grew up in Luxemburg, WI, and attended college at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, studying business. She is currently a stay at home mom and has qualified for the Boston Marathon several times, but only ran it once. She was the overall winner for women of the No Frills Marathon in Eagle River. Her fastest marathon was 3:04 in Chicago, and she had a 7 year streak of breaking 40 minutes in the Bellin Run 10K. Cleo likes to eat peanut butter cookies before her marathons because it helps calm her stomach. She once met Bart Starr at a Packers game and he signed a football for her. He was the most down to earth person she's ever met. We are guessing she is a Packers fan, but we won't hold that against her.
    Lynn Sosnowski
    JV Coach
    Lynn has been coaching at Edina since 1996 including cross country since 2005. She is also currently the head coach of the girls track and field team at EHS. She coaches at Edina because she loves track and cross country. Lynn grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, and currently lives in Eden Prairie with her husband Tim and children Mikaylie and Jordan. Lynn earned her BS in Elementary Education and MA in Guidance & Counseling. She qualified for NCAA Div 2 Nationals in college at Ashland University, has completed 4 Ironman Triathlons, qualified for USTA Tennis Nationals, completed a 50K race, and completed a 50 mile race on her 50th birthday. She has been named Section 6AA assistant track coach of the year twice, Section 6AA assistant XC coach of the year twice, and Section 6AA head track coach of the year. Lynn is currently the AP Testing Coordinator at EHS. Lynn finished 5th in the Niagara Falls Marathon. Lynn is the wily veteran coach of the team. 
    Matt Gabrielson
    Varsity Coach
    Matt coaches at Edina because he has a passion for helping kids meet and balance their basic needs in a positive way. Matt's hometown is Belmond, IA. He currently lives in Minneapolis with his wife Julie and children Doris Mae, Otto, and Viola. He graduated from Drake University with a BSE in Elementary Education and then from Augustana University with an MA in Reading Education. Matt is a 4th-5th grade teacher in the Continuous Progress Program at Highlands Elementary in Edina. From 2003-2005, Matt was the assistant mens cross country coach at the University of St. Thomas. From 2006-2010, Matt was an assistant coach with the Edina boys XC team, and from 2007-2013 Matt was an assistant boys track and field coach at Edina. Since 2011 Matt has been the Edina girls varsity XC coach and since 2019 he has been the Edina boys head track and field coach. Matt was named the Minnesota Coaches Association girls cross country coach of the year in 2015, the USTFCCCA Minnesota girls XC coach of the year in 2015, 2016, and 2019, and Section 6AA Coach of the Year in 2019. Matt competed in the 2004 and 2008 USATF Olympic Trials in the 5000m placing 8th in 2008, and the 2012 USATF Olympic Trials in the marathon. He has represented the USA in global championships four times. In 2005 (Saint-Galmier, France), 2006 (Fukuoka, Japan), and 2007 (Mombasa, Kenya) at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and in 2009 at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in the Marathon (Berlin, Germany). During the summer of 1998, Matt sat front row at Target Center for a Pearl Jam concert and gave lead singer Eddie Vedder a high five.
    Tara Wagner
    Middle School Coach
    Tara has coached for 4 years at Edina and loves it because of the positive energy of the Edina Girls XC team! She grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota, and currently lives in Edina with her husband Tom and daughters Claire, Maggie, and Laci. Tara graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a BA in Biology and then earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Minnesota. She earned NCAA D3 All American Honors in Track (3K) and Cross Country at St. Thomas and has also been a three time Boston Marathon Qualifier. In addition to her roles as mom and coach, she is currently a dentist. Tara claims that she was so shy in middle school and high school that her face would turn bright red when a teacher would ask her a question at school!
    Sara Elliott
    Assistant Middle School Coach
    Sara coaches at Edina to help the athletes find enjoyment in running, and encourage and empower them to set personal and team goals. She loves it when kids realize their hard work has paid off and they exceed their goals! Sara grew up in Willmar, Minnesota, and was the first player to sink a three-pointer for Willmar High School Girls BBall way back in 1989. Sara currently resides in Edina with her husband Lance and children Drew, Sam, Ben, Jack, Anna (& dog Sophie). She graduated from the University of MN with a BS in Civil Engineering, and then Iowa State University with an MS in Civil Engineering. Sara's coaching experience includes 2 years as SVMS T&F coach (would have been 3 this spring season), and 1 year as Edina MS Girls XC coach. She is the Business Owner of ELLIOTT Design Build, Inc. Sara loves 80's & country music.