Cross Country

Mike Nelson
Fenton, Mo.

Alma Mater:
Truman State (2003)

Mike  Nelson


Cross Country Set For Ninth NCAA Great Lakes Regional

MU will run on Friday, Nov. 9 in Verona, Wis.


Marquette Women Notch Top BIG EAST Finish Since 2008

MU women placed seventh, men eighth


Cross Country Prepared for 2012 BIG EAST Championships

MU XC will run Friday at 10 a.m. CT


Marquette Men Second, Women Fifth at Bradley Classic

BIG EAST meet up next for cross country


Cross Country Ready for Bradley Classic

XC runs Friday at the Bradley Classic


Marquette Athletics Participates in Al's Run 2014

Marquette's coaches and teams supported the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin at Al's Run 2014.


BIG EAST Championship Recap - Marquette

Post-meet from recap from coach Mike Nelson following Marquette's performance in the 2013 BIG EAST Cross Country Championships at the Dannehl National Cross Country Course on Nov. 2, 2013.


Marquette Prepares for Greater Louisville Classic


Marquette XC Kicks Season Into High Gear

With the change of season approaching, and the National Catholic Championships ahead on Sept. 21, Marquette's cross country teams prepare to take their season to the next level. Hear from coach Mike Nelson and seniors Rebecca Pachuta and Spencer Agnew.

Contact Coach Nelson
Phone:(414) 288-5105
Email Coach Nelson

Mike Nelson enters his seventh season as the head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach in 2013-14.

He has guided the cross country team since his arrival in August 2007 and overseen multiple Marquette record holders on the track, in addition to four top freshman marks. Five of his student-athletes have earned All-Great Lakes Regional recognition.

Under Nelson's guidance and dedication, Marquette hosted its first cross country championship in 2009 since 1996 at the Wayne E. Dannehl National Cross Country Course on Oct. 31. The Marquette men finished seventh, while the women placed eighth. Nelson played a lead role in getting the BIG EAST to award Marquette the 2009 BIG EAST Championships.

Academically, four student-athletes have earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors seven times, while both Peter Bolgert and Olivia Johnson earned Academic All-America honors in 2010-11 and 2011-12. The 2010-11 year was the first time athletes at Marquette had earned Academic All-America first team (Bolgert) honors in any sport since 1996-97.

In 2008, Nelson helped senior captain Kyle Saginus become the first Marquette male runner to earn All-BIG EAST accolades in cross country after his 12th-place finish at the 2008 BIG EAST Championships. Saginus also just barely missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships after a 15th-place finish at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional.

At the Great Lakes Regional, Nelson helped the women finish seventh, while the men placed 16th. Leading the women at the Regional was junior Anna Weber who finished 25th overall in 21:57.7. Saginus and Weber were both named to the All-Great Lakes Regional Team.

On the track, Nelson oversaw cross country captain Jayne Grebinski's transformation into one of the best steeplechase runners in Marquette history in 2008. Grebinski, who stands 5-foot-2, is the school's record holder in the 5,000-meter run, but Nelson's mentoring helped the distance runner make the most of her athletic ability. Grebinski recorded the second-best time in school history in the steeplechase with a top time of 10:34.15 at Arkansas' John McDonnell Invitational.

Nelson has worked with NCAA West Preliminary Round participants Grebinski (2010), Bolgert (2010), Blake Johnson (2010 and 2011), Olivia Johnson (2010) and Nick Szcech (2010 and 2011). He also helped Grebinski (2008 and 2009) and Cassie Peller (2008) reach the Mid-East Regional.

The Fenton, Mo., native has also worked with seven USATF Junior National qualifiers and three individuals who earned All-American status at those championships.

With young rosters in his first season as cross country coach, both Marquette men's and women's cross country squads placed seventh in the BIG EAST Championships. In the 2007 NCAA Great Lakes Regional, the men took eighth place, while the women placed fourth. As assistant track coach, Nelson helps guide the distance runners, including Jayne Grebinski who claimed the best time in Marquette history in the 5,000 meters with a time of 16:45.96 in 2008.

Nelson spent two years at Saint Louis University where he was hired as the head cross country coach in 2005, and then founded the track and field program at SLU in the Spring of 2006. The Billikens encountered immediate success in both competition and the classroom, competing in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Before arriving at SLU, Nelson spent two years as a graduate assistant for the Emporia State University cross country and track and field teams. He also worked with ESU's distance runners on the track and field team and served as the recruiting coordinator for the squads. Nelson helped lead the Emporia State men to a second place finish at the 2004 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Cross Country Championships. His student-athletes won the men's 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter runs at the 2005 MIAA Outdoor Championships as ESU finished second in the team standings. Nelson coached women's school-record holders in the distance medley relay, the indoor 1,000 meter and a national qualifier in the 1,500 meter.

A 2003 graduate of Truman State University, Nelson was a four-time All-MIAA performer for the Bulldogs. He competed in the NCAA Division II cross country national championships as a junior and senior, and led his team to two top-10 finishes at the national meet. Nelson graduated cum laude from TSU with a degree in exercise science. He earned his master's degree in physical education from Emporia State in 2005.

Nelson has his USA Track & Field Level I and II (endurance) Certification and earned his endurance specialist certification in July 2011.

Nelson's Marquette Cross Country Coaching Record
Year Position at MU BIG EAST Cross Country Championships NCAA Great Lakes Regional
2012 Head Coach M: 8/14, W: 7/15 M: 15/30, W: 16/32
2011 Head Coach M: 7/14, W: 9/16 M: 8/31, W: 17/33
2010 Head Coach M: 8/14, W: 10/16 M: 10/31, W: 16/33
2009 Head Coach M: 7/14, W: 8/16 M: 12/30, W: 11/32
2008 Head Coach M: T-7/14, W: 7/16 M: 16/28, W: 7/34
2007 Head Coach M: 7/14, W: 7/16 M: 8/30, W: 4/30
Head Coach 6 years

CoSIDA Academic All-Americans 
2012 (M) Peter Bolgert (first team)
(W) Olivia Johnson (second team)
2011 (M) Peter Bolgert (first team)
(W) Olivia Johnson (first team)
2010 (M) Peter Bolgert (second team)
CoSIDA Academic All-District
2012 (M) Peter Bolgert
(W) Olivia Johnson
2011 (M) Peter Bolgert, Brice Cleland, Nick Sczcech
(W) Olivia Johnson
2010 (M) Peter Bolgert
Track and Field NCAA Outdoor Regional Participants
2013 (M) Jack Hackett (5,000)
2011 (M) Blake Johnson (10k), Nick Szczech (10k)
2010 (M) Peter Bolgert (steeplechase), Blake Johnson (Steeplechase)
(W) Jayne Grebinski (steeplechase), Olivia Johnson (1,500)
2009 (W) Jayne Grebinski (steeplechase)
2008 (W) Jayne Grebinski (5,000), Cassie Peller (1,500)
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