INDIANAPOLIS Ė Pole vaulter Earl Bell, middle distance runner Steve Scott, sprinter Gwen Torrence and race walker Larry Young are the 2002 inductees into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, USA Track & Field announced Wednesday.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2002 will be inducted December 6 at the Jesse Owens/Hall of Fame Awards Banquet, presented by The Document Company - Xerox. Held in conjunction with the 2002 USATF Annual Meeting, the induction will take place at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The induction will bring to 192 the number of members in the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, currently under construction at the Armory Track & Field Center at 168th street in New York City.
"These tremendous athletes are representatives of the many aspects of our great sport - sprinting, long distance running, field events and race walking, and I look forward to welcoming them to their rightful place in the Hall of Fame," said USATF President Bill Roe.
"Earl, Steve, Gwen and Larry all contributed greatly to raising their events to a higher level in the U.S. and around the world, and they richly deserve this honor," said USATF CEO Craig Masback. "The induction of our Hall of Famers is always a special occasion, and Iím grateful to our partners at Xerox for joining us in paying homage to these great athletes."
"All of us at Xerox are thrilled to welcome the Class of 2002 into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame," said Terry W. Dillman, Xerox Manager of Olympic Marketing. "Each individual has contributed greatly to the rich history of track and field, and Xerox is proud to honor them and their many accomplishments."
Bell, 47, was the 1984 Olympic bronze medalist and the 1987 World Indoor Championships bronze medalist in the pole vault. A three-time Olympian and a former world record holder, he was a three-time winner of both the USA Indoor and Outdoor titles. He also won three NCAA Outdoor crowns.
Scott, 46, made three Olympic teams and ran 136 sub-4-minute miles in his career, more than anyone in history. The 1978 NCAA Outdoor 1,500-meter champion, Scott won that event at the 1980 Olympic Trials and was the silver medalist at the 1983 World Outdoor Championships. Scott still holds the American records in the indoor and outdoor mile.
Torrence, 37, was the 1992 Olympic Games gold medalist in the womenís 200 meters and the 1995 World Outdoor champion at 100 meters. She also won Olympic gold in 1992 and í96 as part of the 4x100m relay team. During her career, Torrence won eight U.S. Outdoor titles, along with the 1987 NCAA crowns at 100 and 200 meters.
Young, 59, won two Olympic bronze medals in the 50K race walk, at Mexico City in 1968 and in 1972 at Munich. A former American record holder, Young was the 1967 and 1971 Pan American Games champion at 50K. Young won 30 national race walk titles during his career.
Eligible voters for the National Track & Field Hall of Fame include Track & Field Writers of America members, Hall of Fame members, USATF Association presidents, members of USATF standing sports committees and members of USATFís Athlete Advisory Committee.
Due to reopen in 2003, the Hall of Fame at the Armory will honor the nationís finest track and field athletes, coaches and contributors through its three floors of exhibits and its Interactive Learning Center.
Biographies of each of the inductees follow:
EARL BELL: Born August 25, 1955. One of the most accomplished U.S. menís pole vaulters in history, Earl Bell tied Thierry Vigneron of France for the bronze medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, with a clearance of 5.60 meters/18 feet, 4.50 inches. Bell qualified for two additional U.S. Olympic teams, placing sixth in 1976 and fourth in 1988. The gold medalist at the 1975 Pan American Games, Bell also won the silver medal at the 1987 World Indoor Championships and the bronze medal at the 1986 Goodwill Games. Bell won three U.S. Outdoor (1976-84-90), and three U.S. Indoor (1980-84-87) titles during his career. He also won three NCAA Outdoor titles (1975-76-77), and two NCAA Indoor titles (1975-76). Bell set the world outdoor record of 5.67m/18-7.25 on May 29, 1976 at the USTFF Championships in Wichita, Kansas, and he set the American record of 5.80m/19-0.25 in San Jose, California on June 9, 1984. Bell now is renowned as one of the top pole vault coaches in the country, with American record holder Jeff Hartwig, Olympians Kellie Suttle and Chad Harting, and 2001 World Indoor silver medalist Tye Harvey among the athletes training under him.
STEVE SCOTT: Born May 5, 1956. One of the greatest milers in history, Steve Scott won the U.S. menís 1,500m title six times and the U.S. Indoor mile crown four times. He is perhaps best known for having run 136 sub-4-minute miles in his career, more than any other athlete in the world. Track & Field News ranked Scott #1 in the U.S. on 10 occasions, and 11 times during his career he was ranked in the top ten in the world by T&FN. The NCAA 1,500m champion as a senior at the University of California-Irvine in 1978, Scott went on to win the 1980 Olympic Trials, but he did not compete at the Olympics in Moscow due to the U.S. boycott of the Games. Scott competed in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics finishing 10th and fifth, respectively. The silver medalist in the 1,500 meters at the inaugural IAAF World Outdoor Championships at Helsinki in 1983, Scott owns the U.S. Outdoor mile record of 3:47.69 (1982) and U.S. Indoor records in the mile (3:51.8-1981) and 2000 meters (4:58.6-1981). Scott currently is the head track and cross country coach at Cal State San Marcos.
GWEN TORRENCE: Born: June 12, 1965. One of Americaís best and most versatile womenís sprinters of all time, Gwen Torrence won the 1992 Olympic Games 200 meter gold medal and also won gold at 100 meters at the 1995 World Outdoor Championships. A two-time Olympic 4x100m gold medalist ('92, '96), Torrence was the 1996 Olympic 100m bronze medalist. Her overall record was impressive: she was an eight-time U.S. Outdoor champion, silver medalist in the 60 meters at the 1989 World Indoor Championships, and the 1987 NCAA 100m and 200m champion. At the World Outdoor Championships, she was 1991 silver medalist in the 100m and 200m, and she won a gold medal in the 4x400m relay at the 1993 World Outdoor Championships. Torrence was the U.S. Indoor 60m champion five times and 200m champ twice. At the end of the 1994 and 1995 seasons, she was ranked #1 in the world at 100 meters by Track & Field News. On four occasions Torrence was ranked #1 in the U.S. at 100m (1991-92-94-95), and she was ranked #1 in the world in the 200 meters in 1992, 1994, and 95. Torrence earned the U.S. #1 200m ranking five times (1991-92-93-94-95). Showing outstanding versatility, in 1992 Torrence was ranked #1 nationally in the 400 meters. Torrence currently lives in Lithonia, Georgia, where she is a hair stylist and the mother of two, son Manley (13), and daughter Eímon (3).
LARRY YOUNG: Born Feb. 10, 1943. One of the most successful athletes in U.S. race walking history, Larry Young was the last American walker to win an Olympic medal, taking third in the 50 kilometers walk at both the 1968 and 1972 Games. The winner of 30 national titles, he won eight U.S. crowns at 50 kilometers and never lost a championship race at that distance. In 1972, he won eight national titles at various distances. He also was the 1967 and 1971 Pan American Games champion at 50 kilometers and represented the U.S. in international competition eight times. Young attended Columbia (Missouri) College and was an American record holder at 50 kilometers. Young has been a full-time artist for the last 25 years and has placed over 50 monumental outdoor sculptures nationally and abroad. He owns and operates Larry Young Sculpture, a 6,000 square foot foundry in Columbia, where he personally creates and produces most of his work.
For more information visit the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.