Former Runner Brice Cleland Earns 65th McCahill Award
Jan. 4, 2012
MILWAUKEE - Former Marquette distance runner Brice Cleland has been named the recipient of the 65th annual McCahill Award, presented to the Marquette senior student-athlete from the previous year who demonstrated the highest performance in scholarship, leadership and athletics.
Cleland will be honored during halftime of the men's basketball game versus St. John's at the Bradley Center on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 6 p.m.
"It was a great honor for me to coach a student-athlete like Brice Cleland," Marquette head cross country coach Mike Nelson said. "The commitment Brice displayed to academics, athletics and service during his time at Marquette is second to none and his accomplishments are pretty spectacular. It's hard to put into words how valuable he was for our team, the athletic department, and Marquette University as a whole."
He joins 72 other honorees by receiving the highest honor the department of intercollegiate athletics bestows upon a student-athlete. The Indianapolis, Ind., native is the 13th member of the men's track and field team to earn the award and the first since Joe Herington in 2002.
Cleland was a four-time letter winner in both cross country and track and field during his time at Marquette, serving as team captain of both squads during his junior and senior seasons. He was the men's cross country team's most valuable performer in 2009 and 2010 as he led the Golden Eagles at the BIG EAST Championships and NCAA Great Lakes Regional both years.
Cleland holds the No. 7 mark in Marquette history in the indoor 5,000-meter run and the No. 11 mark in the outdoor 10,000-meter run. He also competed individually in 10 events at the BIG EAST Conference Track & Field Championships during his time in Blue and Gold.
"As if all the accomplishments on and off the track weren't enough, you couldn't find a better person than Brice. He was a tremendous leader for our team and also performed countless hours of community service. He served as a wonderful role model for our younger athletes and set a very positive tone for our team," Nelson said.
In the classroom, Cleland graduated summa cum laude with a triple degree in exercise science, psychology and theology. His academic accomplishments marked by a cumulative grade point average of 3.93, made him a four-time BIG EAST All-Academic Team selection and a CoSIDA Academic All-District V First Team selection.
He was a member of multiple honor societies, including Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education, as well as Theta Alpha Kappa and Psi Chi, honor societies for theology and psychology, respectively.
Cleland has been published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise and given presentations on his research in exercise science at numerous conferences. For his work as a research assistant, he garnered the clinical, professionalism and research awards in exercise science from Marquette University in 2011.
Cleland was Marquette's 2010-11 BIG EAST Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well as the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award winner for men's cross country in 2009-10.
Following his final campaign, he received the Ralph H. Metcalfe Senior Outstanding Male Athlete Award and the Marquette University Leadership Award in 2011.
In addition to helping his fellow student-athletes as an athletics department tutor, Cleland served as the cross country representative and vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He was also an athletics representative to the Student Health Advisory Board and was involved with the NCAA Sportsmanship initiative.
Cleland is currently serving as a neurophysiology of movement research assistant at the University of Colorado at Boulder as he pursues a master's degree in integrative physiology.
The McCahill Award was named after Captain Robert L. McCahill, a former Marquette student-athlete who gave his life for his country at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II in 1945. Established by his brother, Colonel William P. McCahill, also an MU student-athlete, the award was first presented in 1946 and has been awarded annually as the highest honor bestowed upon a Marquette student-athlete.
After Colonel McCahill's death in 1999, Marquette University officially renamed the award to recognize the lifetime accomplishments of both Captain Robert and Colonel William McCahill.
The award is given annually to a student-athlete who has achieved in athletics, scholarship, and service to the university.
Past recipients of the award include Olympic silver medalist John Bennett (1954), two-time NBA All-Star Don Kojis (1961), Naismith Award-winner Butch Lee (1978), and NCAA 10,000-meter run champion Keith Hanson (1986).