MIDDLETOWN — The Section IX Track & Field Hall of Fame, established in 2016 to celebrate the outstanding achievements of athletes, coaches and officials who make Section IX one of the richest areas for cross country and track and field in New York State, has announced its inaugural class.
The class consists of Curt Alitz, Tracey Armstead, Benn Fields, Carrie Gorton, the late Dennis Gurrant, Lou Hall, Russ Hodge, Felicia Hodges, Joe Iatauro, Missy Iatauro, Kate Landau, Mary Onken, Aislinn Ryan, John Trautmann and the Monticello 1950 boys’ cross country team (with Leo Glass and Frank Bucky Laufersweiler).
Dennis GurrantDennis Gurrant was a four-sport star athlete for Monroe-Woodbury: track and field, baseball, football and basketball. He was the state overall champion in long jump in 1964 and 1965. He won the 1964 Eastern States championships with a record leap of 24 feet, 1 inch, topping the 1962 mark by over six inches.
A week later he cleared 24-6 to win the Metropolitan AAU meet and qualify for nationals.
A 24-6 jump in 1965 still stands as a Section IX record.
Lou HallLou Hall coached 27 years of cross country and track and field at Monroe-Woodbury (1971-2001). Has been coaching at Suffern since 2003. Named the 1996 National Federation girls cross country coach of the year. Coached Olympian John Trautmann and state steeplechase champ Brian McKnight.
Posted 19 Orange County league and 21 Section IX team champions in cross country.
Mary Onken Hall of Fame official Mary Onken of Central Valley started her career in 1982. Onken was inducted into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014 and the USA Track & Field Officials Hall of Fame in 2016. She has worked three U.S. Olympics Trials, eight indoor national championships as a referee and three NCAA championships as a referee. She has worked 20 state high school championships.
She was president of the New York State Certified Officials of Track and Field (1997-2011) and the Southern Catskill Track Association since 1992.
John TrautmannJohn Trautmann, a 1986 Monroe-Woodbury graduate, won the 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials at 5,000 meters; he had to bow out in the semifinal heat at the Barcelona Games due to injury.
Trautmann was one of America’s premier youth runners, setting national age group records in the mile and 1,500 meters at age 14.
He broke Steve Prefontaine’s record in the 3,000 meters as a senior in high school.
He won the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Division I championships while running for Georgetown. The Hoyas’ distance medley relay set a world record in 1987. He was inducted into the Georgetown Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.
Trautmann recently shed 60 pounds and set a Masters mile record for age 45-49 in 2015. He works with various running clubs as a coach and is currently an assistant coach at New York University.
Induction ceremony• The inductions will be held Saturday, May 20, at Kuhls Highland House, 512 Highland Avenue Extension, Middletown. A buffet dinner begins at 7 p.m. Tickets for the event are $75 for adults and $40 for students. Tickets can be pre-ordered by emailing Rich Furst at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Malcolm Burks is the president of the organization. Kevin Stewart is the vice president. Board members include Art Jessup, Frank Giannino, Dave Goggins, treasurer Rich Furst, Wendy Warnock, secretary Michael Potter and Ken McMillan.
• For more information, contact Hall of Fame secretary Michael Potter at 845-987-6997, or email@example.com.
• The Hall of Fame has a website (SectionIXhof.com), Facebook page and Twitter account (@Sec9HOFXCTF).
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