Class of 2006
A seven-time All-American, Mike Pockoski is the most celebrated track athlete in WPI history. He holds four school records: shot put (50 feet, 6 inches), discus (170-3), hammer (197-3) and weight throw (62-1), the most held by any male athlete at WPI.
He began to make his mark regionally and nationally as a sophomore when he placed third in the hammer throw at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The following season, Mike took the hammer title (190-7) at the New England Division III Outdoor Championships. His success at the NCAA Championships continued as he brought home a fourth place finish in the weight throw during the indoor championships and was runner-up in the hammer throw and sixth in the discus at the outdoor championships.
Mike achieved his best performances during his senior campaign. He won three titles at the New England Division III championships, including record-setting performances in the weight throw (621/2) at the Indoors and in the hammer (195-51/2) during the Outdoors while also winning the discus (167-10) title. He earned three All-America awards after placing fourth in the weight throw at the Indoors and second in the hammer and sixth in the discus at the Outdoors. Because of his stellar performances in 1999, WPI finished 22nd in the nation.
Based on his achievements, as well as his two NEWMAC championships and All-ECAC performances (hammer champion and fifth place in the discus), Mike was named WPI's Senior Varsity Club Athlete and NECAC Athlete of the Year.
"Without a doubt, he was the greatest weightman WPI has ever had," says Hall of Fame coach Merl Norcross. Mike Pockowski not only did it on the track, he also did it in the classroom. The two-time College Sports Information Directors of America (CO-SIDA) Academic First-Team All-American ('98 and '99) was named an ECAC Scholar-Athlete in each of those two seasons.
After receiving his bachelor's degree in civil engineering, he earned an MS in geotechnical engineering the following year from Virginia Tech, attending on a Charles E. Via Fellowship. He currently trains with four-time Olympian and former world record-holder John Powell (discus). He's been to every U.S. National Track and Field Championship since graduating from WPI and he competed in the last Olympic trials (2004). He has increased his personal best hammer throw over 70 meters since his school-record throw on Boynton Hill. He also competes annually in the Highland Games, where he has been a champion twice and runner-up once. Mike now lives in Las Vegas, where he is a project manager for Kleinfelder.