USATF announces 2004 National Track & Field Hall of Fame inductees

11-08-2004

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Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field
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INDIANAPOLIS - USA Track & Field on Monday announced the inductees for the "Class of 2004" for the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. The inductees are modern athletes Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Michael Johnson, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Michael Conley; veteran athletes Jack Davis, Otis Davis, Gerry Lindgren and John Pennel; contributor Dr. Evie Dennis and coach Stan Huntsman.

The Class of 2004 will be inducted Friday, December 3, at the Jesse Owens Awards and Xerox Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Held in conjunction with USATF's 2004 Annual Meeting in Portland, Ore., the inductions will be held at the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike World Campus in Beaverton, Ore.

Possibly the greatest combination long and triple jumper of all time, Michael Conley was ranked top ten in the world an amazing ten times in the long jump and 14 times in the triple jump. A two-time Olympic triple jump medalist (silver in 1984, gold in 1992), Conley was the world outdoor triple jump champion in 1993.

The current world and American record holder in the 200 and 400 meters, Michael Johnson became the first man in history to win both those events at the same Olympics in 1996 at Atlanta. He became the only man to repeat as Olympic 400m champion when he won the gold in 2000. Johnson owns more world outdoor championships than anyone in history (9) and ran the anchor leg on the U.S. squad that set the existing 4x400m relay world record in 1998.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee is considered by many to be the greatest female all-around athlete in history. Her achievements include three Olympic gold medals, four world outdoor championships gold medals, and the still-standing world record of 7,291 points in the women's heptathlon.

The winner of the first Olympic women's marathon at the1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the name Joan Samuelson is synonymous with the increased popularity of long distance running in the United States. Samuelson, who was ranked #1 in the world in the marathon on two occasions, is a former world and U.S. record holder in that event.

One of a long line of magnificent U.S. men's high hurdlers, Jack Davis was the silver medalist in the 110m hurdles at the1952 and 1956 Olympic Games. Also known for his versatility, Davis was a three-time U.S. Outdoor 220y hurdles champion, and the 1953 NCAA 220y hurdle champion. A former world and American record holder, Davis was ranked #1 in the world on three occasions.

The U.S. has dominated the men's 400 meters through the years and Otis Davis is one of the nation's all-time greats in that event. The Olympic 400m gold medalist in 1960, Davis also captured gold that year as a member of the U.S. 4x400m relay team. Davis is a former world and U.S. record holder in the 400 meters.

The first American ever to win a distance event at a U.S.-Soviet Union dual meet, Gerry Lindgren was the U.S. national champion at 3,000 meters in 1967 and the 1964 national 10,000m champion. One of the most dominant collegiate athletes in history, Lindgren won 11 of the 12 NCAA events he contested while a student at Washington State University.

The first man ever to clear 17 feet in the pole vault, John Pennel is recognized as one of the greatest pole vaulters of all time. Pennel set the world outdoor pole vault six times and set the world indoor record on two occasions.

One of the nation's leading track coaches for more than 40 years, Stan Huntsman will be inducted into the Hall of Fame after mentoring 41 NCAA champions, four national champion relay squads and being named NCAA National Coach of the Year six times. The head men's coach for Team USA at the 1988 Olympic Games, Huntsman also served in that capacity at the 1983 World Outdoor Championships, the 1977 World Cup and the 2003 World Indoor Championships.

Dr. Evie Dennis will be inducted in the Contributor category for her many decades of service to the sport as an administrator. A former vice-president with the Amateur Athletic Union and interim president of The Athletics Congress (now USA Track & Field), she also served as that organization's acting chair of track and field and currently chairs USATF's Diversity Task Force. The chef de mission for the U.S. delegation at the 1988 Olympic Games, Dennis remains active in USATF and serves the organization as a delegate to the IAAF.

"I congratulate our magnificent Class of 2004 on their induction to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame," said USATF President Bill Roe. "I would also like to recognize the contributions of USATF's Hall of Fame Committee for their hard work in amending our election procedures to make them better than ever."

"On behalf of all of us at USA Track & Field, I thank our partners at Xerox for joining with us to honor these wonderful contributors to our sport," said USATF CEO Craig Masback. "We all look forward to the induction ceremony next month in Portland where these ten magnificent individuals will be welcomed in to the Hall of Fame."

"No sport has a more impressive history than track and field, and all of us at Xerox are thrilled to recognize these great athletes for their tremendous accomplishments," said Terry W. Dillman, Xerox Manager of Olympic Marketing. "Xerox is proud to once again partner with USA Track & Field in honoring these heroes at what will be the most memorable induction ceremony in the event's long and glorious history."

To coincide with the opening of the new National Track & Field Hall of Fame at the Armory Track & Field Center in New York City earlier this year, the Hall of Fame Steering Committee and Board of Directors this year modernized the screening, nomination and voting processes.

Four screening committees examined nominations and evaluated their merit based on objective criteria. Voting for each category was done by separate ballot for each of the four categories seen below.

  • Modern athletes, retired less than 25 years
  • Veteran athletes, retired more than 25 years or more
  • Coaches
  • Contributors

The inductees for the "Class of 2004" for the National Track & Field Hall of Fame are as follows:

MODERN ATHLETES

MIKE CONLEY: Three-time Olympic triple jumper, silver medal in 1984, gold medal in 1992...five-time World Outdoor Championships team member, bronze medal in long jump in 1983, triple jump silver medal in 1987, bronze in 1991, gold in 1993...two-time World Indoor Championships team member: bronze in LJ in 1989, gold in TJ in 1987 & 1989 at World Indoors...World Cup LJ champion in 1985, TJ champion in 1989...six-time USA Outdoor TJ champion, 1985 USA Outdoor LJ champion...1984-'85 NCAA Outdoor LJ & TJ champion, NCAA Indoor LJ champion in 1984-'85, NCAA Indoor TJ champion 1983-'84, '85...ranked top ten in the world in LJ eight times, ranked top ten in the world in TJ 14 times (#1 in the world six times)...former world indoor TJ record holder...current U.S. indoor TJ record holder.

MICHAEL JOHNSON: Current world and American record holder in men's 200m and 400m and indoor 400m...set 200m world & American record twice...three-time Olympian, became first man ever to win 200m and 400m gold at the same Olympic Games in 1996...became first man ever to repeat as 400m Olympic gold medalist in 2000...Olympic 4x400m relay gold medals in 1996 & 2000...five-time World Outdoor Championships team member, 200m gold medal in 1991, '95, 400m gold medal in 1993, '95, '97, '99...World Outdoor Championships 4x400m gold medal in 1993, '95, '99...4x400m world record in 1992-'93, '98...five-time USA Outdoor 200m champion...four-time USA 400m champion...four-time USA Indoor 400m champion...1990 NCAA Outdoor 200m champion...two-time NCAA Indoor 200m champion...world ranked 11 times at 200m (#1 five times)...world ranked 11 times at 400m (#1 10 times).

JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEE: Current world and American record holder in the women's heptathlon...four-time Olympian, long jump gold medal in 1988, bronze in 1992, 1996, heptathlon silver medal in 1984, gold in 1988, 1992...four-time World Outdoor Championships team member, LJ gold in 1987, 1991; heptathlon gold in 1987, 1993...USA 100m hurdles champion in 1994, LJ champion nine times, heptathlon champion eight times...USA Indoor 60m hurdles champion in 1992, LJ champion in 1992, '94, '95...NCAA heptathlon champion in 1982, 1983...former LJ world record holder, set heptathlon world record three times...two-time 100mH U.S. record holder...four-time and current U.S. LJ record holder...two-time U.S. 60mH record holder...six-time and current U.S. indoor LJ record holder...current U.S. indoor 50mH, 55mH record holder...world ranked three times at 100m hurdles, 11 times at LJ (#1 three times), 11 times in heptathlon (#1 six times).

JOAN SAMUELSON: First ever women's Olympic Games marathon champion in 1984...1979 & 1983 Boston Marathon women's champion...first woman ever to win both the Olympic and Boston Marathons...1981 U.S. 10,000m champion...1984 U.S. Olympic Trials women's marathon champion...set world and U.S. women's marathon record in 1984...four-time U.S. women's marathon record holder...ranked #4 in the world at 10,000m in 1984...five-times world ranked at marathon (#1 two times).

VETERAN ATHLETES

JACK DAVIS: Two-time Olympic 110m hurdles silver medalist (1952, 1956)...three-time USA 110m hurdles champion...three-time USA Outdoor 220y hurdles champion...1954 USA Indoor 60y hurdle champion...three-time NCAA 120y hurdle champion...1953 NCAA 220y hurdle champion...former 110m/120y hurdles world and U.S. record holder...world ranked in 110m hurdles six times (#1 three times)...undefeated in 110mH/120yH in 1953 & 1954...first man ever to surpass the 13.5 and 13.4-second barriers in the 110m hurdles.

OTIS DAVIS: 1960 Olympic gold medalist at men's 400 meters...1960 Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist....former 4x400m relay world and U.S. record holder...1961 USA Outdoor 400m champion...former 400m world & U.S. record holder...ranked top ten in the world three times...first man ever to break the 45-second barrier (44.9 in 1960) in the 400 meters.

GERRY LINDGREN: Placed ninth in men's 10,000 meters at 1964 Olympic Games...1967 USA 3,000m champion...1964 USA 10,000m champion...three-time NCAA 5,000m/3-mile champion...three-time NCAA 10,000m/6-mile champion...two-time NCAA Indoor two-mile champion...three-time NCAA cross country champion...won 11 of 12 NCAA events he contested...set six-mile world record in 1965...set U.S. 3,000m & 5,000m records twice each...he became the first American to win a distance race in a U.S.-Soviet Union dual meet with his win in 1964.

JOHN PENNEL: Two-time Olympic pole vault finalist (1964, 1968)...1965 USA pole vault champion...six-time world and U.S. outdoor pole vault record holder...two-time world and U.S. indoor record holder...world ranked seven times (#1 two times)...first man ever to clear 17 feet in the pole vault (5.20m/17-0.75 in 1963).

COACH

STAN HUNTSMAN: In a 39-year career as a collegiate head coach, Stan Huntsman compiled 46 conference championships during his tenures at Ohio University (14 years), University of Tennessee (15 years) and the University of Texas (10 years). He coached 41 NCAA champions and four national champion relay squads, and led Tennessee to two NCAA team championships (1972 cross country, 1974 outdoors). Huntsman earned NCAA National Coach of the Year honors six times during his tenure with the Volunteers, with those honors coming in outdoor track (1974-76-83), indoor track (1981-82) and cross country (1972). Huntsman coached American record holder and Olympian Doug Brown, and NCAA champion, U.S. champion, World Cup champion, and 1992 Olympian David Patrick among others. Huntsman also enjoyed a successful international coaching career, serving as the head USA coach for the 1988 Olympic Games, 1983 World Championships, the1977 World Cup and 2003 World Indoor Championships. He served as an assistant coach at the 1976 and 1980 Olympic Games.

.CONTRIBUTOR

Dr. EVIE DENNIS: During her four decades of involvement in track and field and the U.S. Olympic Committee, Dr. Evie Dennis has served in many capacities. In 1978, she ran for second vice president of the AAU, running against two men and winning on the first ballot - a rarity in a three-candidate race. She was the chair of women's track & field for the AAU in 1979, and she became overall, acting chair of track & field when men's chair LeRoy Walker resigned. In June 1980, in Dallas, she convened the first constitutional convention for what was to become The Athletics Congress (later USA Track & Field), and served as TAC's acting president. She was the first female chef de mission (team leader) for the USOC, twice fulfilling the role for the Pan American Games, in Caracas, Venezuela, and Havana, Cuba. She was chef de mission for the U.S. delegation at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, and she has been involved in U.S. team processing for every Olympic Team since 1976. Dr. Dennis has continued her involvement in USATF's women's track and field committee, and serves as USATF's delegate to the IAAF and chair of the organization's Diversity Task Force.

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