The NIACC men's cross country team has placed in the top 20 at the national meet 10 straight seasons, including top 10 finishes in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016.
The NIACC women placed 13th in 2013 and 2014, the highest finish for the Lady Trojans. Hannah Palmeter placed 6th in 2013 (2nd team all-American) and placed 3rd in 2014 (1st team all-American).
In 2012, the NIACC men's cross country team placed fifth at the NJCAA championships. Sophomores Trent Smith and Jonny Worley were named U.S. Citizen All-Americans. The Trojans won the Region XI title for the second straight season and Vais was selected as the men's Region XI coach of the year for the second straight year. The Lady Trojans placed 24th at the NJCAA championships.
Before arriving in Mason City, Vais was an assistant coach at College of Dupage, helping the women's track team to the NJCAA Division III National title while helping the men's team place second.
Vais was a three-time NAIA national qualifier while at Mount St. Clare (now Ashford University) in Clinton, Iowa. He competes in marathons while raising his sons, Jacob and Miles.