MOUNT PLEASANT Six Central Michigan University athletic standouts have been chosen for induction into the CMU Athletics Hall of Fame as the Class of 2008.
This year’s honorees are Ralph Darin (baseball, 1969-72), Laura (Farrell) Page (field hockey, 1988-91), Harry Richards (wrestling, 1984-87), Billy Smith (football, 1988-91), Jeff Tropf (men’s basketball, 1977-79) and Karen Wongstrom (softball, 1984-87).
The new inductees will be honored at the Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, Oct. 17, at the Comfort Inn, and then recognized at the CMU-Western Michigan football game on Saturday, Oct. 18.
The CMU Athletics Hall of Fame began in 1984 and the current roster now includes 143 members. Plaques honoring all the inductees are on display in Dan Rose Center.
“We are proud to induct these individuals into our hall of fame,” Athletics Director Dave Heeke said. “The foundation of our Championship Culture was built by their efforts on the field and in the classroom. Not only did they excel as individuals, but they raised their teams to championship levels.”
To be eligible, the following must hold true for athletes: one becomes eligible 10 years after leaving school; one must earn two letters in one sport or one or more in two sports or brought recognition to the school by his or her athletic endeavors; and an outstanding career as an athlete must be continued in the individual's profession or occupation.
For induction as faculty/staff: a person becomes eligible five years after leaving his or her coaching position or athletic-related administrative position.
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Laura (Farrell) Page
Ralph Darin, Baseball (1969-72)
Second team All-American in 1971 ... team MVP in 1971 ... member of the 1971 team that was NCAA College Division national runner-up ... won a school record 12 games in 1971, a mark that currently ranks second on the single-season chart ...also hit .353 that year with 17 RBI and four homers ... was 12-1 with a save and a 2.24 ERA in ’71 while pitching 100.3 innings and striking out 123 batters which still stands as a school single-season record ... sports a 2.44 career ERA which currently ranks sixth in school history ... arm injury slowed him on the mound in 1972 but he hit .343 with a team-high 37 RBI and six homers ... hit .335 for career with 60 RBI and 10 home runs ... career record was 16-8 with 227 strikeouts which currently ranks seventh on CMU’s career chart ... right-handed pitcher who batted from the left side of the plate ... native of River Rouge, Mich. who prepped at River Rouge High School.
Laura (Farrell) Page, Field Hockey (1988-91)
Three-time first team All-MAC selection ... invited to USA Field Hockey’s A-Camp in 1989 ... second team Academic All-MAC in 1990 ... two-time Regional All-American (1990 and ’91) ... member of the 1990 MAC championship team ... tallied 18 career assists and 66 career points which both currently tie for ninth in school history ... four-year starter ... scored a team-high nine goals as both a sophomore and a junior while adding eight assists as a junior ... notched five goals and seven assists as a senior ... played in two MAC Tournament championship games ... selected NFHCA All-Academic in 1989 ... native of Reston, Va. who prepped at South Lakes High School.
Harry Richards, Wrestling (1984-87)
Named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the 1986 MAC Championships after not allowing a point to be scored against him in the tournament ... won MAC titles in 1986 and 1987 at 126 pounds ... member of first two MAC championship teams (1986, ’87) in school history ... a CMU team award is named in his honor and has been given out since 1999; the recipient is someone who overcomes adversity and has a positive impact on both the team and their individual accomplishments ... named team’s co-captain and most valuable wrestler in 1987 ... posted a career record of 97-31-2 for a .754 career winning percentage ... his career winning percentage ranked fourth on CMU’s career chart at the completion of his career and was still in the top 10 until this past season ... top season was a 32-6-1 mark as a junior ... ranked in the top 10 nationally during final two seasons ... two-time NCAA qualifier and was one win away from All-America honors as a senior ... received both an undergraduate and graduate degree from CMU ... overcame a birth anomaly called bi-lateral clubfeet ... native of Lansing, Mich. who prepped at Sexton High School.
Billy Smith, Football (1988-91)
First team All-MAC tailback in 1990 and ’91 ... had a pair of 1,000-yard seasons with 1,440 yards as a senior and 1,047 as a junior ... the 1,440 yards currently ranks fifth on CMU’s single-season chart ... led the MAC and ranked eighth nationally in rushing in 1991 with 130.9 yards per game and was also tops in the MAC in all-purpose yards that season with 139.6 yards per game ... named team MVP and was the recipient of CMU’s Kurt Dobronski Award in 1991 ... holds the CMU single-season record for rushing attempts with 374 in 1991 ... member of the 1990 MAC championship team that played in the California Raisin Bowl ... native of Detroit, Mich. who prepped at Henry Ford High School.
Jeff Tropf, Men’s Basketball (1977-79)
First team All-MAC selection in 1978 and honorable mention in 1979 ... finished second in the MAC Player of the Year voting in 1978 ... led the MAC in rebounding in 1978 with 11.1 rebounds per game ... member of two Mid-American Conference championship teams, 1977 and 1979 ... held the school career field goal percentage record at .549 and currently ranks fourth ... averaged team highs of 17.3 points and 11.1 rebounds per game in 1978 while shooting .605 from the floor, a mark that ranked 15th nationally ... currently ranks eighth in school history with 645 career rebounds and his 9.6 boards per game average ranks sixth ... also led the team in rebounding in 1979 with 8.8 rebounds per game ... went 12-for-12 from the floor at Northern Illinois on Jan. 4, 1978 ... scored a career-high 31 points at Miami in 1978 and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds at Butler in 1978 ... was selected to play in the 1979 Pizza Hut Basketball Classic, an all-star game where the players were chosen by fan voting ... named team MVP in 1978 ... seventh-round selection in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers ... a native of Holt, Mich. who prepped at Holt High School.
Karen Wongstrom, Softball (1984-87)
Still holds the school record for career winning percentage at .811 (60-14) ... more than half of her career wins were shutouts as she blanked 31 opponents, fourth most in school history ... 60 career victories were a school record and currently rank third ... three-time first team All-MAC selection ... threw a no-hitter against Miami on May 4, 1984 ... tied the school record with 22 wins in 1986 and the mark currently is tied for third ... also ranks ninth on the single-season chart with 18 wins in 1987 ... member of the 1987 team that finished fifth at the NCAA Women’s College World Series ... member of two MAC championship teams ... recorded 336 career strikeouts, a mark that currently ranks fifth in school history ... sparkling 0.75 career ERA currently ranks fourth in school history ... made 89 appearances and threw 531.1 innings in career ... two-time Academic All-MAC selection ... native of South Lyon, Mich. who prepped at South Lyon High School.