August 25, 2013

Twelve Athletes Set to Join C.U. Hall of Fame

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This fall, twelve former Cornell athletes — including six All-Americans — will be inducted into the Cornell University Athletic Hall of Fame. The inductees hail from a wide range of sports, including wrestling, women’s polo and even an all-around athlete who competed with the football, track and field, tennis, wrestling and rowing teams.

The All-American inductees include women’s lacrosse player Sarah Averson ’03, men’s lacrosse player Ryan McClay ’03, women’s polo player Taylor McLean ’03, men’s ice hockey player Doug Murray ’03, men’s track and field member Carl Shields ’75 and wrestler Clint Wattenberg ’03. The remaining inductees are men’s tennis player Michael Halperin ’01, women’s track and field member Katy Jay ’03, football player Mike McGrann ’88, baseball player Erik Rico ’02, softball player Nicole Zitarelli ’01 and multi-sport athlete Win Osgood Class of 1893, who participated in football, track and field, tennis, wrestling and rowing.

Many of these athletes set records that are still in place well after their time with the Red ended. Averson, a two-time All-American, is tied for second in team history with 138 career goals. McClean was the first Cornell player in any sport to win four national championships, and she was also named one of the top freshmen, sophomore, junior, and senior athletes by The Cornell Daily Sun.

Shields threw Cornell’s best all-time hammer throw of 202-0 at the Meet of Champions in 1975, while Wattenberg is ranked second all-time at Cornell with 113 wins.

In 2000, Halperin was the first Cornellian to win the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Region I tournament. Jay set many records during her career, with outdoor records for the 100-, 200- and 400-meter events, and indoor records for the 60-, 200- and 400-meter events.

Rico, a two-time unanimous All-Ivy player, was Cornell’s first Ivy League Player of the Year in baseball. He set school records for career batting average with .362, slugging percentage with .599, triples with 18 and total bases with 303. Zitarelli, a starting pitcher for softball, is second in Cornell history in ERA, wins, saves, appearances, starts, complete games, shutouts, innings pitched and strikeouts, behind Cornell Hall of Famer Julie Westbrock.

The inductees went on to earn spots on both national and international teams after they left the Red. Averson was the first Cornell women’s lacrosse player to receive an invitation to the U.S. Development Camp. McClay had an eight-year professional career in Major League Lacrosse with the New Jersey Pride and the Boston Cannons. Murray’s career with the NHL is still active — he has played for the San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins, and most recently signed a contract with the Montreal Canadiens. Murray entered the 2012-2013 with 452 career NHL games, ranking third all-time for former members of the Red behind Joe Nieuwendyk and Kent Manderville. Wattenberg wrestled in the 2004 Olympic trials, finishing third at 195 pounds, and Rico was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2002.

These outstanding athletes will be inducted into the Cornell University Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 21. The 36th annual ceremonies will be held on Campus. After the new members have been inducted, the membership of the hall will total 555.

Original Author: Ariel Cooper