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Nine to be Inducted Into the Winthrop Athletics Hall of Fame in February
Tickets for the Feb. 7 event are $25. For reservations call Sharen DuBard at 803/323-2129, ext. 6218.
ROCK HILL, S.C. — Eight former student-athletes and one coach have been selected for induction into the
2014 class of the Winthrop Athletics Hall of Fame
. The induction dinner and ceremony are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 7, in the
Richardson Ballroom of the DiGiorgio Campus Center
at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets for the event are priced at $25. To make reservations, contact
at 803/323-2129, ext. 6218.
Those to be inducted include Jim Casada (men's soccer coach), Scott Goins (baseball), Kelli (Johnson) de la Rionda (softball), Greg Lewis (basketball), Mary (Hock) Leventis (volleyball), Janice Roberts (golf), Larry Tavino (soccer), Stephanie (Vangsnes) Young (cross country and track), and Charlotta (Wennefors) Racz (basketball). With this induction class, a total of 57 former players, coaches and administrators will have membership in the Winthrop Athletics Hall of Fame which was established in 2004. Here is a brief bio on each of this year's inductees:
— Casada organized and developed the Winthrop men's soccer program and served as the first head coach for 12 years. He compiled a 133-110-10 record and was chosen NAIA District 6 Coach of the Year three times (1979, 1982, and 1984). In 1979, he was also selected the Southeastern Coach of the Year. In 1984, Casada led the Eagles to a school-record 18 victories. He also coached five NAIA All-Americans and had 22 NAIA All-District 6 selections. In addition to establishing the Winthrop men's soccer program, Casada played a key role in the introductions of youth soccer programs to York County.
— Goins still holds the Winthrop and Big South Conference single season batting average record at .505 which he set in 1987. He was voted the 1987 Big South Conference Player of the Year and was also the 1987 Big South All-Conference second baseman and All-Tournament Team selection. His .505 batting average ranks second highest in the NCAA Division I record book. He signed as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants organization in 1987 and played three seasons in the Giants' minor league system.
Mary (Hock) Leventis
— Leventis was voted the 2004 Big South Conference Volleyball Player of the Year and was selected as a 2004 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Honorable Mention All-American. She also earned a spot on the 2004 NCAA East Region Team. She holds the Winthrop career record for kills (2,067), service aces (360), and games played (508), and in 2005 she led the NCAA in services aces with 123. She was a three time All-Big South First Team selection in 2003, 2004 and 2005 was a Big South All-Tournament Team pick in 2002, 2003 and 2005, and was the 2005 Tournament MVP.
Kelli (Johnson) de la Rionda
— De la Rionda was a four-time All-Big South Conference selection as a pitcher in 2002 through 2005 and was voted the 2002 Big South Freshman of the Year. She was featured in Sports Illustrated's "Faces In The Crowd" section in April of 2004 after tossing two perfect games within a six-day period. She finished her career with five no-hitters. Johnson ranks second on the Winthrop career list for pitching victories (86), strikeouts (805), shutouts (28), complete games (98), and starts (132).
— Lewis led Winthrop to two Big South Conference championships and NCAA appearances in 2000 and 2002. He was voted the 2002 Big South Conference Player of the Year and was an All-Big South First Team selection in 2000 and 2002. Lewis was also voted the Most Valuable Player of the 2000 and 2002 Big South Championship Tournaments. He missed the 2001 season due to a foot injury. In just two seasons with the Eagles, he scored 947 points and his 15.7 scoring average ranks 15th all-time in school history while his 10.1 rebound average in the 2001-02 season ranks second.
— Roberts was the first golfer in Big South Conference history to be the Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year in the same year (1998). She ranks first in Winthrop career history with four tournament victories, including medalist of the 1998 Big South Conference Championship. She also has the most tournament victories in a single season with two during the 1997-98 year. Roberts was an All-Big South selection in 1998 and 1999, and was a three-time Big South All-Academic Team selection in 1998 through 2000.
— Tavino made the most of his two years on the Winthrop soccer team as he was selected a 1984 NAIA All-American and NSCAA All-American. He was a two-time NSCAA All-Region selection in 1983 and 1984, and was a NAIA All-Area selection during those same two years. He was voted NAIA All-District 6 in 1983, and was the 1984 Winthrop team MVP. He now ranks second on the Winthrop all-time list for most goals scored in a game with four, and is eighth on the list for assists in a single season with 12 in 1983. Tavino also excelled in the classroom and was a Rhodes Scholar Nominee.
Stephanie (Vangsnes) Young
— Young was a standout performer in cross country and track as well as the classroom. She holds the Winthrop school record for the indoor mile, indoor 3,000 meter run, and the outdoor 1500 meter run. In 2002, she had the highest finish ever by a Winthrop woman with a second place time in the 2002 Big South Cross Country Championship as well as the NCAA Southeast Region with a 21st place finish. She earned NCAA All-Southeast Region honors in 2002. In 2003, Vangsnes captures the Big South Conference mile run championship. She was a two-time All-Big South selection in cross country and was a three-time selection in indoor and outdoor track. She was voted the 2002 Big South Conference Scholar-Athlete for cross country.
Charlotta (Wennefors) Racz
— Racz was a two-time All-Big South Conference selection in 2000 and 2001, and was voted the 2002 Big South Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She still ranks in the Winthrop all-time top 10 career lists in seven categories, including first in career free throw percentage (76 percent), fourth in free throws made (354), and ninth for 3-point field goals made (90). She scored a career-high 34 points against College of Charleston on Dec. 16, 2001 which is tied for second most in school history, and she finished her career ranked ninth on Winthrop career scoring list and 25th the Big South Conference with 1,220 points.
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