Cross Country

Villa Maria’s cross country team competes in PIAA District 1 and the AACA league. Leadership, accountability, and work ethic are emphasized as we set goals, work hard, and build a positive team culture.

2020 Cross Country Schedule


Patty Heppelmann

Patty Heppelmann is a graduate of Villanova University (B.S. Biology, M.S. Counseling) and has been racing continuously over the past 25 years, Patty has competed in 5k through Ironman distances in both age-group and open-elite categories. She currently competes for the Athena Track Club, an all women, elite-masters team.

Athletic achievements include designations as a USA Triathlon 3 x All-American, Ironman 4x All World Athlete including Gold in 2017, and Age Group winner in the 2019 USATF Masters Mid Atlantic Grand Prix Series. Patty has competed in National Championship triathlon races and qualified for 4 World Championships in the Olympic and Half Ironman distances. She represented Team USA for the amateur race on the London Olympics course in 2013 and placed 7th, 5th, and 3rd in age group placings at 3 Ironmans from 2013 to 2017. She also participates in bike tours including the Multiple Sclerosis City to Shore, Chester County Cares, and Iron Tour, cycling 50-75 miles in each event. Currently, Patty is focusing her training on the 8k and the 2020 USATF Masters Mid Atlantic Grand Prix race series.

Coaching certifications include USA Triathlon and USATF Level I, earning re-certifications every 2 years since 2012. USA Triathlon certification includes CPR, Safesport, the disciplines of running, swimming and biking,  and both strength training and sports nutrition. Patty has also coached youth in Girls on the Run, a self-esteem based running program for grades 3-5, adult clients from the 5k through Ironman, and has been the Assistant Cross Country Coach for Villa Maria for the past 3 years.

Rachel Ryan

Rachel Ryan is a 1997 graduate of Villa Maria Academy. During her 4 years at Villa, she was a member and captain of the Cross Country and Track teams, and was the recipient of the Coaches Award in Track her Senior year. She joined the Villa XC coaching staff in 2015 as an assistant coach for Villa long time coach, Phil Genther. She served as XC Head Coach from 2017-2019, and has currently returned to a role as assistant coach for the 2020 season.

Prior to Villa, Rachel was Head XC Coach at The Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, PA from 2008-2014. Rachel earned her degree in Finance from James Madison University, and also works part time at a local accounting firm. Rachel is married and has 3 young children, and resides in Wayne, PA. When she isn’t busy running all over town with her kids, Rachel is still an avid runner. She has run the Marine Corps Marathon, Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon, and Palm Beach Marathon, but more recently likes to stick to running more local races in Philly and down the shore.

Julie Pangburn

Julie grew up in Concord Massachusetts and came to Philadelphia to attend Temple University on a fencing scholarship. Julie has been a competitive athlete since high school where she played soccer and lacrosse, and finished 4th in Junior Olympics for fencing and participated in the Olympic sports festival. Upon completing her competitive years as a fencer, Julie was the assistant fencing coach at Temple.

In order to continue competing athletically, Julie found her love of running and racing at the age of 28. She has since competed in 16 marathons. Highlights of her racing include the 2011 national title in the 5k and 10k. Personal Records include: 5k 18:45, 8k 30:55,10k 39:09,15k 59:55,10 mile 62:00 13.1 1:25, and 3k 11:01. Most recently, Julie was the 2019 winner of the Grand Prix Long distance road series while running for the Athena Track Club.

Julie has years of coaching experience to individuals and high school teams. She holds both a NPTI Personal Training Certificate and a Level I Crossfit Certificate. She has been the Assistant Cross Country and Track Coach at both Bishop Shanahan High School and Villa Maria Academy and has her own personal training business, which she started in 2010. Julie is married and the mother of four boys, Spencer, Graham, Noah and Griffin.