Marquette Track and Field Signs Five for 2015-16
Nov. 17, 2014
MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University men’s and women’s track and field teams have announced the signing of four throwers and one multi-event athlete to a National Letter of Intent, it was announced on Monday.
Hurdler and jumper Monique Felix, along with throwers Ashley Gaffey, Keely Knobbe, Terrance Howard and Brendan McKinney will all arrive on campus in the fall of 2015 and have four years of eligibility remaining.
The five athletes hail from around the Midwest with a pair of throwers from Illinois and one signee each from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.
Felix owns the Fox River Classic Conference record in the triple jump and was named first-team all-conference as a junior and was a first-team all-area selection in 2013 and 2014. In May, she was honored as the 2014 Sheboygan Press Media Girls Track Athlete of the Year. She is the co-president of Sheboygan North’s Future Business Leaders of America, is a member of the National Honor Society and ranked in the top one percent of her high school graduating class.
“Monique is quite talented in many respects,” Marquette head track and field coach Bert Rogers said. “She is a fantastic student and she will help us in multiple event areas. I’m looking forward to having her make an impact in the BIG EAST in not only the pentathlon and heptathlon but also in the hurdles and triple jump.”
"I’m quite excited about how this group came together and being able to sign them early was a nice bonus,” Marquette associate head coach and throws coach Mike Koenning said. “The task of replacing four great throwers at once is daunting since Kat, Bret, Samantha, and Will have all performed so well for us over the years.
“Each one of the four recruits has the physical tools, energy, and drive to be successful for Marquette in the BIG EAST. They’ve all had success in the discus and we’ll look to expand those talents into the hammer throw and javelin as well. Perhaps the most important thing I found with each of them is that Marquette is a great fit for them academically and transitioning into the life of a collegiate student-athlete will be a little easier because of that."
Howard, who hails from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, is a three time all-conference performer in the discus, an event in which he has also captured a pair of league titles. He holds a high school personal-best of 175 feet, 2 inches in the discus and was the Minnesota Class AA runner-up as a junior with a toss of 170 feet, 11 inches at the state meet, besting the third-place finisher by almost 16 feet. He also competed in football for the Pirates and was an all-state linebacker/defensive end as a senior.
A native of Arlington Heights, Illinois, McKinney attends Buffalo Grove High School where he throws the discus and shot put and is a member of the Bison football team. The 6-foot-4 thrower holds personal bests of 45 feet, 8 inches in the shot put and 168 feet, 5 inches in the discus, which is also a Buffalo Grove program record. McKinney placed eighth in the discus at the 2014 USATF Youth Championships in Bloomington, Indiana and fourth among those with 1997 birthdays.
Gaffey’s transition will be eased with her familiarity with the program as the younger sister of 2014 BIG EAST Conference outdoor shot put champion, Kristen Gaffey, who also holds the No. 3 discus mark in MU history. Gaffey, a senior at Regina High School in Iowa City, Iowa, is a two-time state qualifier in the discus and placed third at the state meet as a junior with a toss of 129 feet. She also competed as a member of the Regals’ girls’ basketball team and qualified for the Drake Relays as a junior in the discus.
Knobbe is a three-time conference champion in the discus at Warren Township High School and also claimed the Lake County crown in the event as a junior. The native of Wadsworth, Illinois placed 11th as a sophomore and 12th as a junior at the Illinois state meet in the discus and holds a personal best of 125 feet, 9 inches.
Knobbe captured conference titles in the shot put in 2012 and 2013 with a top mark of 38 feet in that event and is a three-time team MVP. She has also competed as a member of the Blue Devils’ volleyball and basketball teams.
“Replenishing the throws group is a recruiting priority for us this year with such a large class of talented seniors graduating,” Rogers said. “I am very excited that we were able to sign such a talented group and sign them all early. Having a strong group of throwers is a key component of our BIG EAST team goals in the coming years.”
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