Marquette Wire

Bucking the trend

tom.blair@marquette.edu

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The Dodgeville native transferred to Marquette from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and will be running for the women’s cross country team this season.

Courtney was red-shirted last year and will have freshman eligibility for the upcoming season.

After a promising career at Dodgeville High School, Courtney was recruited by several top schools in the Midwest, among them the University of Illinois, University of Iowa, Purdue and Wisconsin.

Eventually Wisconsin came out on top, keeping in line with her family history. Her parents and an aunt all went there, and her mother even ran under the same head coach — Peter Tegen — that Michaela would be running under.

However, Courtney found Madison to be far from Badger heaven. Workouts were overly intense, and the team didn’t exactly provide a caring environment, she said.

“We only had practice three days a week, but it was (a demanding workout) all the time,” Courtney said. “It wasn’t a really close-knit team, and it was really competitive.”

Eventually, the strenuous workouts took their toll, and Courtney was stricken with two critical injuries: She fractured her hip in the fall cross country season and suffered a stress reaction in her femur last spring.

Her running days at Wisconsin ended. She red-shirted the rest of the year and had pretty much decided that a transfer to another school was in order.

That’s when she made a trip to see an old high school friend who just happened to be on Marquette’s men’s cross country team, sophomore Tommy Schmitz. She was impressed with what she saw.

“I met the team, met the coach, saw the campus and really liked it a lot,” Courtney said.

Head coach Dave Uhrich already knew of Courtney’s talent. He had tried to recruit her before Wisconsin snapped her up, so when he caught wind of Courtney’s possible transfer, he decided to investigate the possibility of making her a Golden Eagle.

“When I heard that Courtney wanted to transfer, we got a release from Wisconsin giving us permission to talk to her,” Uhrich said. “I knew how good she was in high school (because) I’d seen her run at state meets.”

Courtney, meanwhile, knew she wanted to come to Marquette as soon as she feasted her eyes on this the team. In April, she made her final decision to transfer.

Courtney feels she has finally found a home, and with a fully functional femur and hip she is looking forward to the upcoming season.

“I love it,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier. It’s definitely been fun. I feel closer to my team here within the last two weeks than I ever felt at Madison after a whole year. I’m excited for everything to come.”

Uhrich feels Courtney has the potential to make a very real impact with the Golden Eagles.

“She’s extremely talented and has never really trained that hard and still has been very successful,” Uhrich said. “So even though she’s only a freshman eligibility-wise, I see her being as able to be one of the top runners on the team right away.

“The early workouts indicate that she can definitely compete for being one of the top five runners on the team.”

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