David Rudey and Claira Himmel are the new track and field head coaches at Whitnall High School.

Rudey will take over the boys program and Himmel the girls program next spring.

Rudey teaches English at Whitnall and has served as a distance and head coach at various schools, most recently West Allis Central.

He also competed as a runner in high school and college, with success. His high school team won a state championship in 1998, and he was also a member of the 2001 national championship cross-country team at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

"I would like to restore Whitnall track and field to a more prominent position in southeastern Wisconsin," Rudey said. "It's also important to remember that these are student-athletes, and that the word student comes first."

Himmel is a special education teacher at Whitnall and served as the distance coach for the Falcons last season. She competed on the cross-country and track and field teams at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

"This (coaching) experience has been amazing for one reason: our athletes," Himmel said. "Whitnall's student-athletes are extremely talented, but most importantly, they truly represent the values that Whitnall strives for, on and off the track."