“How Far We’ve Come,” Three Athletes, Two Teams Enter Athletics Hall of Fame

Three new athletic Hall of Fame inductees will receive a place of honor during Clark’s seventh annual induction ceremony on Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. in the Penguin Union Building.

The Hall of Fame honors people who made an impact in Clark athletics and were remembered years later for their efforts.

This year’s inductees are Kate Burton, Ken Boydstun, Mike Gaechter, the 2003 women’s track and field team and the 2002 women’s cross country team. Many members of the cross country team in the fall were also on the track and field team in the spring. Athletics Director Chris Jacob said it was unique to have two championship teams in one year.

Jacob said community members can nominate people for the Hall of Fame every August. The Hall of Fame committee chooses the inductees from the community-generated list of nominees.

The committee consists of seven to eight people, selected annually according to the athletic bylaws, which state that the athletic director, a current and former coach, two former athletes and a hall of fame inductee must be on the committee.

The inductees are chosen based on specific criteria which varies depending on if the inductee is an athlete, a coach, a staff member, etc. This year the committee member nomination period began in early June and ended in July. The committee met in August to discuss who will be inducted. When the nominees were chosen the list was sent to President Bob Knight for approval, Jacob said.

Jacob — also part of the Hall of Fame committee — said “It’s a nice solid group where we can get together and really make the Hall of Fame something special, and we want it to be special for whoever is inducted. they know they deserved it and it shows them how much they meant to Clark.”

The Hall of Fame began in 2012 and has developed since then. Jacob said Jim Raines and Denny Huston are credited with creating the hall of fame and elevating it to where it is today.

Huston is a former athlete, coach and athletic director at Clark. Raines never participated in athletics at Clark but has been a “Penguin for life,” Jacob said. “He is a true part of Penguin Nation.” Raines, whose daughter played softball for Clark, helped implement the Hall of Fame and is a member of the Penguin Athletic Club.

Burton was a discus and hammer throw athlete for the 2005 track and field team. She holds the junior national record for community colleges in hammer throw and qualified for the 2008 olympic trials, then went to compete at the Highline Games. She holds a world record in the lightweight throw and set another record in 2015 for the sheaf toss, though that record was broken this past year.

Boydstun was a remarkable athlete, Jacob said. Ken played basketball and baseball in his time at Clark and ran in the NWAC track and field tournament as a freshman. He took first in the 440 dash and second in the 220 dash.

Gaechter held the world record in the 4×1 in 1962 and went on to play for the Dallas Cowboys. Jacob said he was “one of the best athletes to come through here.” Gaechter died in Aug. 2015, but Jacob said he is glad to be inducting him into this class.

“It shows how far we’ve come,” Jacob said.

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