Marquette senior throwers Jeff Kluge and Rachel Thiel continued their early season success as the men’s and women’s track and field teams split the dual meet with Wisconsin-Milwaukee last weekend.
Kluge walked away with victories in the shot put, discus and hammer throw, while placing second in the javelin. Thiel claimed first in the shot put and discus, and also finished second in the hammer throw, behind teammate Jamie Roth.
“Throwing is an area that we have a solid history in,” coach Bert Rogers said. “And both of these players have been excellent competitors and leaders for the team since they arrived.”
Kluge, a captain for the men’s team, has been a solid thrower since he arrived at Marquette, Rogers said. He is someone from whom the team has come to expect good things because of his constant contributions.
Kluge has consistently improved from year to year. He set a Marquette record for shot put with a throw of 49 feet, 3.5 inches his freshman year, just to top that the following year with a throw of 50 feet, 9.5 inches.
Thiel, a captain for the women’s team, has returned to form after suffering a knee injury last season by breaking her own school shot put record with a throw of 49 feet, 1 inch.
“When working back from the injury, the hardest part was losing strength and having to take it slow,” Thiel said. “Athletes are used to constantly pushing through the pain, and this injury just didn’t allow me to do that.
“It’s quite a relief to know that I still have the ability to perform at the level I was at before the injury, when I broke the record my sophomore year.”
Thiel broke the school record for longest shot put in 2008 by throwing 48 feet, 10 inches. Rogers said that even while she was fighting back from her injury, Thiel’s performance suffered a little, but her attitude didn’t waiver. She continued to be the leader for the team, as she had been for her entire career.
“(Kluge and Thiel) bring determination to the team,” Thiel said. “Last weekend we both had personal bests, but neither of us are going to remember it or be personally satisfied this week. We are going to come back with vengeance because this is a team effort.”