Sprinting to Fame

Ex-Tiger standout Ver Duin inducted into WISTCA Hall of Fame


MARCUS VER DUIN, shown winning a sprint race during his memorable track career at Howards Grove, won every individual race he competed in during his senior season in 2002. — Submitted photo MARCUS VER DUIN, shown winning a sprint race during his memorable track career at Howards Grove, won every individual race he competed in during his senior season in 2002. — Submitted photo HOWARDS GROVE — Marcus Ver Duin was motivated since he was a youth to be the best sprinter he could possibly be. That mindset propelled him to an amazing track career at Howards Grove High School and earned him a place in the Wisconsin Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Ver Duin, a 2002 high school graduate, was inducted Feb. 8 at the 25th annual WISTCA Hall of Fame Banquet in Madison. He won numerous state track meet medals, set several records at various levels and played a huge role in the Tigers winning the 2004 Division 3 state championship.

“It really meant a lot [to be inducted], with all the hard work that went into the training part of it, starting back to second grade and third grade when we had the YMCA track and Hershey track [youth programs],” said Ver Duin.


MARCUS VER DUIN, a 2002 Howards Grove High School graduate and one of the top sprinters in state history, was recently inducted into the Wisconsin Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Ver Duin is holding his HOF plaque and wearing the three gold medals he won in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter races at the 2002 D-3 state meet. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley MARCUS VER DUIN, a 2002 Howards Grove High School graduate and one of the top sprinters in state history, was recently inducted into the Wisconsin Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Ver Duin is holding his HOF plaque and wearing the three gold medals he won in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter races at the 2002 D-3 state meet. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley “I didn’t expect to be honored in that way. There are a lot of big names on that [HOF] list. It’s a great honor but now that it’s happened, it’s hard to comprehend.

“You look back at the years – all the practices and the people involved. I was kind of speechless [when notified about being inducted],” said Ver Duin.

“I’d like to thank the Track Coaches Association for this honor, and a special thanks to Craig Shepard [WISTCA awards chairperson and historian].

Hall of Fame selections are based on each individual’s accomplishments during their high school track careers. Ver Duin was one of eight athletes who were inducted this year.

Ver Duin climaxed his high school track career with a goldmedal sweep in the sprints at the D-3 state meet as a senior in 2002. He won the 100-, 200- and 400-meter races, setting a meet record in the 200 in 21.89 seconds which stood until two years ago. Ver Duin earned a combined 10 state medals during his four seasons from 1999-2002.

“In a way, I wasn’t surprised [with his successful track career] because everything worked out like I had planned it in my head,” said Ver Duin.

“I knew I had great natural talent and that I should beat everyone, and that was my mindset. My dad was very fast and competed in track at Sheboygan South and ran in college.”

Ver Duin said his family, teammates and coaches also helped him a lot.

“It was a great career but I couldn’t have done it without my parents [Terry and Mary Ver Duin], brother [Nick], sister [Angela], my coaches and teammates. Everyone had a part in it,” he noted.

“My dad got me started early [running track]. One of the big things was not being pushed by my parents or anyone else. I loved track so much and everyone was always so supportive,” he pointed out.

Mike Schroeder was Ver Duin’s head coach and Andy Hansen was his sprint coach in high school.

Ver Duin’s fast start out of the starting blocks, and his technique and form were crucial to his racing prowess.

“In about 99 percent of my races, after my first two steps I was still out ahead of everyone despite my short stature [Ver Duin was 5-feet-6 in high school]. I had that quick burst,” he recalled.

“That initial burst out of the gate and my form were a big deal.

“We worked a lot on technical stuff in practice. Coach Hansen helped me a lot with my form and technique.

“The biggest thing was getting my form down, along with the natural talent,” said Ver Duin, 30, who competed in college track one year at UW-Stevens Point.

“His induction into the track hall is fitting. When Marcus ran, the whole meet stopped to watch, even at state,” said Hansen.

“Marcus never lost a race outside of the state track meet. He had a super powerful and quick start, and that was his greatest strength.

Ver Duin shared some of his fondest track memories at Howards.

“We won a lot of meets, and being a smaller school, a lot of people counted us out. Getting our new track finished [in 2001]. Going undefeated in all of my races [in the 100, 200 and 400 dashes] in my senior year,” he said.

“Winning all three races at state was definitely a highlight. I was thrilled to death to win at state.

“There were a few races I didn’t win early on [in his career]. I truly believe I could’ve won a few more state medals but I was young and I didn’t have the whole right mindset.

“I got intimidated in a way in my first state meet as a freshman and it was a good learning experience. By the time I got to my senior year I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way, and I knew I’m the best sprinter out here.

“I struggled a little my sophomore year but set the state record [in D-3] in the 100 in the prelims with 10.78 seconds, and that record still stands,” said Ver Duin.

“I expected a lot of myself. Nick and I pushed each other and helped each other. I’m proud of him.”

Nick Ver Duin was also a standout sprinter at Howards and was Marcus’ teammate for two years, including the state title team, before graduating in 2004. Nick was an All-American runner at UWStevens Point.

“It was absolutely a team effort winning the state championship. Track can be so individual but can also be associated with a lot of teamwork and that’s what the state championship was,” said Marcus.

“Marcus had amazing talent and amazing commitment. Marcus took care of himself physically all-year-long,” Hansen said.

“He would enter the track season in very good condition, therefore training to reach the highest levels was easier.

Marcus had a great beginning to his track career. His dad laid an awesome foundation for Marcus,” said Hansen, Howards Grove Middle School principal.

“It was an honor for me to work with Marcus. Marcus was a true leader and model for the other athletes both boys and girls.”

Marcus, who works in the golf maintenance department at the Ozaukee Country Club in Mequon, helped coach the sprinters at Howards a few years back as a volunteer and would like to get back into coaching in the future.

“It was a great feeling teaching them the right form. I hope that helped them because you have to have the right base,” he said.

“I would love to get back into coaching at Howards Grove, if not somewhere else, even if it’s a few days a week. Track was a passion for me – the first thing I really fell in love with. I liked the challenge.”

Marcus Ver Duin’s High School Track Career Highlights
• 2002 – won Division 3 state titles in 100- 200- and
400-meter races.
• Won 10 state medals from 1999-2002.
• In 2002, won every individual race he competed in.
• 100-meter time of 10.4 seconds in 2000 ranks on the
All-Time Wisconsin Best List.
• Undefeated in 100 and 200 in Central Lakeshore Conference, regionals and sectionals in 1999-2002.
• Holds D-3 state record in 100-meter dash at 10.78 seconds.


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