BELOIT—Beloit College’s Hall of Honor will add four elite former student-athletes during a ceremony at noon Sunday in The Powerhouse.
Track and field standout Djuvane Browne (2004), baseball star Casey Nelson (2003) and two female Buccaneers who excelled in both volleyball and basketball, Katie McCool Nichols (2008) and Mary Parker (2010), will also be saluted at halftime of Beloit’s Homecoming football game at Strong Stadium on Saturday.
• DJUVANE BROWNE: Brown was a two-time NCAA All-American Outdoor Track and Field athlete in 2003-04 and three-time Midwest Conference champion in the high jump in 2001, 2003 and 2004.
“Djuvane was a special athlete,” said his coach Brian Bliese. “Everyone at meets knew when he was competing. His skill set was amazing and his style and charisma at meets was off the charts intimidating to his competition. The bigger the meet, the more Djuvane showed up. He loved to perform on the biggest stage possible.”
Browne shares the school record in the indoor high jump with a height of 2.02 meters (6-feet 7.625 inches) with Scott Schleich (1993). During his senior year, Browne finished fifth in the high jump at the NCAA championship (6-9) after finishing fourth at the national meet the year before.
• CASEY NELSON: Baseball coach Dave DeGeorge ranks Nelson as one of the most versatile athletes in the history of the program.
“He excelled as a hitter, pitcher and defender. His best position on defense was first base, where his play was outstanding,” DeGeorge said. “He applied tags like he was hammering a nail. For the good of the team, for one season, he played second base. At 6-3, he may be the tallest second baseman in league history. Even away from his best position, Nelson earned all-conference recognition.”
A California native, the 2003 graduate held career school marks ranking in the top five all-time for batting average (.354), doubles (30), total bases (172), putouts (481), triples (four), home runs (nine), runs batted in (67), hit by pitch (18), hits (107) and fielding percentage (.973).
Nelson also achieved multiple game and season records. He had five hits in a single game and also registered 14 strikeouts as a pitcher. Both marks are still records.
MWC coaches selected Nelson First Team All-MWC in 2001-02-03. His teammates voted him Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2003, Hitter of the Year in 2001 and 2003 and Pitcher of the Year in 2003. He also earned Team MVP in 2003.
• KATELYN McCOOL NICHOLS: Katie McCool was a tall offensive power in basketball and an intimidating force at the net in volleyball.
A four-year letterwinner in volleyball, in 2006 as a junior she helped the Bucs win their second MWC Championship and qualify for their first NCAA Tournament.
“She was a talented middle hitter and an awesome blocker as her records show,” former head coach Ken Yasukawa said. “She always played with a smile and was good-natured, but also a fierce competitor.”
McCool earned First Team All-MWC honors in volleyball three straight seasons (2004-06). She ranks as one of the best at the net in program history, ranking sixth in the MWC record book in career kills and eighth in career blocks.
She set multiple match and season records at Beloit. When he graduated, she ranked in the career top five in kills (1,477), hitting percentage (.285), block assists (363) and total blocks (549).
In basketball, McCool was named First Team All-MWC in 2007 and Second Team All-MWC in 2008. She scored over 800 points and grabbed more than 450 rebounds while blocking nearly 100 shots during her career. She had 31 points in a game against Dominican in 2007 and ranks third in career blocks (97).
McCool earned the 2007 Donald “Red” Janssen Award, which honors Beloit’s top female athlete through her junior year. In 2008, she was earned the Ruth Peterson Award for being Beloit’s top senior female student-athlete.
MARY PARKER: The multi-talented Parker was a four-year starter and letterwinner for both the volleyball and basketball teams. She helped lead the volleyball team to the 2010 MWC Tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. She earned First Team All-MWC honors in 2008 and 2009 and was named Second Team All-MWC in 2010.
“In volleyball, many excellent players are specialists, playing only in the front row (offense/blocking) or back row (defense), but because of her skill, leadership, and competitive spirit, MP was a player who needed to be on the court at all times, a so-called six-rotation player,” Yasukawa said.
Parker set top five marks in sets and matches for kills and digs. She finished her career third all-time with 1,954 digs.
MWC basketball coaches were also impressed with Parker. She was named First Team All-MWC in 2008-09 and 2009-10. She ranks in the top five for game and season records for steals and rebounds. Her career top five marks include assists (408), steals (265) and free throws (297).
In 2009, Parker earned the Janssen Award and in 2010 she received the Peterson Award.