NORTON, Mass. - The Wheaton College Department of Athletics & Recreation is proud to announce the Yowell Hall of Fame class of 2017, which will be inducted on October 20th at 7:00pm in Wheaton’s Emerson Dining Hall.
The 2017 Yowell Hall of Fame class will consist of Lisa Baron Benzer ’87, Will Hawkins ’93, Chris Sullivan ’93, Shimera Daniels ’02, Jaclyn Demling ’04, Tracy Prihoda ’04 and James Greenslit ’06, in addition to the 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 women’s track and field teams.
“This is another extremely talented class of hall of fame inductees and we are incredibly honored to welcome them into the hall of fame,” said Wheaton College Director of Athletics & Recreation John Sutyak ’00. “We also are very happy to be honoring all of our NCAA National Champion women’s track and field teams from 2000-2003, which is certainly a well-earned and deserved honor for the women of those teams and the coaching staff.”
The Yowell Hall of Fame was created to honor and give lasting recognition to those individuals who, either through participation, support or interest, have made outstanding contributions in the athletics arena, and specifically to the Wheaton College athletics program. The individuals and teams enshrined have not only brought recognition, honor, distinction, and excellence to Wheaton and its intercollegiate athletics program, but they also have continued to demonstrate in their lives the values imparted by intercollegiate athletics.
LISA BARON BENZER ’87 (Orchard Park, NY) – Benzer was Wheaton’s first cross-country runner to earn NCAA All-American honors in 1986, making her just the fifth all-American in school history. Benzer had a standout career for the Lyons, representing Wheaton at the NCAA Cross Country championship in 1984 and 1986, while being named to the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-New England squad three times (1983, 1984, 1986). She earned all-conference honors in 1985 and 1986, while taking home the New England Women’s-6 (NEW 6) individual title and NEW 6 Runner of the Year honor in 1986. During her time on the course, Benzer was also named the Wheaton College Female Athlete of the Year twice.
WILL HAWKINS ’93 (Newark, N.J.) – Hawkins, one-half of the top scoring duos in NCAA and Wheaton history, helped guide the Lyons to their first ever post-season basketball appearance in the 1993 ECAC semifinal. Individually, Hawkins was a National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-Region honoree, while also being named an ECAC All-Star and the Wheaton College Co-Senior Athlete Award Winner in 1993. Hawkins still owns the school record for field goals in a career (702), points in a season (594) and field goals made in a single season (237). He also ranks third all-time in career points (1,776), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.387), seventh in free-throws (283) and ninth in rebounds (487), while holding three of the top-10 single-game scoring performances in program history, including an impressive 40 points against New England College on December 8, 1992.
CHRIS SULLIVAN ’93 (Tewksbury, Mass.) – The other half of the best one-two punch in NCAA and Wheaton basketball history, Sullivan has left his name scattered throughout the record books, including the distinction of being the all-time leading scorer in Wheaton basketball history, regardless of gender. A two-time ECAC New England All-Star (1992, 1993), he earned a share of the Wheaton College Senior Athlete Award in 1993. As the programs all-time leading scorer (1,935), he also holds the school record for most three-point field goals made in a career (275) and free-throws made in a career (384), while ranking second all-time in field goals made (638) and three-point field goal percentage (.396), third in steals (169), sixth in assists (244) and seventh in free throw percentage (.768). Sullivan also ranks in the top-10 in a season in 10 different categories, while holding three of the top-10 single game three-point field goal performances, including a program best nine, in an overtime thriller against Thomas on January 19, 1991.
SHIMERA DANIELS ’02 (Brentwood, N.Y.) – During the most dominating era of women’s track & field at Wheaton, Daniels found a way to shine. A four-time NCAA National Champion and 14-time NCAA All-American, Daniels was the United States Track & Field Coaches Association (USTCA) Indoor National Track Athlete of the Year in 2002, while being named the first-ever New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Rookie of the Year in 1999. She was a key member of six NCAA national championships, four indoors and two outdoors, as well as one national runner-up and a third-place finish, during her career. Over her four-year career, Daniels claimed three individual national championships, two in the triple jump (2001, 2002 indoor) and one in the long jump (2002 indoor), in addition to 13 individual All-American performances in the triple jump, long jump, 55m and 100m. She was also a member of the 2001 outdoor 4x100m national championship relay team.
JACLYN DEMLING ’04 (Norwood, Mass.) - A force to be reckoned with on the mound, Demling played a key role in helping the Lyons win four straight NEWMAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships, en route to two NCAA New England Regional Championships and Division III World Series appearances (2001, 2004), including a third-place finish in 2001. Individually, Demling received two National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-America honors, a pair of NEWMAC Player of the Year awards, a NEISCA Player of the Year nod, three NFCA All-Region First-Team accolades and two ECAC All-Star and NEWMAC All-Conference honors. She can still be found in the NCAA Division III softball record book, where she ranks 15th all-time in wins (96), innings pitched (795.2) and games pitched (123) while ranking 16th in complete games (101) and 25th in shutouts (39). At Wheaton, Demling is the program leader in career strikeouts (761) and strikeouts in a season (228) and also ranks second in a career in games (129), shutouts, wins, innings pitched, earned run average (1.32) and complete games, while owning 24 top-10 performances in a single season.
TRACY PRIHODA ’04 (Needham, Mass.) – The epitome of an offensive threat, Prihoda is a two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American and two-time NEWMAC Player of the Year. She also collected three NSCAA All-New England laurels and three NEWMAC All-Conference accolades, while being named the Wheaton College Senior Athlete Award winner in 2004. Prihoda was a part of four consecutive NEWMAC Regular Season and Tournament Championship teams and played in four NCAA tournaments, including back-to-back NCAA quarterfinals (2002, 2003) and one NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 (2000). Nationally, Prihoda still ranks as one of the best women’s soccer players in NCAA Division III history, ranking eighth in career points (256), 14th in career assists (52) and 16th in career goals (102). Her 2001 season saw her put up the fifth most goals in NCAA Division III history (38) and the seventh most points (87). She followed that up with the 12th most points (83) and 16th most assists (23) in NCAA history for a season in 2002. She owns seven school records, including points, goals, and assists (52) in a career, while holding single-season records in points (87), goals (38) and assists (23) and goals in a game (4), which she accomplished three separate times.
JAMES GREENSLIT ’06 (Framingham, Mass.) – An anchor on defense for Wheaton’s 2003 NCAA Tournament Final Four team, in addition to two other NCAA tournament teams, Greenslit’s talents did not go unnoticed. A three-time NSCAA All-American and two-time NEWMAC Men’s Soccer Player of the Year, Greenslit is the only athlete, male or female, to earn three Wheaton College Athlete of the Year honors in school history. The defender also collected three NSCAA All-Regional First-Team laurels to go with three NEWMAC All-Conference honors in leading the men to two NEWMAC championships and three NEWMAC regular-season titles. Greenslit also spent three seasons on the men’s basketball team, where he ranks seventh in a season in three-point field goal percentage (.439) and was a part of Wheaton’s back-to-back ECAC New England championship teams in 2005 and 2006.
WOMEN’S INDOOR/OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD TEAMS (2000-2003) – Following in the footsteps of the 1999 women’s indoor track & field team, which was the first-ever national championship team in Wheaton College history, the Lyons went on to dominate the track & field world for the early part of the 2000’s. With the 1999 indoor championship secured, Wheaton went on to win a total of seven NCAA team titles between the indoor and outdoor seasons from 2000-2003, including all four indoor NCAA championships during that stretch, to become the first Division III track & field team of either gender to capture five straight titles overall. Additionally, the 2000 outdoor team would finish 3rd before winning three straight national championships from 2001-2003.
As a team, the 2000-2003 Lyons earned 50 indoor All-America honors, while earning 64 All-America accolades in outdoor track. 12 different women would capture 25 individual national championships during that stretch at the indoor championships, while 12 women won 24 individual national champion honors during the outdoor seasons. Wheaton twice boasted the United States Track & Field Coaches Association Indoor Athletes of the Year in Deshawnda Williams (2000) and Shimera Daniels (2002), while Amber James earned the honor for her work outdoors in 2002, in addition to being named the Honda Award Finalist for Collegiate Woman of the Year. Two different women, Williams and Tenille Johnson, earned NEWMAC athlete of the year honors, while James, Tessa Donoghue and Aspen James were named NEWMAC Rookies of the Year during that time span.
For his work at the helm, head coach Paul Souza was named the NEWMAC and USTCA New England Indoor Coach of the Year all four years and the USTCA National Coach of the Year in 2002.