Toledo's Greatest Athletes


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Toledo's Greatest Athletes

Postby Mighty Favog » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:22 am

Our local paper is doing a feature on this topic, and I was asked to compile my top ten for track and cross country. All athletes had to attend high school in the immediate Toledo area (thus local collegians such as Dave Wottle were not considered). I thought this group might be interested in what I put together.

1. Brenda Morehead (Scott HS ’75, Tennessee State) sprints
One of only three women to ever win the 100/200 double at the Olympic Trials (others are Florence Griffith-Joyner and Marion Jones)
Made two Olympic teams (’76, ’80) but never got to run. Injured in ’76, boycott in ’80.

2. Mel Walker (Libbey HS ’33, Ohio State) high jump
1938 US champion, 1936 NCAA champion, broke world record in 1937

3. Todd Williams (Monroe HS ’87, Tennessee) distance
Runner-up at ’86 National HS XC championships. 6-time US champion, ran on two USA Olympic teams and three USA World Championship teams, took 10th in the 1992 Olympic 10k.

4. Erik Kynard ( Rogers HS ’09, Kansas State) high jump
His state record ranks tenth in US high school history. All-American as a college freshman. Sophomore season coming up.

5. Don Bennett (Libbey HS ’28, Ohio State) sprints
Won the 100 and 220 at the 1928 National Interscholastic Championships, the latter in national record time (21.1). Ran in the 1928 and 1932 Olympic Trials, twice college All-American, won three Big Ten titles.

6. Erin Pendleton (Woodmore HS ’09, Michigan ) discus
State champion and high school All-American. Won a silver medal at the ’10 World Junior Championships, one of only three American discus medals ever at the World Juniors. Big Ten champion as a freshman, sophomore year coming up.

7. Emily Pendleton (Woodmore HS ’07, Michigan ) discus
Her state record ranks seventh in US high school history. 2006 US junior (under-20) champion. Two-time Big Ten champion, then runner-up to her sister.

8. Sylvester Stewart (Waite HS ’42, Miami OH) distance
A four-time state champion and an All-American both in high school and in college. NCAA runner-up in the 880, 3rd at NCAA Cross Country.

9. Justin Welch (Eastwood HS ’10, Georgia) hammer
10. Meshawn Graham (Bowsher HS ’08, Texas Tech) 400 meters

Honorable Mention
Collegiate All-Americans:
Joe Allen (Rogers HS ’97 , Florida State)
Jinny Hanifan (Anthony Wayne HS ’98, Northern Arizona )
Mike Gallagher (Libbey HS ’62, Western Michigan)
Golden West Champion:
Bob Lawson (Libbey ’72)
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Re: Toledo's Greatest Athletes

Postby gh » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:06 am

cool list!
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Re: Toledo's Greatest Athletes

Postby Bruce Kritzler » Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:47 pm

Rachel Sauder, Archbold, OH, Auburn 7 time All American
Is Sandusky considered Toledo area?
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Re: Toledo's Greatest Athletes

Postby Mighty Favog » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:21 pm

The sportswriter who contacted me said that Archbold was not to be considered. Ditto for Tiffin, which knocked out former AR holder Briana Shook. Geographically, it's basically Lucas County plus the proximal half of the four surrounding counties.
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Re: Toledo's Greatest Athletes

Postby Bruce Kritzler » Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:09 pm

Rick Schnitker(sp?) and teammate from Bedford, MI probably as accomplished as some at end of your list.
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Re: Toledo's Greatest Athletes

Postby Bruce Kritzler » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:24 pm

Fred Laplante, Bowsher HS, Eastern Mich. , 1:47
Debbie Lansky Laplante, Trenton, MI, 1976 Olympian 100h
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Re: Toledo's Greatest Athletes

Postby tandfman » Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:05 pm

Bruce Kritzler wrote:Debbie Lansky Laplante, Trenton, MI, 1976 Olympian 100h

She spelled it Deby.
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Re: Toledo's Greatest Athletes

Postby rdlwolverine » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:44 pm

Here are some others that I think may rank above a few on your list in chronological order -

Roland Spitzer (Yale) (1908 U.S. Olympic team, 3200m steeplechase)

Lewis Moorehead (Scott) (Ohio State, Big Ten high jump champ, 1920)

Boni Petcoff (Waite) (Ohio State) (set U.S. record in javelin at Penn Relays, 1923)

Jim McKinley (Eastern Michigan, NCAA runner-up pole vault, 1932)

Henry Williams (Libbey) (BGSU, All-American, 5th place NCAA 100m 1965, MAC champion 100yds 1965, 1966, BGSU HOF)

Chris Brown (DeVilbiss) (Georgetown, TCU, Big East champ 200m outdoors 1989, 400m indoors, 100m and 200m outdoors 1990, Outstanding Performer 1990 Big East Indoor Championships)

Justin Daler (St. John’s) (Minnesota, Tennessee, 3rd place pole vault NCAA indoors, 4th place NCAA outdoors, All-American 1993)

Raina Turner (Rogers) (Kentucky, 8th place high jump NCAA outdoors 1993, 5th place high jump NCAA indoors, 8th place NCAA outdoors 1994, 7th place high jump NCAA outdoors 1995, All-American 1993, 1994, 1995 1996)

Does being born in Toledo count?

Dick Bruggeman (born Toledo, Marion Elgin HS) (Ohio State, Big Ten champion 400m hurdles 1968, 4th place 600yds NCAA indoors 1970, 1972 United States Olympic team 400m hurdles)
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Re: Toledo's Greatest Athletes

Postby tandfman » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:04 pm

Wow! That has to get a TAFNY for the best first post ever.

Welcome aboard, rdlwolverine!
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Re: Toledo's Greatest Athletes

Postby Mighty Favog » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:05 pm

rdlwolverine wrote:Here are some others that I think may rank above a few on your list in chronological order -

Boni Petcoff (Waite) (Ohio State) (set U.S. record in javelin at Penn Relays, 1923)
No, he did not. Petcoff's best mark in '23 (and his whole life) was 185' 0", which was a) at the then-brand new Ohio Stadium, not the Penn Relays and b) just #10 on the US list for the year. Where this tall tale came from I don't know, but several local sportswriters have repeated it. It was an Ohio State school record, which in '23 wasn't even that big a deal, but that's it.

Brown was on my high school team. Funny thing was that he wasn't even the undisputed star of the team. There were two or three others with as much if not more potential, but Brown waws the one who avoided self-destruction through injury, immaturity, or letting football pay the bills. Brown transferred from Georgetown to TCU after his sophomore year and obviously didn't make the step up, so maybe he succumbed as well.

Brown does have one enduring claim to fame: he was the last high schooler who ever beat Chris Nelloms in a long sprint.
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