Huskers Mourn Loss of Former Husker

Former Nebraska two-time NCAA All-American Mark Graham was killed in Afghanistan Monday while serving a tour of duty with the Canadian military.

The 33-year-old Graham died in a friendly fire incident where two American aircraft mistakenly fired on a Canadian platoon during an operation battling Taliban insurgents. While 30 other soldiers were injured in the accident, Graham was the lone casualty.

Graham was the oldest of three brothers, and he had one daughter.

A Jamaican native, Graham grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, and later competed for the Nebraska track and field program for two seasons. As a freshman, he claimed a pair of All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships by finishing seventh in the 400-meter dash, while also running on NU's eighth-place 4x400-meter relay. Graham also won the Big Eight indoor title in the 400 that same season, while adding an outdoor conference crown in the 4x400-meter relay. Following an injury-plagued sophomore season, Graham followed former Nebraska assistant coach Steve Rainbolt to Kent State in 1995.

Graham arrived at Nebraska sporting world-class credentials, as he was a member of Canada's 4x400-meter relay team that competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Individually, he also won a pair of silver medals at the 1993 and 1994 Canadian national championships. Graham's indoor time of 46.73 and outdoor mark of 46.16 still rank second and sixth, respectively, on NU's all-time charts.

"Mark was a great person and probably one of the most gifted student-athletes we have ever had here at Nebraska," Husker Head Coach Gary Pepin said Tuesday. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

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