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USATF Announces Nat’l Track & Field Hall of Fame Finalists

USATF announces National Track & Field Hall of Fame Finalists

INDIANAPOLIS
– USA Track & Field on Friday announced the finalists for the
“Class of 2008” for the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.

In
conjunction with USATF’s 2008 Annual Meeting in Reno, Nev., this year’s
Hall of Fame Inductions will take place Saturday, December 6, at the
Silver Legacy Resort in Reno.

Starting in 2003 the
Hall of Fame Steering Committee and Board of Directors modernized the
screening, nomination and voting processes, creating four categories in
which individuals may be voted into the Hall of Fame. Those categories
are: Modern athletes, retired 5 to 25 years; Veteran athletes, retired
more than 25 years; Coaches; and Contributors. Each category has its
own selection committee that chooses the finalists from a list of
nominees. Members of the selection committees examine the nominations
and evaluate their merit based on objective criteria. This year’s
election will include the three categories seen below.

*Modern athletes, retired 5 to 25 years

*Veteran athletes, retired more than 25 years

*Contributors

Elections
for Modern and Veteran athletes are held each year. Beginning in 2005,
elections for Coaches are held in odd numbered years, with Contributors
elections in even numbered years. Hall of Fame inductees, members of
the National Track & Field Hall of Fame Board and Committees and
members of the media comprise the National Track & Field Hall of
Fame electorate.

The 2008 finalists for election to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame are as follows, in alphabetical order:

MODERN ATHLETES

JOETTA CLARK:
Four-time Olympian (’88, ’92, ’96, ’00), best finish 7th in 1992 …
five-time World Outdoor Championships team member (’87, ’91, ’93, ’95,
’97) best finish 7th in 1997 …five-time World Indoor Championships
team member (’87, ’89, ’91, ’93, ’97), bronze medalist & medley
relay gold medalist in1993 … four-time World Cup team member (’85,
’89, ’92, ’94), silver medalist in 1992 … five-time USA Outdoor
champion, five-time USA Indoor champion, two-time NCAA Outdoor
champion, three-time NCAA Indoor champion … ranked top 10 in the
world by Track & Field News seven times.

HOLLIS CONWAY:
Two-time Olympic medalist in the men’s high jump, silver medalist in
1988, bronze in 1992…two-time World Outdoor Championships team
member, bronze medal in 1991…1991 World Indoor champion, 8th in
1993…five-time USA Outdoor champion… four-time USA Indoor
champion…1989 NCAA Outdoor champion…1988-’89 NCAA Indoor
champion…two-time U.S. Outdoor record holder…three-time U.S. Indoor
record setter (one tie)…ranked top ten in the world by Track &
Field News six times (#1 twice).

LANCE DEAL:
Four-time Olympian, silver medalist in hammer in 1996…four-time World
Outdoor Championships team member, best finish 5th in 1995…three-time
World Cup team member, 2nd in 1989, 3rd in 1992, 2nd in
1994…nine-time USA Outdoor hammer champion…12-time USA Indoor
35-lb. weight throw champion…three-time (and current) USA hammer
throw record holder (one tie)…13-time (and current) USA Indoor 35-lb.
weight throw record holder…ranked top ten in the world by Track &
Field News on six occasions (#1 in 1996).

JOHNNY GRAY:
Four-time Olympian, 800m bronze medalist in 1992…three-time World
Championships team member, best finish sixth in 1991…seven-time U.S.
800m champion…1986 USA Indoor 1,000y champion…five-time (and
current) USA 800m outdoor record holder (one tie)…five-time (and
current) USA 800m indoor record holder…set U.S. 1,000y indoor record
in 1986…world ranked top ten 11 times by Track & Field News.

KENNY HARRISON:
1996 Olympic triple jump gold medalist … three-time World Outdoor
Championships team member (’91, ’93, ’97) and 1991 gold medalist …
four-time USA Outdoor Champion, two-time USA Indoor champion, 1986 NCAA
Outdoor champion, 1986 NCAA Indoor long jump champion, 1988 NCAA Indoor
triple jump champion … two-time and current U.S. triple jump record
holder, six times ranked top ten in the world by Track & Field
News, #1 in 1990 & 1991 … finished #4 in T&FN Men’s World
Athlete of the Year voting in 1990.

STEVE LEWIS:
1988 Olympic 400m gold medalist…1992 Olympic 400m silver
medalist…1988 Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist (2nd leg) =world
record 2:54.16…1992 Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist (anchor) world
record 2:55.74…1990 USA Outdoor 400m champion…1990 NCAA Outdoor
400m champion…seven times ranked top ten in the world by Track &
Field News, #2 in 1989 & 1992.

ANDRE PHILLIPS:
1988 Olympic 400m hurdles gold medalist…5th at 1983 World Outdoor
Championships…1st at 1985 World Cup…1985 USA Outdoor 400m hurdles
champion…1981 NCAA Outdoor 400m hurdles champion…world ranked nine
times top ten at 400m hurdles by Track & Field News, ranked #1 in
world in 1985, 1986, 1988 …world ranked #3 in 110m hurdles in 1985.
RANDY WILLIAMS: Olympic long jump gold medalist in 1972, silver
medalist in 1976…qualified for 1980 Olympic Team, but did not compete
because of U.S. boycott…USA Outdoor long jump champion in 1973…USA
Indoor champion in 1973…NCAA Outdoor champion in 1972…NCAA Indoor
champion in 1973…world ranked four times by Track & Field News
(#1 in 1972).

VETERAN ATHLETES

AL BLOZIS:
Three-time USA Outdoor shot put champion…three-time USA Indoor shot
put champion…three-time NCAA champion…three-time IC4A shot put and
discus champion…three-time IC4A Indoor shot put champion…four-time
shot put indoor world record holder…world ranked in shot put four
times, ranked #1 in world in 1940, 1941, 1942…world ranked in discus
throw three times … Helms Track & Field Hall of Fame inductee.

DON BOWDEN:
1956 Olympian in 1,500 meters…1957 NCAA Outdoor 880y champion…U.S.
mile record holder (3:58.7, 1957) as first American to break four
minutes in the mile …world ranked #3 in 800 meters by Track &
Field News in 1957.

BILL CARR:
1932 Olympic 400m gold medalist…1932 Olympic 4x400m relay gold
medalist in world record time of 3:08.2…400m world record of 46.28
set in 1932…1932 Olympic Trials and AAU national 400m champion…1931
AAU Indoor national 300-yards champion…1932 IC4A 440-yards
champion…ranked #1 in 400m in world in 1932…named men’s #1 400m
runner for 1925-49 by Track & Field News World Athletes of the
Century.

CLARENCE DeMAR:
Bronze medalist in 1924 Olympic marathon…12th at 1912 Olympic
marathon… 27th at 1928 Olympic marathon…U.S. marathon champion in
1926, 1927, 1928…10 times ranked top five in the world in marathon
over a span from 1910 to 1930, ranked #1 in world three times (1911,
1922, 1930)…Helms Track & Field Hall of Fame inductee.

PAT McDONALD:
1912 Olympic shot put gold medalist…1920 Olympic 56-pound weight
throw gold medalist…1912 Olympic shot put (both hands) silver
medalist…4th place in shot put at 1920 Olympics…six-time U.S.
Outdoor shot put champion…1920 Olympic Trials shot put
champion…10-time U.S. Outdoor 56-pound weight throw
champion…11-time AAU Indoor shot put champion…ranked top ten in the
world in shot put each year from 1909-1923, #1 in world 1911, 1912,
1917, 1918, 1921…ranked top ten in the world in hammer throw three
times…1952 Helms Track & Field Hall of Fame inductee.

ELEANOR MONTGOMERY:
Two-time Olympic women’s high jumper…six-time USA Outdoor
champion…six-time USA Indoor champion…two-time U.S. outdoor record
holder…four-time U.S. indoor record holder…world ranked in women’s
high jump five times, including #2 in 1967.

WILLIE STEELE:
1948 Olympic long jump gold medalist…two-time USA Outdoor
champion…1948 Olympic Trials champion…two-time NCAA long jump
champion… world ranked four times, #1 on three occasions: 1946, 1947,
1948.

BERNIE WEFERS:
Three-time USA 100y and 220y champion… two-time IC4A 100y
champion…1896 IC4A 220y champion… tied 100y world record
three-times …two-time 220y-straight world record holder…220y-turn
world record holder…four times world ranked in 100m/100y, three times
#1 …four times world ranked in 200m/200y, three times #1…two times
world ranked at 400m/440y…won 100y (=WR) and 220y (WR) at 1895 New
York A.C. vs. London A.C. dual meet, the first major international dual
meet…he is the only sprinter other than Hall of Fame inductee Ralph
Metcalfe to win three consecutive national championships 100/200
doubles.

CONTRIBUTORS BIOS

JIMMY CARNES:
The founder of the Florida Track Club, whose members included Hall of
Fame inductees Frank Shorter and Marty Liquori, as well as Jack
Bachelor and Steve Williams among others, Jimmy Carnes later served as
the Executive Director of the United States Track Coaches Association
and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the United States Sports
Academy. The former President of The Athletics Congress (now USA Track
& Field) Carnes served as an assistant coach for the 1976 U.S.
Olympic track & field team in Montreal, and was selected the head
coach for the U.S. Olympic men’s team for the 1980 Olympic Games.
Carnes was head track coach at Furman University from 1962-1964, and at
the University of Florida from 1964-1976. Two of the track teams he
coached at Furman won both the Southern Conference Indoor and Outdoor
titles, and his Florida teams captured two SEC Indoor Championships.

TED CORBITT:
A leading proponent of long distance running in the U.S., Ted Corbitt
served as a founder and the first president of the New York Road
Runners Club from 1958-1960. The president of the Road Runners Club of
America from 1960-1961, Corbitt was the chairman of the AAU National
Long Distance Running Committee from 1965-1968. The original standard
bearer for long distance running road course certification, Corbitt
published a book on the subject through the Road Runners Club of
America in 1960. As the founder of USA Track & Field’s Road Running
Technical Council, Corbitt managed a national program for accurate road
measurement and certification, established and maintained a national
list of certified courses, and selected, trained and supervised road
course certifiers. Died December 11, 2007.

PATRICIA RICO:
Active in track and field as an athlete and administrator, Pat Rico
served as the president of USA Track & Field from 1996 through
2000, where during her tenure she was the architect of a two-year
restructuring of the governing body. A competitor in the discus throw
at the 1960 U.S. Olympic Trials, Rico has served the sport in many
capacities. Shortly after retiring from competition, she co-founded
Track Mirror, the first American publication for women’s track and
field. She also began an association with the sport’s national
governing body, where she served as USATF’s chair of the women’s track
and field committee for two terms (1971-75, 1984-88). Elected to the
IAAF Women’s Committee in 1976 through 1999, Rico fought to broaden
women’s events in the Olympic program. She has been on several
international staffs, including the 1984 Olympics as women’s head
manager and as Chef de Mission for the 1986 Goodwill Games. She also
was assistant director of the USA/Mobil Indoor Track & Field
Championships from 1979-1995, working with her husband, Heliodoro, on
the event.

BROWNING ROSS:
In 1957, Ross formed the Philadelphia Road Runners Club, which expanded
into a national organization a year later and became what is today the
180,000-member Road Runners Club of America. With many special prizes
and age-group awards presented annually, the RRCA competitions gave
runners at every level a sense of accomplishment. Ross also
single-handedly produced the “Long Distance Log” for nearly 20 years,
the first publication in the United States devoted to distance running.
Ross used the pages of LDL to lay out the plan for a nationwide running
club that would be divided into various geographic districts. He
started with Philadelphia, added New England, and then opened a New
York chapter, which openly confronted the Amateur Athletic Union and
paved the way for women to participate and for the sport to eventually
be accepted at all levels. Ross died of a heart attack on April 27,
1998 in Woodbury, N.J. He was 74.

FRED SCHMERTZ:
A charter member of the Millrose A.A. of John Wanamaker from the club’s
inception in 1907, Schmertz became the assistant meet director of the
Millrose Games in 1920 and the meet director in 1934, and served in
that position until 1974. During the many years of his stewardship,
Schmertz attracted innumerable domestic and foreign stars to compete at
the Millrose Games, which continued to grow in stature during his
tenure to become the longest running sporting event in Madison Square
Garden history, and the premier annual indoor invitational track meet
in the world. An assistant manager for the 1952 U.S. Olympic Team,
Schmertz died in 1976 at age 87.

For more information on the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, visit: www.usatf.org.

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