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Eight Inducted Into Mount Holyoke Inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame

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SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College Athletics Department inducted eight inaugural members into the MHC Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday evening. It was the conclusion of a day-long celebration for the Class of 2013, which consisted of Ann Aceves ’56, Alison Hersey Risch ’59, Mildred S. Howard, Harriet “Holly” Metcalf ’81, Imogene Opton Fish ’55, Amanda Salb ’99, Kellie Young ’93 and the 1985-86 Equestrian Team.

Saturday’s events, which coincided with Family and Friends Weekend, began with an inductee luncheon, followed by photos at the newly christened Athletics Hall of Fame wall in the Kendall Sports and Dance Complex. From there, the inductees were escorted to the field hockey game for a special halftime celebration. The night continued with a reception and gala at the Willits-Hallowell Conference Center, where honorees were officially presented for induction.

Below are descriptions of the accomplishments of the inaugural induction class:

Ann Neuberger Aceves '56 – Swimming

(Presented by Andrea and Patricia London)

Aceves excelled in the sport of swimming despite not having a team to join upon her arrival at Mount Holyoke. She kept active by swimming on her own and also playing tennis, keeping up with her commitment to athletics, which began in high school as a member of the field hockey, swimming and tennis teams. Following her time at Mount Holyoke, Aceves did not swim competitively again until 1990, when she turned 55 and was eligible to compete in the Senior State and National Olympic Games. Since that date in 1990, she has qualified and competed in every local and New Mexico Senior Olympic Games – a stretch of 24 years.  A multiple medalist and record holder, Aceves currently holds six state records in New Mexico, including the 50, 100 and 200 backstroke. Additionally, she was honored with the Spirit Award at the state games in the summer of 2012. Aceves has also qualified and competed in 12 consecutive National Senior Games, which are held biennially, since 1991. She has won numerous swimming ribbons every year during her career and competed in the 75 to 79 age group at the 2013 National Senior Olympic Games. A founding member of the Local Santa Fe Senior Olympics Committee, Aceves has been active in promoting the Senior Olympics for 20 years. Additionally, she served as a member of the Mount Holyoke Board of Trustees from 1995 to 2000. As a member of the board, she was chair of the Student Affairs Committee from 1999 to 2000.

Imogene Opton Fish '55 – Skiing

(Presented by Timothy Farnham)

Opton Fish transferred to Mount Holyoke as a sophomore and immediately made the headlines as she represented the United States at the 1952 Olympic Games in Olso, Norway as an alpine skier at just 19 years of age. A competitor in the women’s slalom event, she finished fifth overall. Opton Fish continued to compete during her remaining years at Mount Holyoke as a member of the International Ski Federation (IFS) and was ranked the top skier in the United States in 1954. Prior to her arrival at MHC, Opton Fish was an avid athlete in every sense of the word. During her high school career, she played field hockey, basketball and softball for all four years and was inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame. Opton Fish has continued to exemplify the dedication to leading an athletic lifestyle. She went on to earn multiple master’s degrees from Harvard and Northeastern and later served as the director of graduate admissions at Wheelock College before her retirement in 1992.

Mildred S. Howard – Administrator

(Presented by Bardee Sadlier)

Howard served as the Chair of the Physical Education Department from 1927 until 1963. Under her direction, the physical education program at Mount Holyoke was completely reorganized as she established a long range plan to improve and secure needed facilities. During the early years of her tenure, she focused on developing outdoor activities that utilized the local landscape. By 1940, Howard had secured additional tennis courts, playing fields, bridal paths, a skating rink, and she played an instrumental role in the College’s purchase of the Orchards Golf Course. This broad-based outdoor curriculum was the first of its kind at a women’s college. It was her goal to expand the department to “…give each student an opportunity for instruction and practice in a well-rounded physical activity program.”

Harriet "Holly" Metcalf '81 – Rowing

(Presented by Catherine Crowley)

One of the most decorated athletes in rowing history, Metcalf was a six-time member of the U.S. National Team and won a combined five World Championship and Olympic medals in her career. At the 1984 Olympics, she captured the Gold Medal in the women’s eight at the Los Angeles games. In addition to coaching extensively at the club, college, and national team levels, Metcalf returned to her alma mater where her rowing career started as the head coach of the varsity crew team at Mount Holyoke from 1981-85. Metcalf went on to direct the Silver Medal winning crew at the 1990 World Championships. In the 1990s, she earned a master’s degree at Harvard, studying rowing as a metaphor for girls’ and women’s psychological and emotional development. That experience prompted her to start Row as One programs that have initiated women into the demanding sport and inspired advanced rowers to be more competitive. She extended this concept to inner-city girls in 1996 with her G-ROW program in Watertown, Massachusetts. Six years later Metcalf established WeCanRow, a wellness and rehabilitation organization for female cancer survivors, which recently evolved into WeCanRow National. Currently, Metcalf is in her seventh season as the head coach for the Division I openweight crew team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Over the years, Metcalf has accrued numerous awards and honors, including USRowing Woman of the Year honors in 2008 (with Olympic teammates) and 1999 (with Ernestine Bayer) and the 1999 YWCA Outstanding Woman Award. Additionally, Metcalf has been inducted into the New England Sports Hall of Fame (1999), the Maine Hall of Fame (1984) and the USRowing Hall of Fame (1984).

Alison Hersey Risch '59 - Field Hockey/Lacrosse

(Presented by Stephanie Hersey Kolman '62)

Hersey Risch began playing field hockey during a post-graduate high school year at the Northampton School for Girls, where she played one year with Hampshire Association Field Hockey. In that short time, she made the Northeast Team and National Tournament. Over the next five years, Hersey Risch continued to play with Hampshire Field Hockey as it brought her exposure to a high level of coaching and game play. When she entered MHC in 1955, field hockey was offered as a club sport. A year later, Hersey Risch represented the United States Field Hockey Association touring team to South Africa and Rhodesia. In 1959, she took a leave of absence from the second semester of her senior year at Mount Holyoke to once again represent the USFHA on the touring team to the International Conference in Amsterdam. Following graduation at MHC, Hersey Risch earned a master’s degree from Tufts and was introduced to the sport of lacrosse.  A standout player on the U.S. women's lacrosse teams from 1961 to 1970, she served as the team captain from 1964 on and played on touring teams that visited Australia, Great Britain, and Ireland. Hersey Risch, who is a member of both the U.S. Field Hockey (member of the initial induction class) and the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame, is currently an internationally-rated umpire who has been officiating for 41 years and and is still active at the NCAA Division III level.

Amanda Salb '99 - Track & Field/Basketball

(Presented by Lale Topcuoglu '99)

Salb holds the distinction of being the only student-athlete in Mount Holyoke College history to earn multiple National Championship honors. A two-sport athlete during her career, she excelled in track & field and took home the national title in the outdoor shot put event in both 1998 and 1999. Salb, who was a multiple All-New England Champion, also competed in the discus and remains the school’s record holder in the outdoor shot put with a mark of 14.45 meters. In addition to excelling in track & field, she was also a standout for the basketball team, playing 100 games during her four-year career. Salb continues to hold the program record in rebounds (942) and free throw attempts (498), while ranking second in free throws made (306) and third in rebounds per contest (9.7). In addition to National Champion honors, Salb was a two-time National All-American and received multiple All-Region and All-Conference honors in both sports. Beyond her athletic achievements, Salb defined the picture of a student-athlete as she went on to earn multiple degrees and become a large-animal veterinarian. Currently, she works at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre in Malawi, Africa.

Kellie Young '93 - Lacrosse/Soccer/Softball/Basketball

(Presented by Laurie Priest)

Young was a four-sport athlete at Mount Holyoke, earning nine varsity letters in lacrosse, soccer, softball and basketball.  As a member of the lacrosse team, she was a two-time All-Region and All-Conference selection. Young helped the Lyons to the best record in program history – 13-4 – a mark that still stands today.  From 1999-2002, Young continued to compete on the field as a player from with the U.S. National Development Team. She has served on the executive committee of the Women’s Division Board of Governors for U.S. Lacrosse from 1998-2005. Currently, Young serves as the head women’s lacrosse coach at the University of Louisville, one of the top Division I programs in the country. During her tenure, she has led the Cardinals to four-straight 10-win seasons and a trip to the Big East Tournament semifinals in the program’s inaugural year in the conference. At Louisville, she has guided her student-athletes to multiple All-Conference, All-Region and All-America accolades. Prior to her time at Louisville, Young earned a 51-24 career record in four seasons as head coach at James Madison University, where she led the Dukes to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including two quarterfinal appearances, three Colonial Athletic Association titles and a top-five national ranking.

1985-86 Equestrian Team

(Presented by Carol “CJ” Law)       

The 1985-86 Equestrian team was the first team to capture an Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championship title led by current head coach Carol “CJ” Law. Through adversity and personal tragedy, the team showed spirit and determination in establishing one of the top programs in the country. It was the hard work and strength of the team that helped bring prominence to the equestrian program at Mount Holyoke as several members from the first Championship team went on to help the program capture Reserve Champion in 1986-87. The character of the 1985-86 squad set the foundation for the success of the program today.

1985-86 Class Members: Catriona Baker, Rachel Barbour, Katharine (Plum) Benson, Katharine Byron, Jessica Choper, Claire (Ernsberger) Cook, Michelle Cook, Sarah Coward, Diane (de Castro) Crommett, Johanna (Santos) Davey, Alain Dawson, Gretchen DeMone, Pamela Dubois, Kristin (Tait) Dunnan, Dawn Faucher, Margaret Forsberg, Erica (Wilhelm) Fotta, Anne-Marie Hurtgen, Hilary Kissel, Susan (Varnum) Ko, Katharine (White) MacPhail, Christina Major, Kerry (O'Connell) Mikalchus, Rebecca Minard, Elizabeth (Lee) Miney, Cristina (Sage) Peters, Maria Petersen, Katherine Peterson, Allison Pinkett-Floyd, Christine (Nicholson) Raccio, Lisa Richter, Amy Springer, Mary Springer, Justin (Margorie) Tanis, Roseann (Stickel) Thompson, Michelle (Mason) West, Kimberly (Raye) Woolley, Linda (Bronski) York.

The Mount Holyoke College Athletics Hall of Fame Selection Committee continues to seek nominations for future classes. If you have a student-athlete, coach, administrator or honorary contributor that you feel is most deserving, you may fill out the required form at http://athletics.mtholyoke.edu/information/hall_of_fame/index. Nominations are being accepted for the next induction class of 2015.