It’s that time of year when the sports world focuses on places like Cooperstown, Canton and Stillwater. Just last weekend, the Professional Baseball Hall of Fame welcomed its Class of 2015 into Cooperstown… and, soon, there will be a new crop of honorees inducted into Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame. While the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla. welcomed its Class of 2015 back in June, in subsequent weeks other sports halls of fame have announced the induction of former college wrestlers.
A number of past collegiate mat champs will be welcomed into the athletic hall of fame at their alma mater. In June, two former Buckeye wrestlers – J Jaggers, two-time NCAA champ last decade, and Perry Martter, 1920s Big Ten titlist and Olympian – were announced as members of the Class of 2015 of the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame. In July, it was revealed that Travis Lee, only the second two-time NCAA Division I champ at Cornell University (2003, 2005), would be an inductee into that school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Matt Gentry, NCAA champ and two-time Olympian, will be welcomed into the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame this fall… while NCAA Division II wrestling champs Mark and Kip Kristoff are among the eight individuals and two teams to be inducted into the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Athletics Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2015. Tim Meester and the 2005 wrestling team will be welcomed into the Augustana Athletics Hall of Fame, the South Dakota school announced this month.
Two college superstars with a total of five NCAA titles between them have been honored for their equally impressive high school mat careers. Lincoln McIlravy, Olympic bronze medalist, three-time NCAA champ for University of Iowa, and five-time South Dakota state titlewinner, was inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame on July 2… while Tim Krieger, two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champ at Iowa State – and thrice an Iowa high school titlist — will be inducted into the Mason City High School Athletic Hall of Fame this fall.
Other halls of fame honor individuals who have ties to a particular community or state. Among the wrestlers being welcomed into those geographic halls include Mark and Dave Schultz and Sara-Fulp Allen – all former college wrestlers who also competed in freestyle – who will be welcomed into the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in California. Cael Sanderson, four-time NCAA champ at Iowa State, 2004 Olympic gold medalist, and Penn State head coach, is one of five individuals selected for induction into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame in his home state in September. The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame will be welcoming two Oklahoma State legends, Pat Smith and Yojiro Uetake Obata. A trio of former college wrestlers with Big Ten titles – Michigan State NCAA All-Americans Andy and Nick Simmons, and University of Michigan mat champ Fritz Kellerman – will be among the members of the Class of 2015 to be inducted into their hometown Greater Lansing Hall of Fame at the end of this month.