July 3, 2018 > Five individuals, one team named to Hall of Fame Class of 2018
Five individuals, one team named to Hall of Fame Class of 2018
Submitted By Steve Connolly
Cal State East Bay is set to induct a new class of Pioneer legends into the CSUEB Athletics Hall of Fame. The 1972 women's track and field team will join former softball player Amy Circo, track and field athlete Norm Alston, golfer Michael Powers, swimmer Martin "Skip" Voves, and water polo player Elise Wilhelmsen to comprise the Class of 2018. This year's ceremony is scheduled for the evening of Saturday, Oct. 20 as part of the University's annual "Forever Pioneer" weekend festivities.
The 1972 women's track and field squad, which captured the first national title in the University's history, will become the second team to be immortalized in the Pioneer Hall of Fame. They were led by five individual All-Americans, three of whom were inducted in CSUEB's inaugural Hall of Fame class 32 years ago. United States Olympian and multi-sport athlete Marilyn King, three-time national javelin champion Barbara Pickel Whitfield, and two-time national 800-meter champion Debi "Cis" Schafer helped set the tone for what would become a decade of dominance for the Pioneer track and field program.
One of the most decorated jumpers in school history, three-time All-American Norm Alston competed for the men's track and field team from 1980-81 and went on to earn his undergraduate degree in 1988. Alston was FWC champion in the Long Jump in both 1980 and 1981 to go along with top-three individual finishes in the Triple Jump both seasons. He earned All-America honors in both events at the 1980 NCAA Division II Championships. The following year, he repeated as an All-American and claimed Long Jumps titles at the West Coast Relays, Sacramento Relays, and Bruce Jenner Games. In 1981, he set a school record in the Long Jump that still stands 37 years later.
Amy Circo turned in perhaps the greatest season by a Pioneer softball player in school history, helping the 1992 squad capture the Northern California Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship and NCAA Division II West Region title to reach the NCAA Final Four, ultimately finishing as national runner-up. As a hitter, she finished second in the conference in batting average (.382) and doubles (15), helping lead an offense that set single-season school records for runs, hits, home runs, doubles, and stolen bases. Individually, she swiped 28 bags that year, which still ranks in the program's top-10 all-time for career stolen bases. Circo was utterly dominant in the circle, pitching two no-hitters and posting the lowest single-season earned run average in Pioneer history (0.82).
October 20th will be an historic day for CSUEB Athletics, as the Pioneers induct the first-ever golfer into the Hall of Fame. Michael Powers came to Hayward as a freshman in 1972 and competed on the golf team for four seasons before earning his undergraduate degree in 1976. Powers helped put Pioneer Golf on the map, earning All-Far Western Conference honors four consecutive years. He qualified for NCAA Division II Championships three years in a row and finished in the top 25 individually each time. Powers earned Honorable Mention All-America recognition in 1974 after notching an eighth-place finish at the national championship tournament. The following year, he became the first player in program history to capture First Team All-America honors after finishing third at the 1975 NCAA Championships.ÿ
Martin "Skip" Voves was one of the first great swimmers in the University's history, competing from 1970-73 at the start of an extremely successful decade for Pioneer men's aquatics. He captured All-America honors in multiple individual and relay events. A standout sprint freestyler, Voves was the 1971 NCAA Division II national champion in the 50 Freestyle. That season, he captured the FWC individual titles in the 50 Freestyle and 100 Butterfly. He was also a member of the conference championship 400 Freestyle Relay team, which went on to finish as national runner-up at the NCAA DII Championship.
Rounding out the Class of 2018, Elise Wilhelmsen will become the first women's water polo player ever inducted into the Pioneer Athletics Hall of Fame. She will also become its youngest member. A 2008 graduate, she competed for just two seasons as the team's starting goalkeeper, but nonetheless ranks fourth in school history with 657 career saves. After leading the Pioneers to fourth place at the 2007 Collegiate III National Championship tournament, Wilhelmsen returned the following year for her senior season and helped Cal State East Bay reach the pinnacle of its sport. In 2008, she earned First Team All-America honors, captained the Pioneers to a 19-13 overall record, and led CSUEB to its first national championship in program history. She was named Most Valuable Player of the national championship tournament.