Valerie Bertrand Bachmann came to Knoxville and The University of Tennessee track and field program in 1986 from Long Island, New York attracted by the Lady Vols reputation and the warmer weather.
At UT under the coaching of former Olympian Missy Kane she teamed with KTC Hall of Fame member, Jasmine Keller and Patty Wiegand to propel the UT cross-country team to second in the SEC and sixth at the NCAA Championship in 1989. Valerie earned All-SEC and All-America cross-country honors that season running a PR of 17:24 at the NCAA Championships in Annapolis, Maryland (1989).
In track and field, Valerie helped Tennessee to five top-10 NCAA finishes and six top-3 SEC finishes, including an NCAA Indoor team runner-up effort in 1987 and a sixth-place individual NCAA Outdoor finish in 1989 (800 - 2:04) and eighth place finish in 1990 (2:04).
Individually, Bertrand Bachmann won the SEC indoor title in the 800 meters as a senior (1990). Valerie ran a leg on UT's SEC Indoor champion 4x800m relay in 1988 and 1990. Her 1989 4X800 was NCAA runner-up. Valerie earned All-America honors in 1988, 1989, and 1990. She made the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 1990.
In 2009 Valerie Bachmann was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame.
Valerie's running accomplishments did not end with her graduation from UT in 1991. Bachmann became a member of the Knoxville Track Club since 1991. She has continued to compete since then in literally hundreds of local races. Representing the Runners Market racing team, Valerie has won or finished in the top female finishers in most every race in the open (years ago) or masters divisions( currently)—although she says she “runs for the enjoyment of it”. She has best times of 18:01 on roads for 5k, 3:07 for the marathon (Columbus 1996), 3:22 Grandmas Marathon 2012 as a masters, 10k Eastman Kodak 38:07 (1993). She was a KTC Grand Prix winner in the mid 90’s and has finished in the top 10 in the Grand Prix Series standings for numerous years as an open and masters runner.
Valerie converted her husband Jay, a former University of Iowa football player, to competitive running and both Valerie and Jay have been regular volunteers at KTC events through the years. Valerie and Jay directed the Millhouse 15k road race in both 2003 and 2004. Valerie has also been a parent volunteer assisting the coach for the Cedar Bluff Middle School cross country teams in 2013 and 2014.
Valerie and Jay have two children Kenton (16) and Ellie, (13). She has been an elementary school teacher at Maynard Elementary School for the last ten years.