Hartwick Inducts Six Into Athletic Hall of FameOctober 14, 2013
A dinner celebration was held inside Shineman Chapel's Celebration Room on Saturday, October 12 to welcome the Hartwick College Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2013 during True Blue Weekend. The event served to honor the six inductees included in this year's class.
The 2013 class of the Hartwick College Athletic Hall of Fame included Lindy Crea '07, Tony Elia '71, Nicole Fish '00, Tyler Hemming '07, Sheri Johnson '04 and Sheri Kelleher '04.
With the addition of this year's class, Hartwick has inducted 131 former student-athletes, coaches, teams, and supporters into its Athletic Hall of Fame. It honors those who have made outstanding contributions to Hartwick's intercollegiate athletics programs. Its purpose is to perpetuate the memory of those who have brought distinction, honor, and excellence to Hartwick through their athletic accomplishments.
After dinner and welcoming remarks from emcee Neal Miller '72, Chairman of the Hartwick College Board of Trustees Francis D. Landrey shared his sentiments with the crowd gathered, saying that "the athletic program is a very important part of the Hartwick experience."
After Landrey's remarks, Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Meg Nowak addressed the evening's honorees.
"Your achievements as students and as athletes mean a lot to us," said Nowak. "I am delighted to share in this celebration with you all."
To begin, former Head Men's Soccer Coach Ian McIntyre '96, who was unable to attend in-person, shared a pre-recorded video to introduce inductee Tyler Hemming '07.
"Tyler was an integral part of our team," said McIntyre. "He was quick, technical and strong. He was a good kid and a great student."
Hemming was a stalwart men's soccer player from the years of 2003-2006, helping the Hawks to a 49-21-7 record over his four-year career. He closed his career with a total of 16 goals and four assists in 57 games played, while seeing a majority of time on the field on the back line. At the time of his induction, Hemming was a member of Forest City London Football Club of the USL Premier Development League.
"I have nothing but good words to say about Hartwick," said Hemming of his time spent at the College. "Thank you to my coaches and to my teammates for helping me through... they were always there for me."
Introduced by Hartwick College Head Football Coach Mark Carr, Lindy Crea '07 remains as one of the most decorated Hartwick Football players in the long history of the program. Crea, a running back and kick returner for the Hawks from 2003-2007, was a three-time Football Gazette First Team All-America, as well as a three-time All-Region and three-time Empire 8 Conference honoree. Crea finished his career with 7,478 all-purpose yards, which is a Hartwick record. At the time of induction, Crea still ranked 8th in NCAA Division III history in both career all-purpose yards and all-purpose yards per game (196.8). Crea was the 4th collegiate player in the history of the NCAA to rush for more than 2,000 yards and receive for over 2,000 yards.
"I consider Lindy to be the most dynamic Football player to ever play at Hartwick College," shared Carr. "He earned respect with his work ethic. He was extremely versatile... a gifted athlete. When he graduated, it took five players to replace him." In closing his remarks on Crea, Carr shared that Crea is currently serving in the United States Army and is soon to be promoted to the rank of Sergeant. "I am most proud of the man that you turned out to be," said Carr to Crea.
"What an honor," said Crea of his induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Hartwick College. "I am proud of the experience I gained from Hartwick. It gave me direction and purpose, and taught me to be successful and to win with any team and in any environment."
Sheri Johnson '04 was introduced by Hartwick Water Polo coach Alan Huckins, who noted that Johnson was a player that he immediately thought would excel.
Johnson was the second player in the history of the Hartwick water polo program to earn All-America honors. Suiting up for the Hawks from 2001-2004, Johnson ended her career as the program leader in points (355), goals (264), steals (231), was second in assists (91), while helping the team to a record of 103-43 and four Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Northern Division Championships. At the time of her induction, Johnson still ranked second in career goals, third in steals, and fourth in points in the Hartwick record books.
"It was a full team effort, led by Sheri," said Huckins in his introduction of Johnson. "Sheri was able to play on both ends of the pool. It was an honor to coach her."
"My excitement tonight can only be matched by the first Water Polo team that I made in Junior High School," said Johnson. "Athletics have been a great blessing in my life. Coming to Hartwick was the best decision I ever made." Of her teammates, Johnson ended by sharing that "you are a family that will never be forgotten."
Sheri Kelleher '04 was introduced by former Women's Soccer coach and Dthletic Director, Ken Kutler.
Kelleher is the first runner at Hartwick to earn All-America honors and is arguably the most impressive sprinter ever to don a Hawk uniform. Kelleher, who competed from 2000 to 2004 for the Hawks, is a five-time All-American who won 21 New York State Collegiate Track Conference (NYSCTC) Championships and broke 20 Hartwick indoor and outdoor track records combined. Kelleher was also a four-year standout in soccer for the Hawks. She finished her career with 15 goals and six assists, twice earned Empire 8 Conference Second Team honors, and helped the Hawks to the 2003 NYSWCAA Championship. At the time of her induction, she still owned New York State Indoor and Outdoor records in the 200 meters, 400 meters, and 4 x 400 relay.
"The first thing that came to my mind about Sheri was the word leadership, followed by work ethic, her commitment to succeed and her commitment to excellence," said Kutler.
"Hartwick College created many opportunities for me," said Kelleher. "I was always proud to put on a Hartwick jersey. Without the foundations set at Hartwick College, my current pursuit of my Doctoral Degree would never be possible."
Nicole Fish '00 played a major role for Hartwick Field Hockey in three NCAA Tournament appearances, four New York State Women's Collegiate Athletic Association berths, two state titles, and 65 victories from 1996-1999. A three-time NFHCA All-Academic Squad recipient and an NYSWCAA Scholar Athlete Award winner, Fish graduated ranked fifth in both career points (86) and career goals scored (37). At the time of her induction, she still ranked seventh in goals and eighth in points in the esteemed history of Hartwick Field Hockey.
Fish was introduced by Hartwick Field Hockey Coach Anna Meyer.
"In my 26 years at Hartwick, I have had the privilege of coaching exceptional students and exceptional athletes," said Meyer. "Only two students in that time have been exceptional at both, and Fish was one of them. She was just special."
After graduating from Hartwick, Fish was selected to participate in the United States Army's Judge Advocate General's (JAG) program.
Brigadier General John Miller, who was unable to attend the ceremony, sent an e-mail commending Fish for her induction, which was read aloud by Meyer.
"I have served with Nicole over the last 7 years and feel like I am qualified to comment about her," said Miller. "Nicole is certainly a superb athlete and deserving of this accolade. Of greater [importance], however, is that Nicole is one of the finest people with whom I have
served over the course of my nearly 27 years in the Army. Nicole values her family, friends, her college, and her country. I am honored to have served with Nicole and so proud to call her my friend."
"Hartwick was our home together for four years" said Fish after being introduced. "Hartwick provided me with a foundation to succeed upon both on the field and in life as well."
Hartwick Alum Thom Meredith '73 presented the final induction award to Tony Elia '71.
Elia is considered to be one of the premier players to ever compete for Hartwick Men's Soccer. He is one of only 11 players in the storied history of the program to earn All-America honors more than once, and one of a select few players in the history of collegiate soccer to be named All-America four years in a row. At the time of his induction, Elia's 10 assists with the team still stood as 8th-highest single-season total in the Hartwick record books, 44 years after it happened.
"Tony stands here as a respected member of the Community," said Meredith. "He always played for the name on the front of his jersey, not the back."
"Hartwick has some of the best players in the Country," said Elia. "I am very proud to have been a part of that team. Hartwick College gave me the confidence I needed to succeed in life. It is a privilege to have been part of this great institution and one of the greatest Soccer programs in the country."
To conclude the event, Director of Athletics Dr. Kim Fierke announced the Code Blue Challenge and shared her sentiments on this year's inductees wth those gathered.
"Each of you has represented Hartwick College to the fullest and I am so inspired," said Fierke. "Congratulations once again to each of our inductees."
For more information on the Hartwick College Athletic Hall of Fame and the 2013 inductees, please visit www.hartwickhawks.com.
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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.
Contact: Valerie Capullo