Hall of Fame inducts seven

Alumni and families came back to Vermont for Homecoming Weekend this year with seven stellar alumni athletes in their midst. These former student-athletes were the 2006 class that was inducted into the UVM Athletic Hall of Fame. “It’s fun to come back to school,” track and field star, Anna Norgren Mahon ’96, said. “I haven’t been here in a long time.” Others have imagined this day for quite a while. “When I started [here], coach Brown (Jeffery C. Brown ’82, the assistant men’s basketball coach) got inducted,” basketball legend, Eddie Benton ’96, said. “I said that I would like to get that and it feels great to get in 14 years later.” Mahon and Benton headlined a cast of seven standout student-athletes honored with an induction into the Hall of Fame on Saturday Oct. 7 in the Emerald Ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel. As athletes, coaches and families gathered, the room was abuzz with memories of playing days and big games. Many of the athletes had families and credited their UVM experiences for preparing them for life after college. “Determination, hard work and perseverance are three things that [I got from UVM],” inductee Amy Dwire Jamieson said. “Those things have helped me in my everyday life, [even] more so now as a parent.” The portrait ceremony commenced with former men’s basketball coach Tom Brennan introducing Benton. In a way only Coach can, Brennan detailed the events that led a player from a mostly black high school to UVM. “He was an ambassador that Martin Luther King would have been proud of,” Brennan said. “I used to think to myself what would it be like if I went to Grambling. That’s what it was like [for him], it’s getting a little better now, but 10 years ago, Jesus.” The ever-popular Brennan concluded his speech on an especially high note with his traditional poem written to the inductee that concluded with, “I can’t think of words that go better together than, ‘Eddie Benton Hall of Famer.'” Benton started his career with a bang, averaging 23.8 points per game during his freshman season. The soft-spoken athlete went on to score an astounding 2,474 points in his career, tops at Vermont and second all-time in the America East Conference. During his senior season Benton received the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award given to the nation’s best player less than six feet tall. “Without question, Eddie was one of the best players I have ever coached,” Brennan said. “He was not just a tremendous scorer but a complete, all-around player.” After graduation, Benton played overseas for four years before returning to the States and taking up coaching. Benton’s spirited introduction was followed by the induction of two-sport standout Amy Dwire Jamieson ’92. “Amy was a very powerful athlete with an unbelievable competitive spirit,” former track and field coach Ed Kusiak said. Captain of both her field hockey and track and field teams, Jamison graduated with five track and field records and won the 1992 Wasson Athletic Prize for excellence in athletics and academics. “I think it’s the people,” Jamieson said when recalling her favorite memories at UVM. “I was really, really well supported here athletically and I got a great education and I had a lot of fun doing it.” Kusiak also had the opportunity to coach Mahon who, after graduation, became the fourth UVM track and field athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. While at Vermont, Mahon set the school record in the hammer throw (167′ 10″) and the 35-pound weight (54’ 3.75″). After graduation she accelerated her career and distinguished herself on the national and international level. Mahon was ranked sixth in the world in 2002 and in 2004 she made the United States Olympic Team that competed in Athens. She finished 29th in qualifying round and did not advance to the finals. Also inducted into the Hall of Fame were three soccer standouts, John A. Hilton, Jr. ’68, Kelly Martin ’93 and Mike Mason ’90 as well as star swimmer Wolf von Carlowicz ’94. The Hall of Fame selection committee is charged with the task of “[recognising and honoring] those individuals who have made significant contributions to the university through their participation or involvement in athletics,” as stated in the bylaws. In order to be eligible for the Hall, an athlete “must have attended UVM for at least four semesters and be separated from the university as an undergraduate for at least 10 years,” according to the Hall of Fame Program. The athletes inducted this year joined a prestigious list of more than 300 Hall of Fame members.