Iryna Vashchuk, an All-American and PAC-10 champion runner at USC and Ukrainian National Team member, is at the start of her second year as an assistant coach for the Pepperdine cross country and track and field teams entering the fall of 2011.
Vashchuk's previous coaching experiences included a season at New Roads High School in Santa Monica and two at East Los Angeles College. She also has served as a personal trainer for the Equinox Fitness Club.
Vashchuk's talents as a runner so much impressed the coaches at USC they offered her a full scholarship even though she did not speaking a word of English. Vashchuk, however, did not disappoint the Trojans, earning All-America and runner-up honors at the 2003 NCAA Cross Country championships and a pair of conference titles in the 1500m in 2004 and 2005.
Vashchuck went on to earn two additional All-America citations in the 1500m, placing sixth at the 2004 meet in Austin, Texas and seventh the following year at Sacramento State.
Vashchuk's three-year post-collegiate career with the Santa Monica Track Club delivered her to dozens of international cities, including Boston, Los Angeles, Madrid, New York and Brasschaat, Belgium. In 2007 alone, she posted a trio of top-three showings in the 1500m in Eugene, Ore., Salamanca, Spain and Madrid followed by a sixth-place run in the 800m at the Brasschaat Invitational.
The year previous in 2006, Vashchuk recorded her personal best 5K at the International Road Race in Carlsbad, California and placed ninth in the 1500m at the Adidas Classic.
Vashchuk's competitive career as an international level track and field runner started in 1997 as a 15-year-old with the Ukrainian National Team. She experienced her first successes during the summer of 1998, placing first in the 4x400m relay and second in the 800m at the Ukrainian National Championship followed by a seventh-place showing in the same event at the World Junior Games in Moscow.
She then went on to place fourth in the 800m at the 1999 World Junior Championships in Poland, and a year later finished ninth in the 1500m at the U20 World Championships in Santiago, Chile. Vashchuk won her first 1500m crown at the 2001 Ukrainian Championships in addition to her second 4x400 title. Also that same year, she finished seventh in the 1500 at the U20 European Championships in Grosseto, Italy.
Vashchuk speaks three languages: English, Ukrainian and Russian and has earned degrees from both USC (international relations) and the College of Physical Education based in Kiev.
Vashchuk is the daughter of Mykola and Nina and has an older brother, Valeriy. She resides in nearby Pacific Palisades and lists playing tennis, skiing and swimming among her hobbies.