National High School Track & Field Hall of Fame announces Class of 2020!

by Steve Underwood

PRESS RELEASE

National High School Track & Field Hall of Fame Announces Third Class of Inductees

  • The 10-member class includes world record-setter Houston McTear, distance legends Craig Virgin and Francie Larrieu, and the late Armory Foundation visionary, Dr. Norb Sander.
  • The National High School Track & Field Hall of Fame will induct its third class of athletes, coaches, and contributors on Thursday, March 12, 2020 in New York City.

NEW YORK – December 19, 2019 - The National Scholastic Athletics Foundation (NSAF) today announced the third class of the National High School Track &Field Hall of Fame, which it launched in the summer of 2017.

The 2020 class will be inducted during a gala awards dinner Thursday evening, March 12, 2020, at the New York Athletic Club. The dinner will take place preceding the New Balance Nationals Indoor Championships at The Armory in New York City. Tickets and tables will soon be available for purchase online at NationalHighSchoolTrackandFieldHOF.org.

“The level of talent nominated each year for induction into the National High School Hall of Fame continues to amaze us” said Josh Rowe, Chairman of the NSAF’s Hall of Fame Committee.  “The Selection Committee has the incredibly difficult task of narrowing down the hundreds of nominees to the ten most notable. This class, like the preceding two, is made up incredible individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to our sport.”

The 10 members of the 2020 class will join the 47 inductees from the previous two years, which have included all-time legends like Jesse Owens, Jim Ryun, Steve Prefontaine, Mary Decker Slaney and Allyson Felix, as well as pre-Title IX pioneers like Margaret Bailes Johnson, Patty van Wolvelaere and Barbara Friedrich. The following is a complete list of the 2020 inductees, including their year of graduation, high school and hometown:

ATHLETES

*Bob Peoples
Class of 1937, Classen HS, Oklahoma City, OK
With a throw of 220’1” in ‘37, he broke the National Javelin High School Record by more than 13 feet -- a record that stood 20 years. Famously was an American Boy magazine cover subject and went on to star at USC.

Jim Brewer
Class of 1957, North Phoenix HS, Phoenix, AZ
A double barrier-breaker in his specialty, he was history’s 1st 14-foot pole vaulter as a sophomore in ‘55 then the first over 15’ two years later – when he was Track & Field News Athlete of the Year.

Charlette Cooke
Class of 1966, Compton HS, Compton, CA
Competing for the L.A. Mercurettes in ‘66, she became a 400/800 legend with 7 National High School Records -- most of which were also new American Records -- plus an 54.2 440y world indoor record.

Jerry Proctor
Class of 1967, Muir HS, Pasadena, CA
The 1967 Track & Field News Athlete of the Year became prep history’s first 26-foot long jumper indoors (26-2) and outdoors (26-3/4), the former mark lasting 22 yrs. Set a total of 9 National High School Records and was the #2 all-time 180y hurdler, as well.

Francie Larrieu
Class of 1970, Fremont HS, Sunnyvale, CA
During an amazing 6-week run during her junior year, she lowered the 1500m HS record 4 times, from 4:36.5 to 4:16.8, which also equaled the American Record. Went on to become a 5-time Olympian, carrying the U.S. flag in the Opening Ceremonies of the 1992 Games.

Craig Virgin
Class of 1973, Lebanon HS, Lebanon, IL
He set an iconic state Cross Country record that lasted 37 years, then broke Steve Prefontaine’s 2M National High School Record (8:40.9) while winning Track & Field News Athlete of the Year in ‘73. Later a 3-time Olympian and 2x World Cross Country Champion.

*Houston McTear
Class of 1976, Baker HS, Baker, FL
The sprint sensation set 17 prep records, from 50y indoors to 100m outdoors -- including 10.16 100m that lasted 10 years and a world record-tying 9.0 100y in ’75 when he was the Track & Field News Athlete of the Year. Finished 2nd in the 100m in the 1976 Olympic Trials as a prep.

Candy Young
Class of 1980, Beaver Falls HS, Beaver Falls, PA
She redefined how fast a prep hurdler could run, with historic sub-13 (12.95) in 1979 (Track & Field News Athlete of the Year) that stood for 35 yrs -- plus 7.48 60yH that lasted 36 -- among her 11 records. Made the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team as a prep.
 

COACHES & CONTRIBUTORS

*Barney Hyman
New Utrecht HS, Brooklyn, NY
The “Miracle Man” won 23 of 24 PSAL New York City titles in/out from 1924-35, most in 116-year league history. He coached 6 national HS record-setters and 3 Penn Relays championships.

*Dr. Norb Sander Jr.
The Armory Foundation, New York, NY
He revitalized and revolutionized indoor track and field in New York (and beyond) by spearheading renovation of The Armory Track & Field Center and creating The Armory Foundation.

* indicates inductee is deceased

The Hall of Fame selection committee includes 10 of the most knowledgeable high school track and field historians in the sport today: Marc Bloom, Andy Ferrara, Bob Jarvis, Dave Johnson, Joe Lanzalotto, Walt Murphy, Jack Pfeifer, Jack Shepard, Jim Spier and Tracy Sundlun.

The National Scholastic Athletics Foundation, a non-profit organization created to support and promote high school-age track and field, launched the Hall of Fame with the intention to honor three categories of inductees: 

  • Athletes: Competitors who have demonstrated exemplary athletic performance while in high school. Athletes must have been out of high school for at least 15 years to be eligible for induction.
  • Coaches: Leaders who have created excellence at the program level, achieving extraordinary results year after year.
  • Contributors: Innovators and game changers. These may include administrators or media members who have elevated high school-age track and field through innovative work and tireless dedication. 

For more information on the National High School Track & Field Hall of Fame or to view detailed biographies and photos of the inductees, visit NationalHighSchoolTrackandFieldHOF.org.


About the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation, Inc.

The National Scholastic Athletics Foundation (NSAF) was founded in 1990. It is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization with the mission of opening doors to the world for our youth, through athletics, and providing them opportunities to succeed. That includes supporting high school and junior-aged track and field athletes in the US through national high school competitions, including the New Balance Nationals Indoor and Outdoor; The Great American XC Festival and HBCU Challenge; and the American Javfest and Ironwood Throws Classic. It also includes Team NSAF international competition and team-building events in Cuba and Iceland; clinics and event-specific special projects, such as Project Javelin Gold and Project Triple Jump; vigorous grant programs, which enable high school athletes to compete around the country, at USATF Junior Nationals, and internationally; and with program development grants, which are awarded in the winter and fall each year. The NSAF provides approximately $250,000 in grants annually.  For more information about the NSAF, please visit NationalScholastic.org.
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