Most of the area's high schools have contributed in some way to the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame. This year, for the local Hall's 13th class, Cheyenne Mountain should feel more ownership than usual.
Not only does the Class of 2012 include two decorated athletes from Cheyenne Mountain's past, Duane Goldman in wrestling and Christy Krall in figure skating, but the newest list of honorees also includes an entire CMHS sport — girls tennis.
Other inductees include Barry Helton, former Colorado All-American punter (whose son now is a Cheyenne Mountain athlete); Wayne Baughman, longtime Air Force wrestling coach; and George Killian, internationally respected sports administrator. All will be enshrined at the annual Hall of Fame banquet Oct. 30 at the World Arena.
Goldman, arguably the best high school wrestler ever to come out of this city, won state titles for Cheyenne Mountain in 1979 and 1981 while amassing an 85-2 career record. In the legendary University of Iowa college program, he won four Big Ten individual titles, capped by a 36-0 senior season taking the NCAA championship at 191 pounds, while helping the Hawkeyes to four NCAA team titles. Goldman has spent two decades as head coach at Indiana University, where he's coached wrestlers to three NCAA titles and 25 All-American awards.
Krall, a Springs native, became a nationally prominent figure skater (her maiden name was Christy Haigler) as a teen representing the Broadmoor Skating Club, and finished seventh at the 1964 Winter Games. She was a multiple medalist at the U.S. championships and competed at several World Championships, while finishing at Cheyenne Mountain and later graduating from Colorado College. Later she began coaching top-level skaters, and she served as U.S. team leader for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Most recently, she has helped coach Patrick Chan of Canada to the 2011 and 2012 men's world titles.
As much as those two achieved, though, Cheyenne Mountain's girls tennis program has maintained true dominance at the state level. Since 1986, Cheyenne teams have won a total of 16 state championships, and one's going for No. 17 this month.
In some cases, sisters have continued the tradition. Joanne Varnum played No. 1 singles and captained the 1986 team before moving on to the University of Arkansas. Her younger sister Becky became Colorado's first player to win four state singles titles (1994-97) while never losing a high school match in her 68-0 career. She went on to become an All-American at Notre Dame.
Cheyenne's girls tennis dynasty has spanned four coaches — Bob Scott, Jackie Jones, Martha Bartz and Dave Adams — with Adams still coaching the team today, as well as Cheyenne's comparably successful boys program.
Among the other Hall inductees, Helton was a multi-sport high school standout at Simla High School before going to the University of Colorado, where he was a consensus All-American in 1985 and 1986. He went on to win Super Bowl rings with the San Francisco 49ers in 1988 and 1989.
Killian, a former longtime president of basketball's world governing body, served on the International Olympic Committee as well as the U.S. Olympic Committee's board of directors, and was executive director of the National Junior College Athletic Association (headquartered here) from 1969 to 2004.
Baughman, a former Olympian and NCAA champion in wrestling, was the U.S. Olympic head coach in 1976 and coached at the Air Force Academy for 27 years.
Also at the induction banquet, the Col. F. Don Miller Award will go to Frank Aires and Phil Johnson, Aires for his many years as a staffer and volunteer in the Olympic movement, and Johnson for his role in developing young basketball players through the years, especially for Doherty High School. The Thayer Tutt Sportsman Award will be given to Tom James, local attorney and volunteer who has helped support the USOC and its member sports as well as many area nonprofits.
More information on tickets for the banquet will come later.