Newest inductees to Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame announced
May 14, 2013
Former University of Montana women's soccer star Courtney (Mathieson) Jenkins and UM's Big Sky Conference champion 1972 men's track team will be inducted into the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame this fall, announced UM Athletic Director Kent Haslam.
Mathieson will be the 51st individual to join the prestigious group. The 1972 track squad becomes the fifth team to be inducted. Last year Montana's 2001 Division I-AA national championship football team joined the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame.
Jenkins and the 1972 men's track team will be inducted at a banquet on Friday, Sept. 20, at a site yet to be determined. They will also be introduced prior to the Grizzly-Oklahoma Panhandle State football game in Washington-Grizzly Stadium the next day.
Jenkins, an outside midfielder from Redmond, Wash., started all 75 games during her career from 1994-97, and the team she played on had an overall record of 50-24-1. She led the Griz soccer team to its first Big Sky championship as a senior in 1997.
She was named first-team All-Big Sky Conference and to the All-Northwest Region squad in 1997. She holds Griz records with 112 career points (43 goals, 26 assists). Fifteen years after graduating she still leads UM with 13 game-winning goals.
Jenkins was a three-time GTE Academic All-American selection, earning honors in 1995, '96 and '97. In addition, she was the NSCAA Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the entire country in 1997. She also received the UM's President's Award for having the department's highest GPA as a junior and senior.
"I am honored and humbled to have been selected for induction in the UM Grizzly Athletics Hall of Fame," said Jenkins, a lawyer who now resides in Helena with her husband Paul, a former (1995-98) Griz football player, and their two children, Scout and Owen.
"My years playing soccer for UM remain among the best of my life, and I am proud to represent the Grizzly women's soccer program in the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame. Thank you to the selection committee, and to Coach Betsy Duerksen and my amazing teammates for making this honor possible. Go Griz!"
More than four decades ago, Montana's 1972 track and field squad scored 147 points en route to the first (and only) league crown for the Grizzlies in that sport. The Big Sky will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013-14.
Despite winning just one league track and field title, Montana was a dominant squad in the Big Sky's first 12 seasons, from 1964 to 1975. In that time span, the Grizzlies placed second in the Big Sky meet six times (1965, 1967-70, and 1975). The only time that Montana has placed in the top two in the past 38 seasons (since 1975) was a second place finish in 2002, when it hosted the conference meet.
The Griz tracksters placed in 17 of 18 events (UM had no placers in the long jump) at the conference championship meet, which was held in Boise, Idaho, and 14 of the athletes who scored points were from the state of Montana. Of the 34 lettermen on the 1972 track and field team, 21 came from the Treasure State.
"Historically, the University of Montana track teams had been comprised of really good individuals, who as a group was always competitive for a conference championship, but they never competed together as a team and came up short of a title," said Harley Lewis, UM's head track and cross country coach from 1966-78, who was inducted into the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame in October of 1998.
"The 1972 team was different. Some members of that team came so close to winning in 1969 and 1970, but in 1972 they were determined and not to be denied. They all rallied around one another, they all peaked physically and emotionally at the right time, and as a result they made history at the university.
"That team had great leadership with its team captains Bill Zins and Al Joscelyn, and every single team member knew what they had to do to win and each of them played a role," said Lewis, a Butte native and Griz track and field letterman from 1960-63.
"There were individual conference champions, but it was the togetherness and the support for one another that won the day. Every single person had a goal, and it was one of those rare times in sports that most all of those goals were met.
As one succeeded, others fed on that success and rose to their best to score points. It was truly a team championship in an individual sport. I was very proud of them in 1972, and I am very proud of them now for being inducted into the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame."
Darby native Rick Brown set a Big Sky record in the 440 (47.3), and George Cook (Highland Falls, N.Y.) set a standard in the steeplechase (8:58.9). Craig Stiles (Malta) won a conference title in `72 and set a school record earlier in the season in the javelin at 255-10, which is still the best mark in Montana history.
Brown was Montana's top point-getter. He won the 440, finished second in the 220 and was also a member of both the relay teams. UM's other first-place finisher along with Brown, Cook and Stiles was Glenn Chaffey of Missoula in the triple jump.
"I feel honored and humbled by our team's selection to the Grizzly Hall of Fame," said Zins, a sprinter from Great Falls. "The friendships developed from our team continue through today, and this honor is as special as this team."
"This is a great honor being associated with great athletes, but I want to say we're honoring not only this team but all the track and field athletes that have competed and are competing at the University of Montana," said Joe Epler, a hurdler and 440-yard runner from Helena.
"Today I'm sitting here with a great big smile on my face for two reasons. The first being the Grizzlies' win in this year's dual meet with the Cats, and the second being the honor of having our `72 team selected for induction into the Grizzly Hall of Fame," said Joscelyn, a hurdler from Missoula. "Who would have guessed that one of the most meaningful and fun aspects of that championship would come now, 41 years later."
"To me, that was the ultimate team, and now we're getting the ultimate honor from the University of Montana," said high jumper Tom Roberts from Butte. "To be honored with the past and present athletes at UM is very special."
Montana's point scorers at the 1972 Big Sky Conference track and field championships at Boise, Idaho
*=Indicates Big Sky record
1972 Big Sky Conference championships team scores
School records set in 1972
1972 Montana track and field lettermen
Head Coach: Harley Lewis
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