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Burrell, Clay and Remigino highlight USATF National Hall of Fame Class of 2017

10/4/2017
 

INDIANAPOLIS -- Olympic gold medalists, a legend coach and World and American record holders comprise the illustrious USATF National Track & Field Hall of Fame Class of 2017, which will be inducted during the USATF Black Tie & Sneakers Gala in New York City on November 2.

 

Modern Athletes Leroy Burrell and Bryan Clay, Veteran Athletes Patty vanWolvelaere (now Weirich) and Lindy Remigino, and Coach Bill Squires make up the newest class.

 

“It is an honor to recognize the Class of 2017 for their contributions to the history and advancement of our sport,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said.  “All of our inductees not only have achieved competitive success worthy of selection, they also have made substantial impacts in their respective communities.”

 

Inductees will receive a commemorative Hall of Fame ring from USATF during the Black Tie & Sneakers Gala at The Armory in Washington Heights. The star-studded event brings together entertainment stars, business executives and the sport’s greats - both present and legendary - to celebrate another successful year of Team USATF performances.

 

USATF will also honor 2017 Legend Award recipient Carl Lewis during the evening. Tickets and more information can be purchased at usatfgala.com/. To learn more about National Track & Field Hall of Fame, please visit usatf.org.

 

Modern Athletes


LEROY BURRELL

Born: February 21, 1967

 

One of the most touted recruits in the nation after single-handedly winning the Pennsylvania class AAA title for Penn Wood High School in 1985 after golds in the 100m, 200m, long jump and triple jump, Leroy Burrell (Lansdowne, Pennsylvania) would end up as an 11-time world record setter and one of the best combination sprinter-jumpers in history.

 

The first of his world records came in 1989 as part of Santa Monica TC’s 1:19.38 4x200m relay at Koblenz, Germany, but he grabbed the headlines in 1991 at New York City’s Randall’s Island, where he zipped to a 9.90 WR in the 100m at the TAC Championships.

 

Burrell then ran on WR 4x100m relay squads for Team USA at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and at the 1993 IAAF World Championships in Stuttgart, with both foursomes clocking 37.40. He added a pair of 4x200m relay WRs in 1992 and 1994 with Santa Monica TC, and he regained his 100m WR in ’94 with a 9.85 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

 

Burrell won two NCAA indoor long jump crowns for the University of Houston and had a personal best of 8.37m/27-5.5. He also won the 1990 NCAA outdoor title in the 100. Burrell is in his 20th year as head coach at his alma mater.

 

BRYAN CLAY

Born: January 3, 1980

 

Bryan Clay (Kaneohe, Hawaii) ranks as one of the most successful athletes, and certainly the best track and field athlete, ever to come out of the state of Hawaii. A versatile high school athlete in Kaneohe, Hawaii, Clay was persuaded to try the decathlon by 2000 Olympic Games bronze medalist Chris Huffins. In college, Clay won the U.S. and Pan American junior titles in 1999 and an NAIA gold in 2000 for Azusa Pacific University.

 

His first taste of Olympic success came in 2004, when he won the silver medal in Athens, and he upgraded to gold in '08 in Beijing – earning the recognized title of World’s Greatest Athlete.

 

In between those Olympic medals, Clay took the top spot at the 2005 IAAF World Championships. Twice a World Indoor champion in the heptathlon, in 2008 and 2010, he claimed silver in 2004 & 2006. Clay also won four U.S. decathlon titles, including Olympic Trials wins in '04 and '08, and set his lifetime best of 8,832 points at the 2008 Olympic Trials.

 

Clay currently is an entrepreneur, corporate consultant and motivational speaker. His Bryan Clay Foundation provides academic and athletic opportunities to underprivileged children.

 

Veteran Athletes

 

LINDY REMIGINO

Born: June 3, 1931

 

A shocking upset in the closest race in Olympic sprint history etched Lindy Remigino's name in the annals of the sport.

 

On the heels of a runner-up finish in the 100m at the 1952 Olympic Trials that surprised many, the Manhattan College junior then sprinted to gold in Helsinki Olympics in 10.4, edging Jamaica's multi-talented Herb McKenley in a final that saw the top four finishers all awarded the same time. Later examination of the electronic times showed that Remigino's time was 10.79, .01 ahead of McKenley.

 

In the 4x100m relay, his storming third leg carry put the U.S. in position to win, and Andy Stanfield sealed the gold on anchor to give Remigino two Olympic golds.

 

After graduating from Manhattan, Remigino, who was named after aviation legend Charles Lindbergh, became a physical education teacher and track and field coach at Hartford Public High School, his alma mater. His teams there won 31 state titles and he guided 157 athletes to individual state championships.

 

PATTY VANWOLVELAERE-WEIRICH

Born: April 15, 1950

 

Twice an Olympian and multi-time American record holder in the sprint hurdles, Patty vanWolvelaere made her debut at the Olympic Games as a Renton, Washington high schooler in 1968. She clocked 10.5 in the 80m hurdles to set a new American record and place fourth overall.

 

Four years later in Munich, vanWolvelaere broke the 100m hurdles American record in 13.26 during the semifinals. She would set the AR in the 100m hurdles seven times in total, capped by her 13.14 in 1978.

 

In between those Olympic appearances, she sped to gold at the 1971 Pan American Games.

 

She won four U.S. outdoor titles in 1971, 73-74 and '77, and was also a six-time national indoor gold medalist in the 60y hurdles, including four in a row from 1971-74.

 

In college at USC, vanWolvelaere took back-to-back AIAW golds in the 100m hurdles in 1977-78 and represented the U.S. at the World University Games and '77 IAAF World Cup.

 

After retiring from competition, Patty served as a fire engineer at the San Diego Fire Department for 24 years and has coached at Ramona High School in California since 2013.

 

Coach

 

BILL SQUIRES

Born: November 16, 1932

 

Innovative and groundbreaking coaching techniques earned Bill Squires admiration throughout the distance running world, first as a coach at Boston State College, and then as the founding coach of the Greater Boston Track Club in 1973. Squires achieved his most noteworthy successes with marathoners Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley and Greg Meyer, but it was his ability to individualize workouts that separated him from the rest of the coaching fraternity.

 

He was well known for his "simulators," workouts designed to prepare an athlete for a specific course by building confidence and learning to be aware of the stages of each race. Squires was a record-setting miler at Notre Dame, where he also earned All-America honors in cross country in 1954-55.

 

He also coached the Liberty Athletic Club, the nation's oldest women's running club, and his Boston State teams won more than 40 team titles from 1965-78. In 1979, the GBTC won the AAU national cross country team title, placing five runners in the top 12.

 

About USATF Black Tie & Sneakers Gala

Now in its third year, USATF’s Black Tie & Sneakers Gala is a red-carpet evening held at the Armory Track & Field Center in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood. The Gala includes the induction of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame Class of 2017, with legendary athletes, business executives, current USATF stars and celebrities from sports and entertainment on hand for an opening reception, dinner, the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and after party. Guests walk the red carpet in black ties and sneakers, giving the night a USATF twist on athletic elegance and excellence.




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