Middlebury Announces Inductees for Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Middlebury Announces Inductees for Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Middlebury College today announced its 2016 class of inductees into the Middlebury Athletics Hall of Fame class. The third class to be inaugurated, this year’s group includes graduates from five different decades, from as early as 1944 and as recent as 2001. The class includes four men and two women who, combined, played eight different sports for the College. One of the inductees is also being honored for his service as a coach.

The induction ceremony and dinner will be held on Saturday, November 5.

Gordon “Gordi” Eaton ’62 
Gordi Eaton, a member of the Class of 1962, officially graduated in 1965 after his academic career was interrupted three times while he represented the United States at the Olympic Games and World Championships. Eaton was second among U.S. finishers at the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, finishing 17th overall. Upon his return to Middlebury, he won the NCAA downhill championship in 1961. He qualified for both the 1962 World Championships and the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, but was unable to compete due to an injury.

Tom Hart ’56
Tom Hart, a member of the class of 1956, is the leading rebounder in the history of collegiate basketball. Hart holds the NCAA record for single-season rebounding average with 29.5 per game in both 1955 and 1956, as well as a career rebounding average of 27.6. He also scored over 1,000 points in his three years on the team, averaging 16 points a game. In track and field, Hart set the school record in the pole vault—12 feet—before the fiberglass pole changed the sport. He was also dominant in the high jump—his Middlebury record of 6’4.5” stood for over 50 years.
Donald Henderson, a member of the Class of 1949, is one of the top skiers in United States history. Competing in all four events (slalom, giant slalom, Nordic and ski jumping), he captained Middlebury’s 1948 National Championship team. He went on to coach skiing at the Holderness School from 1951-1969. During this time, Henderson’s skiers represented the United States at the Olympics during eight consecutive games from 1956-84. In 1964, Henderson assisted Bob Beattie ’55 with the U.S. Olympic team in Innsbruck, Austria. Six years later, he served as the head coach for the U.S. squad at the World Championships in Val Gardena, Italy.
Kristy Laramee Kerin, a member of the Class of 2001, won the NCAA high jump championship on three different occasions. Her 5’11.25” effort in the 1999 NCAA Championships continues to stand as the meet record. Kerin earned All-American honors six times and still owns the NESCAC high-jump record (5’8.5”) after winning the title in each of her four years. She is also a four-time New England outdoor champion, setting the Division III record (5’10.5”) in 1999. In addition to her track titles, she holds women’s basketball records for most blocked shots in a game (10), season (85), and career (97), despite playing just two seasons.
Sara McNealus, a member of the Class of 1979, dominated the alpine slopes during her time at Middlebury, earning All-American honors in each of her four seasons. At the national championships, she was a top-four finisher in the slalom three times, while placing in the top five of the giant slalom during all four years. Her top performance came during her senior year in 1979, when she won the national championship in the giant slalom. A four-year member of the women’s tennis team, McNealus played in the number one or two spot for the Panthers during her time on the courts.
Bobo Sheehan, a member of the Class of 1944, was a standout athlete in football, skiing, and baseball at Middlebury. Following service in World War II, Sheehan returned to Middlebury and coached for over 20 years. Sheehan led the men’s skiing program from 1947-1967. During his tenure, the men’s alpine squads won national championships in 1948 and 1949; captured 11 Eastern Championships; and won the Middlebury Carnival on 10 different occasions. He served as the coach for the U.S. Men’s Alpine Team at the 1956 Olympic Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. Sheehan also spent 11 years as the baseball coach at Middlebury, while also coaching football, tennis and golf.

The Middlebury Athletics Hall of Fame is located in the Peterson Family Athletics Complex. The Hall of Fame opened in January 2015, in conjunction with the opening of Virtue Field House, and the inaugural Class of 2014 was inducted. The Hall of Fame will induct up to 10 individuals a year. To be eligible, former student-athletes who are nominated for consideration must be at least 10 years removed from their final year of collegiate competition. Coaches, administrators and staff must have served with distinction and be a minimum of five years removed from their employment with the College in order to receive consideration. Pre- and post-Middlebury accomplishments can factor into a nominee’s candidacy as long as the accomplishments fall within the sphere of athletic achievement, and bear some connection to the nominee’s athletic career at Middlebury.

Nominations are now being accepted for the Class of 2017, which will be inducted in November of 2017. For information about the Middlebury Athletics Hall of Fame, including complete biographies of the inaugural class and a link to the nomination form, please visit: http://athletics.middlebury.edu/traditions/halloffame.