Sept. 14, 2010
MILWAUKEE - Marquette University track and field throwers Jeff Kluge and Rachel Thiel took home most valuable athlete honors at the team's annual awards dinner Saturday evening. Other track and field athletes recognized were Peter Bolgert and Lauren Darnall (Most Improved); Kyle Winter and Chanel Franklin (Freshmen of the Year); and Michael O'Brien and Jayne Grebinski (Academic Awards).
Kluge closed out his career at Marquette among the top ten in the record books in four different events. He moved into second place all-time in the weight throw on Jan. 23, 2010 with a toss of 18.81 meters during the dual meet against Milwaukee. The throw put him behind former all-American Dan Fax in the event. Kluge was also able to move into second place all-time in the hammer throw with a heave of 56.49 meters at the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships in May.
Thiel concluded her Marquette career ranked among the top 10 of five different events including outdoor shot put (first), indoor shot put (fourth), indoor weight throw (seventh), outdoor discus (ninth) and outdoor hammer throw (ninth). During her final indoor season, Thiel captured the title in the shot put at both the Notre Dame Blue and Gold Invitational and the dual meet against Milwaukee. In 2010 she also competed in an NCAA Regional in the shot put for the second time in her career.
Returners Peter Bolgert and Lauren Darnall each received Most Improved honors after their efforts during the 2009-10 seasons.
Bolgert improved his position to second on the all-time steeplechase list as he recorded a fourth place finish in 8:54.76 at the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships. He was one of eight track and field athletes to represent MU at the 2010 Outdoor NCAA West Preliminary Round and finished 25th in the steeplechase with a time of 9:05.01.
His efforts on the track were accompanied by his success in the classroom. Named to ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team, Bolgert was the first Marquette track and field athlete to receive this honor since 1998 and the first Marquette male since 1986.
During her sophomore season, Darnall earned three second-place finishes and two third-place finishes in the pole value. Her top vault during the indoor season was 3.35 meters at the Hoosier Hills Invitational on Feb. 23. During the outdoor season, she set a personal record of 3.64 meters at the Lee Calhoun Invite, placing second.
Two current sophomores were recognized for their contributions to the team during their first seasons at MU. Kyle Winter and Chanel Franklin were named the outstanding true freshmen award recipients.
During his first collegiate meet, Winter set a freshman record in the 500-meter run as his time of 1:04.5 to place third all-time at Marquette. Later in the season, he ran a time of 1:03.93 and during the dual meet against Milwaukee in January, he anchored the men's 4x400 meter relay team to win the event and the meet.
Franklin set a freshman record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.92 seconds at the Lee Calhoun Invitational, and tallied qualifying marks for the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships in all but one race. The Milwaukee-native set her personal record of 24.69 seconds in the 200-meter dash at the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships during a preliminary heat.
Michael O'Brien and Jayne Grebinski were the recipients of the Academic Awards. Each recorded a combination of the highest GPA (3.5 minimum) and the highest athletic achievement on the team.
An electrical engineering major, O'Brien recorded a BIG EAST qualifying time in the 500-meter dash at the Blue and Gold Invitational on Dec. 4. He competed in the 4x400-meter relay at the BIG EAST Indoor Championships. During the outdoor season, O'Brien ran the 400-meter hurdles with a season-best time of 54.87 seconds at the Lee Calhoun Invitational.
Grebinski, a double major in international business and accounting, competed for the Golden Eagles in most distance events. She finished her career among the top five in five different distance events: 5,000 outdoor (first), steeplechase (second) 3,000 indoor (third), 1,500 outdoor (fourth) and 3,000 outdoor (fifth). In 2010, she competed at her third NCAA regional of her career, finishing 34th in the steeplechase.
The Marquette track and field team will begin its 2010-11 indoor campaign in December.