Sandburg Coach John O'Malley Logs Heavy Frequent Flyer Miles

The Eagles quartet pose after winning the 2016 New Balance Indoor Nationals 4xmile relay (Lisa MacArthur photo)

Coach John O'Malley is a relatively young coach but he has been around the block a few times. Over the past 10 seasons he has probably logged more frequent flyer miles for his team and individuals than any other coach in that time span. The first such runner to gain notoriety on O'Malley's radar was the great Lukas Verzbicas who broke several state and national records on the track as well as dominated the cross country scene as an Eagle. Because of IHSA rules O'Malley could not officially coach his former pupil who went on to win two Footlocker championships in 2009 and 2010.

In between his team qualifying in several NXN championships, he had the pleasuring of witnessing his latest star Dylan Jacobs earning trips to San Diego. Jacobs will have one more opportunity to bring a big smile to his coach's face on Saturday. 

Coach O'Malley's file: 

Cross Country: State qualifiers every year of his coaching career and placed in the top 10 in state seven of the last 10 years in the largest class division.

State Champions: 2015

State Runner-up: 2014

NXN: 2014 (15th) , 2015 (4th); NXR Midwest Champions 2014 and 2015

Coached multiple all state athletes including NXN champion and two time state and Footlocker national champion, Lukas Verzbicas.

Track: In 13 seasons 14 1600 state qualifiers, including five runners at 4:10 or better.  4 x 800 has run 7:49 or faster in six separate seasons and has placed 5-4-3-2-1-2 in state, including the 2014 runner up 7:40.7, 2015 state champions, 2016 state champions, and 2017 state runner ups. . Each of his teams have run 7:46 or better for the past six years in a row. The '16 4x800 team ran an indoor IL #2 all-time 7:45.80 as well as a state meet championship record 7:37.36 for US #1 at the time ran. In addition, O'Malley produced the best twin duo in state history superstars with Chris and Sean Torpy. Sean ran an Illinois all-time best in the 800m at the Midwest Distance Classic. He scorched the track in 1:47.95. The time was would crack the top 10 in high school history. Sean ran a state best 4:05.10 full mile (4:03.42 1600m enroute). Chris clocked IL #2 1:49.80 for 800m and 4:07.10 mile (4:05.40 at 1600m).