For Will and Kathryn Koeck, throwing has been in their family’s bloodlines for a few generations. Their father and his brothers were throwers and their sisters threw discus and shot put. The decision to attend Marquette and join the track and field program just happened to pan out perfectly for them.
Hailing from Winneconne, Wis., the Koecks were teammates on Winneconne High School’s track and field team. It was there that the chemistry between Will and Kathryn blossomed as they started to understand how similar their throwing styles were.
“During practice we would be pushing each other to do the best that we could do and give pointers here and there,” Will Koeck said. “At this point, we know how the other reacts to certain information and helpful hints.”
During the 2011-’12 indoor track season, Will set the freshman record in the weight throw in his first attempt at the event. His sister similarly set a record in her freshman year in the hammer throw.
Kathryn, a sophomore, credits their high school coach as a root to the Koecks’ early collegiate success since he allowed them to weight lift under his supervision.
“When we arrived at Marquette, the adjustment to lifting was a lot easier. The weights were heavier and some of the drills were different, but we had an upper hand in that,” Kathryn Koeck said. “The coaching style was also different, but in the end it helped us become better athletes.”
Coach Michael Koenning works closely with both of the Koecks as the associate head coach. From lifting sessions and practices, he believes that the motivation to improve is one of their strengths as a pair.
“They’re both really hard-working and willing to put the time in to be successful,” Koenning said. “Having the same attitude from both of them helps. They keep an eye on each other to see who’s working hard, and who can work harder.”
Will was very fortunate to have senior Jonathan Kusowski take him under his wing from the very first day of practice, where the freshman was monitored at all times. The two of them helped carry the throwers during the indoor season as they both qualified for the Big East Conference Championship in New York City.
Former Marquette thrower Jaime Roth was Kathryn’s model in the hammer throw last year, but this year freshman Samantha Kennedy has taken on the role of pushing her in the weight room and the thrower’s field. Koeck will be a junior next year and believes that she will use the experiences with Roth and Kennedy to impact the incoming underclassmen.
Both Will and Kathryn Koeck had nothing but positive things to say when assessing each other’s potential. Will believes that his sister has the skill set to make it to the regional championship and put on a good performance.
“(Kathryn) has got the hard work ethic, effort, and dedication there to do well,” Will Koeck said. “She’s just got to put it in the right spot to get out there and compete.”
Similarly Kathryn believes that a school record is within her brother’s reach based on what he has shown thus far.
“He’s on track to have much bigger school records,” Kathryn Koeck said. “He’s shown that he can throw farther. He’ll be able to smash any of the school records.”