CANTON - Five former athletes, a highly successful coach and two of the outstanding mens indoor and outdoor track teams in program history will make up the class of 2012 when the St. Lawrence University Athletic Hall of Fame holds its annual induction luncheon on Saturday, Nov. 3 at noon.
The new inductees include football/wrestling standout Bill LaRock 70, national champion and All America swimmer Jeff Cook 78, baseball and football star Bob Glendening 84, All America swimmer Jen White Walden 89, and three-sport star Meredith Eisenhut Eberz 02 plus former ski coach Bob Axtell and the 1987 and 1988 mens indoor and outdoor track and field teams which earned three NCAA trophies.
Several members of the track and field teams are North Country residents including current SLU Track-Field Coach Mike Howard who was a member of the 1987 team and a coach on the 1988 team.
The luncheon and following induction is open to the public. Luncheon tickets are $25 and reservations are requested. Reservations may be made by calling Cheryl Kennedy at 315-229-5418 or through email : firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2012 induction will be the 34th in the history of the St. Lawrence Athletic Hall of Fame which began in 1979 with the induction of former athlete, coach and athletic director Ron Burkman as the sole inductee in the first year. It has since grown to include 214 individuals and 16 teams.
Bill LaRock played both offensive guard and defensive tackle and middle guard for the football team and was an undefeated heavyweight wrestler in three seasons of varsity competition. Now a teacher and coach, he captained the football team as a senior and was an all-league middle guard. He was a three-time Independent College Athletic Conference heavyweight champion, going 40-0 in his three seasons on the varsity wrestling team.
Jeff Cook was a 22-time All America in swimming and won five national championships. He was NCAA champion in the 100 freestyle, 800 free relay and 400 medley relay in 1976 as the swim team won the team national championship and was 50 freestyle national champion in 1978. He earned All America honors in each of his four years on the swim team and was captain as a senior. His 100 freestyle time still stands as a team and pool record and he is part of the pool record holding 800 free relay team.
Glendening had an outstanding three year career in baseball and was a key player on the 1982 football team which went to the NCAA semifinals. A catcher and outfielder in baseball, he had a .378 career batting average with 66 runs scored and 80 driven in and struck out only 17 teams in 235 career at bats. He was all ICAC and All ECAC in baseball, signing with the Chicago Cubs at the end of his junior year. He was team captain and MVP as a junior. A safety in football, he was the team leader in sacks on the 1982 team and had three interceptions for a Hall of Fame Team which won the Lambert Bowl, was ECAC Team of the Year and made the NCAA semifinals.
Walden earned All America honors in the freestyle relay and medley relay in 1987 and still holds the St. Lawrence record in the 400 Individual Medley and is part of the 800 free relay record. As a senior captain she won four of five events and was named the Outstanding Swimmer of the NYSWCAA Championship. She was high scorer in the state meet in back to back years and set state and school records in both the 200 and 400 IM.
Eberz was one of the outstanding woman athletes in St. Lawrence history with brilliant careers in basketball, soccer and softball. She was Upstate Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year five times in three sports during her career and including sweeping that award in soccer, basketball and softball as a junior. A first-team All America guard in basketball, she was NCAA Player of the Year in 2002, leading her team to the NCAA Division III Championship game. She also earned Regional All America honors three times in soccer and was all state in softball. She is the career leading scorer in basketball and soccer and is the career batting average leader in softball in addition to having the top three single season batting averages in that programs history. Among her three sports she holds 22 career or season records.
Cantons Bob Axtell joined the St. Lawrence staff in 1963 as the head ski coach and manager of the St. Lawrence Snow Bowl, and established St. Lawrence as a consistent top four finisher in the East. During his time at SLU, he also was the head mens alpine coach for the 1972 World University Games at Lake Placid with three SLU skiers participating in those games. A four-event skier in high school and college, he coached both alpine and Nordic skiing and was chief of equipment at the cross country venue during the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics and chief of competition for the Junior World Games at Lake Placid in 1990.
After coaching, he and his wife Mary Ann operated Axtells Sports in Canton. He remained active in collegiate skiing as a technical delegate for the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association and was a volunteer assistant for the Saint Nordic ski program for several years.
Two of the most successful mens track and field teams in St. Lawrence history, the 1987 and 1988 mens indoor and outdoor track teams had three NCAA podium finishes, swept the New York State Collegiate indoor and outdoor championships in both years with 30 individual titles and combined for a total of 45 Independent College Athletic Association event victories and 22 second place finishes to go with three team titles over the two seasons.
The competition at the state level was multi-divisional, including Colgate, Albany, Buffalo, Binghamton, Sienna and Marist in addition to traditional Division III rivals. The teams were second in the 1987 and 1988 NCAA indoor championships, third in the 1987 outdoor championship and finished sixth in the 1988 outdoor championship, producing four national individual champions and a host of All America performances. The 1987 and 1988 track teams set records in nearly every event with four indoor marks and seven outdoor still standing at the time of the team inductions, a span of 24 years.