College to induct five into new athletics hall of fame

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College on Jan. 24 will induct the first class into its new Middlebury Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the opening of the college’s new field house. The inaugural class of Hall of Fame inductees will include some of Middlebury’s most celebrated and accomplished athletes.
The inductees include two women and three men who excelled in baseball, ice hockey, Nordic skiing, lacrosse, field hockey and cross-country. They come from classes as early as 1910 and as recent as 1999.
The inductees are:
•  Heidi Howard Allen, a 1999 graduate. Allen, a prolific two-sport athlete, is one of a select few to earn All-American honors every year at Middlebury. Allen helped lead the field hockey and lacrosse teams to their first NCAA Division III titles, including titles in both during her senior season. That year, she concluded field hockey play as the program’s leader in both career goals and points and set a single-season goal record for the lacrosse team.
•  John Bower, a 1963 graduate. Bower in 1961 became the first Panther Nordic skier to win an NCAA title. He skied in two Olympics (1964 and 1968), won four national Nordic combined titles, and became the first non-Scandinavian to win the King’s Cup at Holmenkollen, the most heralded Nordic competition in the world. He then coached for six years at Middlebury and for nine years directed the U.S. Ski Team.
•  Ray Fisher, a 1910 graduate. Fisher, a Middlebury native, played multiple sports at Middlebury but made his mark on the baseball diamond. He was a standout pitcher for the Panthers for two years before signing a professional contract that would lead to a 10-year career in the major leagues, where he won 100 games and a World Series championship with the Cincinnati Reds.
•  Phil Latreille, a 1961 graduate. Latreille scored more goals, 250, than any other player in the history of U.S. intercollegiate ice hockey. The three-time All-American also has collegiate bests for goals in a game (10) and a season (80). Following his Middlebury career, Latreille enjoyed a brief stint with the New York Rangers, becoming the first Vermont collegiate player to play in the National Hockey League at a time when there were just six NHL teams.
•  Dorcas DenHartog Wonsavage, a 1987 graduate. Wonsavage was one of the most decorated Nordic skiers and cross-country runners in the college’s history. She won the school’s first NCAA title in cross-country running and earned All-American status in both sports. Wonsavage competed in three Winter Olympics — in 1988, 1992 and 1994 — pacing the U.S. Nordic team with the highest individual American finish and helping her 4-by-5-kilometer relay team to finish eighth in 1988.
Director of Athletics Erin Quinn said the new Middlebury hall was a logical next step.
“Given Middlebury’s rich history of athletic achievement, it is only natural we would want to honor those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to that history,” Quinn said. “The Athletics Hall of Fame will allow us to do that in an enduring way. This year and in future years we look forward to honoring many of the Middlebury athletes, coaches and others who have distinguished themselves through excellence in athletic performance and service.”
The Middlebury hall of fame will induct up to 10 individuals a year, who will be recognized on a large Hall of Fame installation in the Peterson Family Athletic Complex. The inaugural class, which was selected this year, will be known as the Class of 2014.
To be eligible, former student-athletes who are nominated for consideration must be at least 10 years removed from their final year of collegiate competition. Coaches, administrators and staff must have served with distinction and be a minimum of five years removed from their employment with the college in order to receive consideration.  
Nominations are now being accepted for the Class of 2015, which will be inducted in November of 2015. Information about the Middlebury Athletics Hall of Fame, including complete biographies of the inaugural class and a link to the nomination form, may be found online at http://athletics.middlebury.edu/traditions/halloffame.

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