March 18, 2008
DAVIS, Calif. - Five former UC Davis student-athletes and a former athletics director have been selected for induction into the Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame, it was announced by Director of Athletics Greg Warzecka. They will be formally honored during induction ceremonies on May 31 at Freeborn Hall.
The Hall of Fame honors those who have achieved or contributed to UC Davis intercollegiate athletics with unusual distinction. The inductees are chosen by the CAAHOF Advisory Board and approved by Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef.
Alphabetically, the 2008 induction class comprises the following six individuals:
STEVE ADELMAN, who won the NCAA Division II hammer throw championship with a mark of 200 feet, four inches. He won the Northern California Athletic Conference hammer title as a junior and was the D-II national leader in the event before a back injury forced him to withdrawal from the national meet. The following year, Adelman set school and conference records with a 206-6 throw, easily defending his NCAC title. He also captured the Colby E. "Babe" Slater Award as the university's outstanding male athlete of the year, and won the league's Everett Shelton Award as the conference's top male athlete of the year for all sports.
J.T. O'SULLIVAN, a three-year starter at quarterback who continues to hold most Aggie career passing records. He threw for 10,755 yards and 96 touchdowns in his career, twice advancing to the final eight national candidates the Harlon Hill Trophy, bestowed upon the outstanding D-II football player of the year. In his career, O'Sullivan earned at least honorable mention All-America distinction for three straight seasons, led the Aggies to national semifinal berths in 2000 and 2001, won the Colby E. "Babe Slater Award and even earned a vote for the 2000 Heisman Trophy. He was later drafted by the New Orleans Saints, launching a professional career that included an NFL Europa Co-Offensive MVP award in 2007.
ERICKA RUELAS, five-time champion and 11-time All-American at the USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships, who helped UC Davis capture its only USAG collegiate team title in 1999. She set school records in the all-around, the uneven parallel bars and floor exercise, the latter two of which still stand. Ruelas, who garnered the university's 2000 Hubert Heitman Award as the outstanding female athlete of the year, enjoyed particular success on the uneven bars. In that event, she scored a 9.900 or better eight times and won the USAG national title for three straight years.
JENNIFER SWANSON, a pole vaulter who won a total of five All-America awards including the 2000 NCAA indoor title. Entering the 2008 season, she continues to hold school records in the pole vault for both indoor and outdoor track and field. Her outdoor mark of 13-1.5 at the 2000 Woody Wilson Invite qualified her that summer's Olympic Track and Field Team Trials in Sacramento. Swanson's honors also include a West Region Female Athlete of the Year award by the U.S. Track Coaches Association, and a share of the 2000 W.P. Lindley Award as UC Davis' oustanding scholar-athlete of the year.
SHYAMALA WHITE, the most decorated outfielder in Aggie softball history, who won All-West Region and All-America honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association for three straight seasons. In her career, she batted .396 and set school lifetime records of 254 hits and 29 triples, while finishing among Aggie career leaders in most other offensive categories. White led her teams to a 166-56 combined record, three conference titles and four NCAA postseason apperances.
DR. KEITH WILLIAMS, a longtime instructor in the exercise biology department who served as UC Davis acting athletics director from midway into the 1991-92 academic year through the end of 1994-95. He helped guide the department through one of its most challenging periods, when the state-wide budget crisis threatened the future of Aggie intercollegiate athletics. Under Williams' leadership came the passage of two student initiatives that not only ensured the survival of the ICA program but expanded it to provide for the addition of three women's sports. Additionally, he is credited for implementing the title of lecturer-coach, described by his peers as "the most critical component of maintaining the UC Davis Athletics historical philosophy of teacher-coach and student-athlete."
The induction ceremonies will also feature the annual student-athlete awards, namely the Colby E. "Babe" Slater Award for the outstanding male athlete of the year, the Hubert Heitman Award for the top female athlete of the year, the W.P. Lindley Award for scholar-athlete of the year, and the Lysle Leach and Marya Welch team GPA awards. Tickets for the CAAHOF Induction Ceremonies & Student-Athlete Awards Banquet can be obtained from Amie Smith at (530) 752-4557.