By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2019 was inducted on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Cat Cavern on the Willamette campus. Fourteen individuals and two teams were inducted.
Thirteen of the individual inductees were former Willamette student-athletes. Also inducted was former Willamette Sports Information Director Cliff Voliva, who was selected for meritorious service. In addition, the 1983 women's swimming team and the 1993 men's tennis team became new members of the Hall of Fame.
Alicia Andrews '05, Track and Field
Alicia Andrews was a four-time All-America selection in track and field. In 2003, she finished sixth in the country in the 800-meter run, and followed that up by finishing second in the 800 in both 2004 and 2005. Also in 2005, she was a member of the 4 x 400-meter relay team that finished eighth in NCAA Division III. She is currently ranked fourth all-time at Willamette in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:10.57. She is a member of the 4 x 400-meter relay teams that hold the third, fourth and 10th best times in school history. Andrews was the Jean Williams Award winner at Willamette in 2005. She was recognized as an Academic All-America selection in 2005, and received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
Bonnie (Bauer) Flynn '97, Swimming
Bonnie (Bauer) Flynn was a four-time All-America swimmer for the Bearcats (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997) as a result of her individual and relay team finishes at the NAIA National Championships. She was a part of seven relay teams that finished in the top five at nationals and also swam the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events as an individual, finishing sixth overall in the 100 free in 1996 and fifth in the 100 free in 1997. She was a part of five relay teams that won conference championships. She placed second in the conference in the 50-yard freestyle in 1997. She currently holds the second and third best times in the 50-yard freestyle in Willamette history, and is ranked fifth in both the 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard medley relay. Bauer Flynn holds school records with her relay teammates in the 200, 400, and 800 freestyle relays.
Brandon Bennett '07, Football
Brandon Bennett received All-America honors in each of his final three seasons at offensive tackle and was selected All-Northwest Conference four times during his career. Twice voted by his teammates as Willamette's Offensive Player of the Year, Bennett was named First Team All-NWC in 2005, 2006, and 2007. He was named Honorable Mention All-NWC as a freshman. He received All-America honors from several organizations during his career, including being named to the First Team in 2006 and 2007 by the American Football Coaches Association. In 2011, he was named to the D3Football.com All-Decade Team. Bennett went on to play professionally in Italy and in the Arena Football League.
Heidi Buckmaster '90, Track and Field/Volleyball
Heidi Buckmaster was an All-America selection four times in the javelin. She also played volleyball for the Bearcats for three seasons. She is currently third all-time in the javelin throw at 147 feet, 10 inches. She finished in third place at the NCAA Championships in 1987 and took fourth place in 1988. She won the javelin at the Oregon Small College Relays in 1987 with a throw of 137 feet, 9 inches. In 1989, she qualified for the NAIA National Championships. In 1990, she won the javelin at the NAIA District 2 Championships. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega.
Ryan Hazelbaker '00, Baseball
A four-year starter for the Bearcats on the infield, primarily at second base, Ryan Hazelbaker accumulated career statistics that featured a .364 batting average, 486 at bats, 177 hits, 103 runs scored, 32 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs and 137 RBIs. At the time of his graduation, his career stats ranked him first all-time at Willamette in hits, doubles and RBIs, and placed him second in batting average and third in at runs and at bats. When inducted, his single-season rankings were sixth in RBIs, eighth in hits, and 10th in batting average. The Bearcats were 104-59 during his four years on the baseball team. His senior class holds the second-highest win total of any class in program history.
Dirk Hmura '92, Men's Soccer
Dirk Hmura still holds the Willamette men's soccer records for goals in a game (5), in a season (19), and during a career (46). He set the records while playing at Willamette from 1988-91. He also holds the school records for assists in a game (4), points in a game (10), and points in a career (108). He was chosen First Team All-Conference a total of three times and was named All-District 2 twice. In 1991, Hmura was selected as the District 2 Player of the Year and was named Honorable Mention All-America by the NAIA. After graduating from Willamette, Hmura played professional soccer.
Larry Lynn '61, Basketball/Football
Larry Lynn was a key player and a strong rebounder for the Willamette men's basketball team. He ranks second all-time for the Bearcats with 25 rebounds in a game, and he is third all-time with 334 career rebounds. He also ranks third at Willamette with 12.9 rebounds per game in a single season. He was chosen as a First Team All-Northwest Conference selection twice. He was a member of Willamette's team that won the NAIA District 2 Championship in 1959-60 with a 22-6 overall record. That season, Lynn finished third in the NWC in scoring and was second in rebounding. He also played one season of football for the Bearcats, and caught five touchdown passes, including three in one game versus Central Washington.
Chrys (Odell) Randolph '83, Swimming
Chrys (Odell) Randolph was a leading swimmer for the Bearcats. She was a member of the 200-yard medley relay team that won the NAIA National Championship with a meet record in 1983. She earned All-America honors in the 100-yard backstroke in 1982 and 1983. When she graduated, she was the Willamette record holder in the 100-yard backstroke. She was a member of Willamette's 1983 women's swimming team that placed fourth at the NAIA National Championships. She was one of eight swimmers on the team who competed at the championships and scored points for
the Bearcats. Odell was chosen as Willamette's Outstanding Women's Athlete of the Year in 1983.
Alicia (Potter) Nelson '94, Swimming
Alicia (Potter) Nelson established All-America status all four years (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994) as a member of the Willamette women's swimming team. She continues to own school records in the 500-yard freestyle (5:06.82 in 1994), the 1,000-yard freestyle (10:36.20 in 1993) and the 1,650-yard freestyle (17:37.24 in 1994), as well as the 200-yard butterfly (2:11.44 in 1994) She holds the top five times in the 500 free, and has four of the top five times in the 1,000-yard free and the 1,650 free.
Todd Simis '90 MAT '91, Football/Basketball
Todd Simis was a highly successful quarterback for the Bearcats. When he graduated, he held school records with five touchdowns in a game, 25 touchdowns in a season, 473 passing yards in a game and 2,673 passing yards in a season. He also owned Willamette single season records with 211 pass completions and 337 passing attempts. His 473 passing yards against Simon Fraser University (Canada) on Oct. 27, 1990 is still the school record. He was named All-Northwest Conference twice and was ranked in the top 10 of the NAIA in passing twice. In 15 seasons of coaching football at Capital High School in Boise, Idaho, he has led the team to the playoffs 14 times.
Lisa (Starkey) Ott '01, Cross Country/Track and Field
Lisa (Starkey) Ott registered NCAA Division III All-America honors in track and field twice, as she finished fourth at the NCAA Championships in the 800-meter run in 2000 and 2001. She won the 1,500-meter run in 4:48 (PR) and the 800-meter run in 2:15.88 (PR) at the 2001 Northwest Conference Meet after winning the NWC title in the 800-meter run in 2000. At the time of induction, she was WU's record holder at 800 meters (2:09.19 in 2001). She finished 10th at the NWC Cross Country Meet in 2000, while helping lead Willamette to its first women's cross country title. She was awarded All-NWC honors as a junior in cross country, and placed 30th at the West Regional (Hon. Mention All-Region). Starkey Ott's top time at 4,000 meters in cross country (15:04.5) places her ninth all-time at WU.
Kendra Wheeler '84, Swimming
Kendra Wheeler was a member of the 200-yard medley relay team that won the NAIA National Championship with a meet record time in 1983. She earned All-America honors four times in 1983 while competing at the NAIA Championships. As a swimmer for the Bearcats, she held school and conference records at various times during her career in the 500-yard freestyle, the 1,000-yard freestyle and the 1,650-yard freestyle. She currently ranks fourth all-time at Willamette in the 1,000-yard freestyle. She did not swim during her senior year due to an injury, but was able to close
out her Willamette career as a member of the women's basketball team.
Aaron Young '04, Cross Country/Track and Field
Aaron Young registered All-America honors in cross country twice, finishing 27th in the nation in 2001 and 15th in 2002. He won Northwest Conference individual cross country titles in 2000 and 2002, and finished fifth in the NWC in 2001 and 2003. His efforts contributed to Willamette winning NWC team titles in 2001, 2002, and 2003. At the time of his induction, he ranked third all-time at Willamette in the 4-mile race at 19:34.4 and was fourth in the 8-kilometer race at 24:24.64. In track and field, Young was the NWC Champion in the 10,000-meter run in 2003, after finishing second in 2001. He helped the Bearcats win NWC track and field team titles in 2002 and 2003. His best time in the 10,000-meter run (31:39.24) currently ranks ninth in school history.
Cliff Voliva, Sports Information Director, 1986-02
Cliff Voliva served as the Willamette sports information director for a total of 16 years from 1986 through 2002. His efforts helped provide great support for all of the various Bearcat teams and increased local and area coverage of Willamette athletics. He also established a reliable historical database for the statistical records achieved by Willamette teams and individuals. He was honored by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) with the top feature story award in 1997. He worked to secure local and national news media attention for the football team's trip to the NAIA National Championship game in 1997, as well as coverage of Liz (Heaston) Thompson as the first woman to play and score points in a college football game.
1983 Women's Swimming
The Willamette University women's swimming team earned a fourth place finish at the NAIA National Championships in 1983. At the time, is was the Bearcats' best finish at the national meet. All eight members of the team who participated in the NAIA Championships scored points for Willamette in the team standings. The 200-yard medley relay team won the NAIA Championship with a meet-record time. All four members of the championship relay team are also in the Willamette Athletic Hall of Fame for their individual achievements. Jim Brik was the Willamette women's swimming team's head coach.
Head Coach Jim Brik, Gayle (Roth) Cutaia '86, Kendra Wheeler '84, Chys (Odell) Randolph '83, Lesley (Wilday) Deuster '86, Diane (Fitzgerald) Bliesner '84, Gigi (Hunt) Agidius '85, Darci (Piper) Niemann '86, Lisa Pruyn '83, Kristen Olsen '86, Suzie (Reinhart) Ness '84, Jennifer (Jacobi) Andres '86, Julie Conrad '85, Jenna Calk '84
1993 Men's Tennis
In 1993, the Willamette University men's tennis team won the NAIA District 2 Championship, while hosting the event. The Bearcats did not lose a set during the District 2 Tournament, as Willamette took first place in all six singles flights and all three doubles flights. Erik Norland, who won #1 singles and #3 doubles, was chosen NAIA District 2 Player of the Year. Head Coach Russ Beaton was named NAIA District 2 Coach of the Year. Also winning singles flights at the District 2 Tournament were Jeremy Larson (#2), Alan Vestergaard (#3), Judd Esch (#4), Ian Sigmund (#5) and Andrew Shipman (#6). Doubles titles went to Vestergaard and Sigmund at #1, Shipman and Esch at #2, and Norland and Larson at #3.
Head Coach Russ Beaton, Jim Barrett '95 *, Jeff Curl '93, Judd Esch '95, Jeremy Larson '94, Erik Norland '95, Craig Norland '95, Andrew Shipman '93, Ian Sigmund '94, Alan Vestergaard '95
* Posthumous induction