JMSS Alumni Headed To The Hall


Chatham’s Marcia Thiesen (Athlete-Modern) and Juli Elders (Athlete-Legend) will be honoured September 15 at the annual Chatham Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Theisen, an accomplished volleyball palyer, and Elders, who excelled in track and field, and weightlifting, are both John McGregor Secondary School alumni.

Below are bios and accomplishments for each:

Athlete – Modern Marcia Thiesen

Marcia was born in Chatham, starred in volleyball and basketball at John McGregor Secondary School, received a full scholarship to play volleyball at the University of Pittsburgh, a Division 1 school, where she excelled, and then went on to play professionally in Europe.

  • 1992-97 – attended John McGregor Secondary School – played volleyball, basketball, and track and field – was chosen Female Athlete of the Year two times running in ‘95-’96 and ’96-’97 – twice county all-star in both basketball and volleyball
  • was a member of Region 3 volleyball team during the summer of 1994 and 1995 – was member of Ontario Provincial Team in the summer of 1996 and 1997 becoming the first Chatham volleyball player to make the Provincial Team
  • 1997 – as member of the Provincial Team, competed in Canada Summer Games and was named to the All-tournament Team
  • 1997-2002 – attended University of Pittsburgh on a full athletic scholarship making her the first local girl to play at a Division 1 school – she excelled and earned a starting position each year after being red-shirted her first year
  • after senior year, was inducted into University of Pittsburgh’s Varsity Walk and Hall of Fame awarded to the most outstanding female athlete of the year
  • was recognized by American Volleyball Coaches’ Association for outstanding academic achievement three times
  • 2006 – went to Europe to play professional volleyball for 3 years, first in Austria then in Spain where she played on a first division team in 2007-08 – twice was named to all-star teams of the week
  • was first Chatham native to play professional volleyball

Athlete – Legend Juli Elders

Juli was born in Chatham in 1971, attended John McGregor Secondary School where she starred in track and field and basketball, went on to the University of Manitoba where she excelled in field events, and successfully competed provincially, nationally, and internationally.

  • 1984-89 – attended John McGregor Secondary School – participated in track and field and basketball – won more OFSAA medals than any other student in history of JMSS, winning 6 in track and 2 in basketball
  • 1988 and 1989 named JMSS Female Academic Athlete as well as Athlete of the Year in both years – was class Valedictorian in 1989
  • during high school, took part in Legion track meets – 1986 – was best in Canada for her age winning the 15 years and under Canadian Legion National shot put championship – 1990 was again best in Canada in 19 and under shot put competition
  • 1989-94 – received financial aid (scholarship) and attended the University of Manitoba where she excelled
  • in her first year, was named CIAU All-Canadian based on silver medal in university shot put – set new University of Manitoba shot put record
  • 1990-91 – placed 6th and then 4th in each of her last 3 years of CIAU competition
  • 1992-93 – was a CIAU Academic All-Canadian based on an 80% average with a full academic load
  • Juli is an honoured member of the university’s “Bison Sports Walkway of Honour”
  • during her university years, took part in open (all ages, not just university students) track meets
  • from 1990 to 1993, she was 4 time Manitoba Provincial Champion in shot put and finished 2nd in 1994 and 1995
  • 1992 and 2003 – was Manitoba discus champion
  • competed at several Open National Championships in both shot put and discus
  • also excelled at Olympic Weightlifting involving 2 lifts, the clean and jerk and the snatch
  • 1991 – set Manitoba provincial record and won bronze at Canada Winter Games
  • 1993 – at Canadian (Olympic) Weightlifting Championships, finished 2nd overall (1st in clean and jerk and second in snatch)
  • competed three times internationally representing Canada
  • 1990 – was chosen to represent Canada at the International Junior Summer Games held in Columbus, Ohio where she placed fifth against athletes from Canada, USA, Mexico, and Cuba
  • 1992 – was chosen to represent Canada internationally on the Espoir Team, a group of ‘hopeful’ athletes 23 years and under against a team from Northern Ireland at a meet in B. C. where she placed 5th in shot put and 6th in discus
  • 1995 – competed as a member of Canada’s National Track Team at the World Student Games in Fukuoka, Japan, where 160 nations were represented – placed 16th in shot put
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