Rochester, Murray named January Kiwanis MSHS Athletes of the Month

MARQUETTE – The Superiorland Kiwanis Club named its Marquette Senior High School Athletes of the Month for January at a recent breakfast meeting.

Honorees are Avery Rochester from the Redettes’ gymnastics team and Blake Murray from the school Nordic ski team.

Rochester, the daughter of Glen and Julie Rochester, is a senior and four-year member of the gymnastics squad that is coached by Kris Lakenen.

She qualified this winter for the MHSAA regionals for the third straight year, finishing as runner-up in the all-around competition at the recent Escanaba Invitational that included teams from the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin.

Also a letterwinner in varsity cheer, soccer and golf, she was girls golf champion in U.P. Division 1 and the Great Northern Conference last spring while also becoming the youngest to ever win the U.P. Ladies Golf Association’s annual championship tournament during the summer.

Rochester was a member of Marquette’s U.P. soccer championship team that played during the same season as golf.

She has volunteered at many golf events, including the NMU Golf Course summer camp, Marquette County Junior Golf program and the Blueberry Classic golf outing.

Her 3.92 grade-point average helped secure admission at Columbia College in Columbia, Mo., where she plans to major in premedicine. She received a 75 percent scholarship to play golf there.

Murray, the son of Sean Murray and Ursula Stock, is a four-year member of the Joe Graci-coached MSHS’ Nordic ski team, having joined when it was formed in 2010.

He began racing as a member in the junior program of the Superiorland Ski Club. Then as an MSHS freshman, Murray was invited to the J2 national training camp, and he has continued to be successful as part of the Great Lakes Division junior national team, along with being the 2012 individual pursuit state champion, and 2013 Junior Noquemanon 10-kilometer freestyle junior national qualifier champion.

Murray gets a chance to defend his state title at Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming during the Nordic state championship this weekend.

He spent last summer volunteering with a local builder on several construction projects and has helped with many Superiorland Ski Club events.

Murray has a 3.871 GPA and has taken online courses and Northern Michigan University classes in addition to his regular class load at MSHS. He was chosen as a Rotary Exchange student for 2013 and will spend 10 months in Turkey attending school and learning its culture.