The UW-Eau Claire men's track and field team had never claimed first in a running event at the NCAA Indoor Nationals until this past season when they captured first in not one but two events. In this week's Gordy's Athlete of the Week, Jenn Chapman highlights Blugold standout Thurgood Dennis who was a part of both titles.
Thurgood Dennis captured gold in the 60meter dash and then anchored the first place 4x400 relay at the NCAA D3 Indoor track and field nationals. Both races were won in school record fashion. Dennis also plays corner on the Blugold football team.
"As long as I'm still passionate about both, to me it's not a toll, it's not a huge toll because I just love doing it so much," says Dennis.
"Even though track is his number 2 sport you would never know it by his work ethic," says head track and field coach, Chip Schneider. "He puts in 100 percent to whatever he is doing that season."
Thurgood is only a sophomore and already a 7x All-American in D3 track. This 2 sport athlete who once was told he was too small for college athletics, says that didn't stop him from dreaming big.
"Always have a dream and always stick to that dream. Never ever give up, even when it seems hard, stay with it and have that big picture focus. Every day you take it day by day but as long as you can step back and zoom out and look, like that's where I want to be in the end, keep that focus and I think you'll do really well."
Dennis is known for more than his lightning quick speed, his teammates say there is one word to describe him.
"He's very humble for as good as he is. He doesn't ever stop working," says teammate Jacob Dennis-Oehling. "He doesn't get content and he pushes his teammates to work hard too."
"The best teammate a kid could ask for. He's really humble. Comes every day to practice with a smile on his face, never complains about anything. And then talent on top of that is just the icing on the cake," adds Schneider