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Something to Prove

Renshaw Sets NAIA Weight Throw Record in Winning National Title

Kasey Renshaw’s initial motivation to throw a shot put was a milkshake from her eight grade gym teacher. Now, as a senior at Siena Heights University, the motivation is a little bigger: winning national championships.

“I was in gym class in eighth grade and my teacher, who also working with the track team here, said, ‘Hey, Kasey, if you can throw this shotput in the air this high, I will buy you a milkshake,’” she said. “That was the first time I ever touched a shot put, but I got the milkshake. After that they pretty much started recruiting me to Siena.”

While Renshaw was not as highly recruited as current NCAA Division I athletes out of high school, she’s proved to be one of the top indoor weight throwers in the country. Among all NCAA and NAIA divisions, Renshaw is one of the best throwers in the nation. Her 70-foot, 10-inch performance at the Indiana University Relays, where she placed first in a meet full of Division I athletes, proves it.

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Class Notes—Summer 2016

Tod Marshall
Tod Marshall

Notables:

Tod Marshall ’90 was named the 2016-18 Washington State Poet Laureate in January 2016. Marshall, who is in his 17th year of teaching at Gonzaga, had his term begin Feb. 1 and runs through Jan. 31, 2018. He directs the English department’s writing concentration. He started and continues to curate the Gonzaga University Visiting Writers Series. Called a “tireless advocate for the arts,” Marshall has been dedicated to bringing humanities experiences to underserved populations. Marshall is the author of three poetry collections: “Dare Say” (University of Georgia Press, 2002), “The Tangled Line” (Canarium Press, 2009), and “Bugle” (Canarium, 2014) the latter of which won the Washington State Book Award in 2015. The Washington State Poet Laureate Program is jointly sponsored by the Washington State Arts Commission and Humanities Washington. Poets Laureate work to build awareness and appreciation of poetry —including the state’s legacy of poetry—through public readings, workshops, lectures and presentations in communities statewide. Laureates are selected through an application and panel review process that evaluates a proposed project plan, writing acumen and experience in promoting poetry.

Zach Bailey
Zach Bailey

Zach Bailey ’14 is employed by Disney and helped market and manage the Invictus Games at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex May 8-12 in Orlando, Fla. The games, started by England’s Prince Harry to feature wounded veterans, hosted 14 different countries from around the world. Bailey worked directly with Prince Harry on the event. After the event, Bailey returned to his normal duties with Hollywood Studios.

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Class Notes—Fall 2016

Lenzey Stidham
Lenzey Stidham
Kyle Connors and Donovan Campbell
Kyle Connors and Donovan Campbell

Notables:

Teammates and former Siena Heights football All-Americans Kyle Connors ’15 and Donovan Campbell ’15 were part of the West Michigan Ironmen football team that reached the championship game of the American Indoor Football league in June 2016. Campbell, a tight end, caught three TD passes in the title game, a 74-32 loss to the Columbus Lions. Connors played offensive and defensive line for the Ironmen.

Lenzey Stidham ’13 was crowned Miss Cutler Bay USA 2017 in May 2016. She represented Cutler Bay at the Miss Florida USA state competition in July. Stidham will serve as the town’s good-will ambassador for the year and threw out the first pitch at a Miami Marlins baseball game. She is also the founder and CEO of 2BC Agency, a boutique modeling agency. She is a former national cham-pion for the Saints in the pole vault.

Jason Blickensdorf
Jason Blickensdorf

Jason Blickensdorf ’07, an officer with the Canton Town-ship (Mich.) Police Department, was named the Officer of the Year by the Police Officers Association of Michigan in May 2016. He was honored at a special ceremony at the Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids, Mich (below). The award recognizes officers who have exhibited bravery, integrity and served with dignity in the line of duty.

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