INDIANAPOLIS – USA Track & Field on Wednesday announced that all-time track and field greats John Godina, Kenny Harrison, Steve Williams, Eleanor Montgomery
and legendary coach Bob Larsen
will make up the 2013 class to be inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.
Top: John Godina (IAAF photo), Above: Kenny Harrison (AllSport)
The group makes up the 40th overall class to be inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame and will be honored on Saturday, December 7, at the Jesse Owens Hall of Fame Banquet, which is a part of the USATF Annual Meeting at the J.W. Marriott in Indianapolis, Ind.
Godina, a two-time Olympic medalist and three-time world champion in the shot put, and Harrison, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist and American triple jump record holder, highlight the class as modern athletes inductees, which include those retired within the past 25 years.
Williams and Montgomery will represent the 2013 class as veteran athlete inductees, which include those who have been retired for 25 years or more. Williams set the world record in the 100-yard and 100-meter dashes a total of six times during the 1970s and held world records in the 220-yard dash and 4x100m. One of the original members of the Tennessee State Tigerbelles that dominated women’s athletics before Title IX, Montgomery is a two-time Olympian and won a total of 13 national indoor and outdoor titles in the high jump.
Legendary coach Larsen was named NCAA track and field or cross country coach of the year four different times at UCLA before coaching Meb Keflezighi to the 2004 Olympic silver medal in the marathon. Larsen was selected in the coaches category.
About the National Track & Field Hall of Fame
The finalists from each category are selected by a screening panel from a list of nominations. Panelists examine the nominees and evaluate their merits. Elections for modern and veteran athletes are held each year. Elections for coaches are held in odd-numbered years with contributors elected in even-numbered years. Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame board and panels and members of the media vote on elections for the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.
The National Track & Field Hall of Fame is located at The Armory, at 216 Fort Washington Avenue in Washington Heights, N.Y. For more information please visit http://www.armorytrack.com/Armory/national-track-and-field-hall-of-fame.
Class of 2013
Born: May 31, 1972
John Godina finds his name near the top of a long list of dominant American men in the shot put. A total of four times in his career he finished the year ranked No. 1 in the world in the event and finished no worse than second in the world from 1995 until 1998. His career is highlighted with a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, a bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and winning a trio of World Outdoor Championships gold medals (’95, ’97, ’01). A standout for Bob Larsen at UCLA, Godina won five NCAA individual titles in his career for the Bruins that included the indoor shot put and outdoor discus titles in 1994 and indoor and outdoor shot put and outdoor discus championships in 1995 and set the collegiate outdoor shot put record at 72-2.5. He also won the 1998 World Cup title in the shot put and won World Indoor Championships gold in 2001 and silver medals in 1999 and 2003. Retiring in 2008, Godina was elected to the hall of fame the first year he was eligible.
Born: February 13, 1965
After being forced to miss the 1992 Olympic Games due to injury, Kenny Harrison took advantage of his chances in 1996 in Atlanta. The 1991 World Outdoor Championships gold medalist in the triple jump, Harrison reached new levels with a mark of 18.09m/59-4.25 at the 1996 Olympic Games. The distance not only gave Harrison the Olympic gold medal, but also established the Olympic and American records, which both stand 17 years later. The international titles go along with a total of six indoor and outdoor national titles in Harrison’s career. A standout competing for Kansas State, Harrison also won the 1986 NCAA Outdoor title in the triple jump, the 1986 NCAA Indoor title in the long jump and 1988 NCAA Indoor title in the triple jump. Harrison ended his career with the Wildcats a 15-tim All-American and eight-time Big 8 champion.
Born: November 13, 1953
Few in the history of the sport of track and field set world records as frequently as Steve Williams. Between 1973 and 1976, he set the world record in the 100m on four separate occasions and set the world record once each in the 100-yard and 220-yard dashes. In 1973 he was ranked No. 1 in the world in both the 100m and 200m and repeated that honor in the 100m in 1975. He was the best in the world in 1977 when he won the World Cup title in the 100m and anchored the American 4x100m team that included Bill Collins, Steve Riddick and Cliff Wiley to a world record. However, Williams fell short of reaching Olympic competition. A career that truly began in 1973, Williams sustained an injury during the 1976 Olympic Trials and Team USA boycotted the 1980 Olympic Games. Williams competed for both the University of Texas-El Paso and San Diego State.
Born: November 13, 1946
Eleanor Montgomery joins the National Track & Field Hall of Fame alongside current members and Tennessee State Tigerbelle teammates Wilma Rudolph, Wyomia Tyus, Madeline Manning, Martha Watson, Mae Faggs, Edith McGuire, Willye White and Chandra Cheeseborough, as well as coach Ed Temple. As an athlete at Tennessee State, Montgomery quickly established herself as the top high jumper in the country, winning a total of 13 AAU Indoor and Outdoor and USA Outdoor titles. Her accomplishments also included winning the high jump at both the 1963 and 1967 Pan American Games where set the meet record at the 1963 competition. Between 1967 and 1969, Montgomery set the American indoor and outdoor record in the event a total of six times. She twice qualified for the Olympic Games (1964 and 1968) and in 1967 was ranked No. 2 in the world in the event. She is also a member of the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.
Born: Jan 23, 1939
During the 15 seasons Bob Larsen served as coach of the UCLA Bruins men’s track and field and cross country teams, he led 12 individuals to a total of 20 NCAA titles and won back-to-back NCAA Outdoor titles in 1987 and 1988. In a brilliant career that has spanned six decades, Larsen would coach 13 athletes to a total of 25 national championships. As UCLA’s head coach, he held a 118-3-1 record in dual meets and was selected PAC-10 Coach of the Year nine times. He was selected the Team USA distance coach for the 2004 Olympic Games where he coached Meb Keflezghi to a silver medal in the marathon and later helped him to win the 2009 New York City Marathon. Three times in his career Larsen was selected NCAA track and field coach of the year (’87, ’88, ’95) and once in cross country (’80). Larsen is the subject of a documentary film to be released in the spring 2014 entitled, “City Slickers Can’t Stay with Me: The Bob Larsen Story.”
Contributed by Jared Slinde