Heather Wilson Joins Cocoa Elite as a Track Running Ambassador

Cocoa Elite is pleased to announce our newest Track Running Ambassador – Heather Wilson.

We first got exposure to Heather as she painfully ran in the 2016 Olympic Trials where she suffered a hamstring avulsion. We are honored to have Heather as part of our team of Elite Ambassadors and look forward to her recovery and return to running and racing.

Heather was born and raised in Homer, NY where she attended Homer High School. She followed her high school education by attending the University of Connecticut.  She completed her schooling and earned a degree in Exercise Science.


While in college, Heather was a walk on for the Huskies track team and her many accolades include:

  • Five time – All American
  • NCAA Indoor Championship 800m – 5th place
  • NCAA Indoor Championship DMR – 8th place
  • NCAA Outdoor Championship 800m Qualifier
  • Big East Indoor Championship Mile – 2nd place
  • Big East Outdoor Championship 800m – 1st place
  • ECAC Outdoor Championship 1500m – 1st place
  • NCAA Indoor Championship 800m – 4th place
  • NCAA Indoor Championship DMR – 12th place
  • Big East Indoor Championship 800m – 1st place


Following her collegiate career Heather joined the New Jersey – New York Track Club and continued to rack up some very impressive accomplishment including:

  • Olympic Trials Qualifier – 1500m
  • USATF Indoor Championship Qualifier- 1500m
  • IAAF World Indoor Championship Standard – 1500m
  • USATF Indoor Championship Mile – 5th place
  • Morton Mile – 2nd place
  • 5th Avenue Mile – 5th place
  • 60th U.S. Woman in History to Break 4:30 Mile
  • USATF One Mile Road Championship – 4th place
  • USATF Outdoor Championship 1500m Qualifier
  • USATF Outdoor Championship 1500m Finalist

Heather became the 60th U.S. woman in history to break the 4:30 barrier in the mile, clocking a 4:29.39 in the summer of 2015.  She credits her coach Francis X. Gagliano as a key provider of guidance, knowledge, motivation and expertise to help her achieve.

Heather is extremely competitive and driven. This competitive nature also provides her with energy to volunteer in such activities as:

  • Girls on the Run Assistant Coach/Volunteer
  • Aim High Running Camp Counselor/Speaker
  • Pacer Princeton XC Relays Volunteer
  • Clinton Dept of Recreation Junior Olympics Volunteer
  • Westfield Running Company Spike Night Appearance/Q&A
  • GSTC Awards Banquet Speaker/Award Presenter

Heather’s dog, Nealy.

When Heather is not running or volunteering, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, drawing/painting and she is currently learning to play the guitar. Heather is also quite accomplished in being a Knower of Random Useless Facts which makes any conversation with her enjoyable and entertaining.  Heather is currently an assistant XC/track coach at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.


Cocoa Elite knows that we will soon see Heather return to set new records, especially since she has a new training partner, Nealy.

Heather’s ability to continue to learn coupled with her desire to giveback makes her a great addition to the Cocoa Elite Team.

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