Bulldog Athletics Announces Hall of Fame Class of 2009
The University of Redlands and Department of Athletics announce the newest class of the Bulldog Bench Intercollegiate Athletic Hall of Fame to be inducted at its biennial dinner on May 2. The Class of 2009 includes swimmer and cross country runner Gretchen Ballard '00, tennis standout Todd Born '95, water polo player Teri Lawson '99, track & field athlete Joel Mitre '01, football player Chris VanZee '76, cross country and track runner Steve Wyper '65, multi-sport competitor David Tracht '39 (posthumously), and current Redlands equipment manager Harry Rott. In addition, the 1977 women's volleyball team will be welcomed into the Hall of Fame.
A four-year, two-sport student-athlete, Ballard boasts numerous accolades due to her versatility and talent in the pool and as a distance runner. During her career, she established various school and conference records and earned multiple All-American, All-Conference, and MVP awards. In addition, she was named the Redlands Senior Student-Athlete of the Year in 2000 after guiding the Bulldog women's swimming & diving team to its first-ever Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship.
Born enters the Bulldog Hall of Fame as the 1995 National Doubles Champion. In addition, this six-time All-American earned National Rookie and Senior of the Year honors to bookend an outstanding four-year career. He was named the SCIAC Player of the Year on two occasions and helped the Bulldogs win a conference team championship in 1995.
A four-year standout on the women's water polo team, Lawson comes into the Hall of Fame as a four-time Collegiate III National Champion. In addition, she helped the Bulldogs gain conference titles in 1996 and 1998. Individually, Lawson earned All-American honors on two occasions, including being named the 1999 Division III All-American Player of the Year.
Mitre brings a unique athletic resume to the Class of 2009 as his career was broken up by active duty in the U.S. Army. In 1993, he won the SCIAC Championship and became the national champion in the high jump. After a two-year hiatus from competition, Mitre returned to the University of Redlands and captured another national championship. In addition, he established a school record and won the Cal-Nevada title in the high jump.
A three-year letter-winner in football, VanZee enters the Hall of Fame as a two-time First Team All-Conference selection. He helped the Bulldogs win the conference title in 1973, 1974 and 1975, and become the NAIA District III Champions in 1973. He gained various individual awards, including First Team All-District and NAIA All-American honorable mention. Following his playing career, VanZee joined the coaching staff at Redlands as a graduate assistant from 1976 to 1979.
A familiar name to the Redlands community, Wyper receives this honor as a two-year member of the cross country and track & field teams. He contributed to the Bulldogs' NAIA District Championship in 1964 and their third-place finish at the national meet. Individually, he gained All-Conference honors in both sports and set the school record in the 800m Run and 2-mile Relay. In addition, Wyper shared his knowledge and enthusiasm for running by coaching at the University of Redlands for nearly a decade.
Entering the Hall of Fame posthumously, Tracht brings a multi-faceted sports history that includes football, basketball, track & field, and swimming experience. As a three-year member of the basketball team, he twice-led the team in scoring and ranked fourth in the conference as a senior.
Finally, the Bulldog Bench Hall of Fame welcomes current equipment manager Harry Rott for more than 30 years of service to Bulldog Athletics.
The 1977 women's volleyball team joins the Hall of Fame as the first women's team at Redlands to advance onto a national tournament, competing in the Small Colleges Championships with an at-large bid.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2009 will be inducted at the biennial dinner to be held at the University of Redlands on May 2. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact the Athletics Department at 909-748-8400.
Contact: Rachel Roche
(909) 748-8418 (Phone)