Meet the Appleseeds Coaches

Head Coach

Derek Leininger

Derek Leininger began running cross country and track in middle school.  Derek was a state medalist and school record holder in the 800 meter run his senior year at Columbia City HS.

Leininger coached high school cross country and track for twelve years: one year at East Noble HS (2003), two years at Concordia Lutheran HS (2004-2006), and nine years at Snider HS (2006-2015).  At Snider, Leininger coached three state-qualifying cross country teams and dozens of all-state cross country and track athletes. The Snider boys 4×800 meter relay team from 2012 still holds the all-time indoor state record.

In 2017, Derek and his wife Gwendolyn co-authored the book Enduring Wisdom, which highlights training and coaching approaches of some of Indiana’s all-time winningest cross country coaches.

Derek continues to be an active runner and he participates in several road races each year.


Assistant Coaches

Cory Waldron




Andrew Whitinger

Andrew Whitinger began running track and cross country in middle school and is now a collegiate athlete competing for Purdue Fort Wayne University. Andrew Graduated from Blue River Valley High School in 2019. He is a Business Marketing Major at Purdue Fort Wayne and a record holder on their Track and Cross Country Teams. Andrew is an employee at Three Rivers Running Company and this will be his first year as an assistant coach for Appleseeds. He enjoys helping kids find joy in running and helping them get faster along the way.


“Training with others and witnessing their accomplishments motivates and inspires me. I’ve recommended 3RRC to runners of all abilities. The employees are not only experts, but are friendly and patient in making sure customers are matched with the best products for their running objectives.”

Mike Slaubaugh


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