SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A Lake Superior State University student-athlete who was a Negaunee track and field standout as well as an exceptional high school football and basketball player, was found dead in his residence hall on Sunday, Aug. 22.
LSSU Public Safety reports that Dillon Menard (Negaunee, Mich.), a member of the LSSU Track and Field team, appears to have died of natural causes. An autopsy is being conducted in Marquette. A sophomore, Menard would have been starting his second year in the engineering program.
\”Our hearts go out to the members of Dillon\’s family and his friends,\” said LSSU President Tony McLain. \”He was an exceptional student and athlete who was part of an LSSU track and field team that is one of the most close-knit teams we\’ve seen on campus.\”
An honor roll student at Negaunee High School, Menard was an Upper Peninsula track and field champion in several events, including the 110-meter hurdles in 2009 and 2007. He also came in second in the long jump and fourth in the high jump in 2009, and third in the high jump and sixth in the long jump in 2007.
In 2008, the 6-foot high school senior was unanimously selected as All-Mid-Peninsula Conference Defensive Back. He also played guard for the Negaunee H.S. basketball team. Menard continued showing promise on the field at LSSU, scoring well in the men\’s high jump, among other events. He placed 11th in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Outdoor long jump last May and was 11th in the high jump at the GLIAC Indoor Championships last March. He also competed in hurdles.
\”I wish to pass my condolences to Dillon\’s family as well as our track and field coaches and athletes,\” said Kris Dunbar, LSSU Director of Athletics. \”All of our student-athletes share a special bond, and words cannot express how saddened we are to lose a member of the Laker family. For some, the start of the school year will be difficult, but the athletes will rally around each other and there is a lot of support here.\”
Members of the LSSU counseling staff met with resident assistants, Public Safety staff and others on Sunday evening to reflect on Menard\’s life, honor him and offer counseling to friends of Menard on campus. LSSU\’s Student Life office urged any friends or teammates of Menard to contact any of several campus resources developed for such tragedies. Call any resident assistant in the campus residence halls, LSSU Counseling Services, 906-635-2752, Campus Public Safety, 635-2210, or Hiawatha Behavioral Health\’s 24-hour Crisis Intervention Services, 800-839-9443.
Funeral services are still being arranged and will be announced as soon as they are known.