Capital Region Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame set to induct its fourth class of inductees

Christine Petersen

Two national champions from Saratoga Springs High School’s contingent of girls’ distance runners and two dominating athletes from Schenectady’s storied past are included in the fourth class of inductees for the Greater Capital Region Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame.

Both the 2021 honorees and 11 chosen in 2020 will be inducted together on Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Albany Marriott on Wolf Road in Colonie after last year’s dinner was cancelled.

The Saratoga standouts chosen are Erin Davis (Class of 1997), who won the Foot Locker national cross country championship as a freshman and went on to claim three state and four Federation cross country titles; and Keelin Hollowood (2013), who earned two steeplechase golds at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals and ran on an NCAA championship cross country team at Providence College.

From Mont Pleasant, Steve Szumachowski (1934) was unbeaten in his junior and senior cross country seasons, including consecutive titles in the American Interscholastic Championship Meet; and Joe Zelezniak (1970) was a multiple state champion who set Section 2 records in both the shot put and discus.

Also being inducted are Dick Edmunds, the Glens Falls sprinter who ran an area-record 21.0 in the 220 in the mid-1950s and finished sixth in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1960 with a 46.44 in the 400; Alicia Crowd-Andersen, a four-time state champ who starred indoors and out at Greenwich in the late 90s and won a Big East title at Syracuse; and horizontal jumper Leah Moran (Stillwater, Holy Names) whose marks in an exceptional 2021 outdoor track season at Indiana University have qualified her for the NCAA Championships and U.S. Olympic Trials.

Completing the field is longtime track official Christine Petersen of Johnstown, who passed away suddenly in February. She will enter the Hall with husband Dave Petersen, a 2020 inductee who built successful boys’ and girls’ track programs at Fonda-Fultonville and has served for more than 20 years as the Section 2 Boys’ Outdoor Track Coordinator. Their daughter, Jennifer Petersen Jette, was a 2019 inductee.

In addition to Dave Petersen, inductees from 2020 include sprinter Izaiah Brown (Amsterdam 2015); distance runners Ray Trail (Mont Pleasant ’35-36), Katie Twarog Moulton (Colonie ‘01) and Krissy Haacke (Shaker ’93); Olympic qualifier Ysanne Williams (Albany ‘98); hurdlers Jeff York (Troy ‘89) and Madalayne Smith (Saratoga Springs ‘10); pole vaulter Jared O’Connor (Shenendehowa ‘04); and coaches Frank Myers (Colonie) and Roberto Vives (University at Albany).

Details on the induction dinner, including ticket sales, will be announced at a later date.

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2021 Greater Capital Region Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame Inductees

Joe Zelezniak

(Mont Pleasant 1970)

— Won state shot put championships in 1969 and 70 and was a three-time Section 2 champion whose 62-3 remains as the Section 2 record. Set a section record of 170-2 in the discus (since broken) in a dominating weight career that included wins at the Eastern State Championships and Eddy Meet.

— In the early 80s, set meet records and won the shot at numerous open meets in the East and placed fifth in the 1983 National Indoor Championship Meet at Madison Square Garden. That earned a spot on the Olympic Committee European Tour, where he placed fifth in the European Indoor Championships in Milan, Italy.

— An 11-time winner at the Empire State Games, he competed until age 40, when he was ranked No. 1 in the East in the shot. Spent years mentoring local high school athletes in the event.

Steve Szumachowski (Mont Pleasant 1934, Notre Dame 1939)

— Unbeaten in cross country meets his junior and senior years, including back-to-back victories in the American Interscholastic Championship Meet. He placed second in that meet as a sophomore and set a meet record the following fall.

— Track highlights included legs on three relay teams that won Championship of America races at the Penn Relays. After graduating from Mont Pleasant, he represented the U.S. in the 1934 Polish Olympics in Warsaw, winning the 1,500- and 5,000-meter runs.

— As a scholarship athlete at Notre Dame, was a cross country All-American, a sport in which he finished fifth in the National Collegiate Championships as a senior, and he won 20 of 25 dual meets. He also had a successful career on the track.

Christine Petersen (Johnstown 1966, Oneonta 1970)

— Provided dynamic and dedicated leadership to the Capital District Track Officials organization for multiple decades. Secretary for several years, President 1995-2011, Outdoor track assignor 2011-2020.

— Officiated at New York State High School Track and Field Championships for more than 30 years in a variety of roles: discus judge, finish line judge and timer, starter, head starter, clerk and chief clerk, pentathlon judge and chief pentathlon judge.

— Received the NY State Officials organization Dick Teetsel Award as the “Outstanding Track & Field Officials of the Year” (2013). In 2016, won the Dick Fersinger Award “Given in honor of dedication to the sport, its athletes, coaches, and officials.”

Leah Moran

(Holy Names 2016, Indiana 2020)

— Highly decorated high school career at Stillwater and Holy Names. Outdoor State Championship Meets: Division 2 double winner in the long and triple jumps in 2014 and 2015. Outdoor Section 2 record in triple jump at 40-½ and all-time best in long jump at 19-11.

— Indoor track: Finished seventh in the triple jump at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in 2015 and had top-five finishes in both horizontal jumps at indoor state meets her junior and senior years.

— Scholarship athlete at Indiana University. Big Ten indoor track long jump champion in 2020. Holds school record for indoor triple jump. Back-to-back Big Ten outdoor triple jump championships. Last month, her 44-6 school record met the qualifying standard for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Keelin Hollowood

(Saratoga 2013, Providence 2017)

— Scored consecutive championships in the 2,000-meter steeplechase at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in 2012 and ‘13 and competed for the Blue Streaks on five relay teams that won in national meets.

— Earned All-American honors 14 times across the cross country and indoor and outdoor track seasons, which included a dozen Section 2 championships. In cross country, Saratoga finished first or second in every state, Federation and Nike Cross National cross country meet she participated in for four years.

— Ran on the NCAA championship cross country team at Providence College in 2013 and posted top-10 finishes on the track in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Big East Championships for four straight years.

Dick Edmunds

(Glens Falls 1956, Philips Exeter 1957, Princeton 1961)

— Undefeated in 100-, 220- and 440-yard dashes during junior and senior high school years. New York State champion in the 220 dash in 1955 and 1956, 100-yard dash in 1956. Ran personal bests of 9.8 (100), 21.0 (220) and 49.4 (440).

— Established 12 school records while at Princeton University. In 1960, placed fifth in the NCAA championship 440 and sixth in the Olympic Trials 400. His time in the latter race, 46.44, remained a Princeton school record for 52 years.

— Won title in the 440-yard dash at the Marine Corps and All-Service Championship in 1962. Member of the United States team at the Pan American Games in 1963, where he won a gold medal as a member of the 1,600-meter relay team.

Erin Davis

(Saratoga 1997, Penn State 2001)

— Extraordinary high school cross country career highlighted by three State Meet and four consecutive State Federation Meet individual titles. Won the 1993 Foot Locker Championships as a freshman and had two other top-10 finishes in the race.

— Despite battling injuries for much of her career, won three state 3,000-meter golds, and her indoor mark of 9:42.41 at the Yale Invitational topped the all-time Section 2 list for 11 years.

— As an eighth-grader, posted a 16:43.47 in the Empire State Games 5K for the fastest time ever by a New York state high school runner, and appeared in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd.”

Alicia Crowd-Andersen

(Greenwich 1997, Syracuse 2001)

— Holds seven individual and three relay records at Greenwich High School. Won 4 State titles, 16 Sectional titles, and numerous league and invitational championships.

— Qualified for the NYSPHSAA Track & Field Championships seven times and was state champion in the 300 meters indoors and the 400 and the 200 outdoors in 1996. Placed fourth in the 400 meters (55.73) at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships in Boston in 1997.

— As a scholarship athlete at Syracuse University, won the Indoor Big East Conference Championships in 1999 in the 400 and established the school record (54.75). Set and continues to hold the school record in the 500 (1:12.91) in 1999. Won All-Big East Conference and ECAC accolades several times during her career.

By Paul Wager