TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Shawnee County Sports Council announced the 2016 class of hall of famers Thursday.
The list includes Judy Dyer, Steve Tilford, and Clardy Vinson.
Judy Dyer graduated from Topeka High School in 1966 and was named the finest female track performer in THS history. She spent nine years as a member of the Topeka Cosmopolitan Track Club, after being recruited by Dr. John Davis, Jr. at the age of 9 years old. She set many AAU records in the 50 yard dash, 75 yard dash and the standing broad jump. Judy was the national indoor standing broad jump champion in Ft. Collins, CO in 1961 with a jump of 8’1.” In 1966, she set her best broad jump record of 18’5,” ranking 8 th in the nation.
Judy then accepted a four-year track and field scholarship to Texas Southern University (TSU) located in Houston, TX. She along with five other women formed the first women’s track team at TSU, “The TSU Tigerettes.” She was a member of the record setting 4×100 and sprint medley relays. In 1968, she reluctantly decided to leave TSU to receive additional training for the 1968 Olympic Games and was invited to join the Chicago Mayor Daley Youth Foundation Track Club. As a member, she ranked 3rd in the nation as an 80-meter hurdler which qualified her to attend the Olympic Trails. Judy made the 1968 USA Olympic Team as an 80-meter hurdler and competed in Mexico City, Mexico and ran her best time of 10.7 seconds.
After the 1968 Olympic Games, Judy returned to TSU to finish out her athletic eligibility and continue her education. She was member of the Fighting Tigers Cheerleaders Squad and was crowned Ms. Omega Phi. Judy earned a B.A. Degree in Social Work/Psychology in 1971 and a M.A. Degree in Counseling and Guidance/Education in 1974 from Texas Southern University. Judy has worked as a Vocational Counselor with the Texas Rehabilitation Commission and as a Marketing Representative with several marketing companies in Houston. She along with her brother Rudy operated a “Luxury By Design” limousine company in Los Angeles, CA. She worked for Entrepreneur Magazine as a business consultant earning various awards and then moved back to Topeka to open her second business “Simply Julia’s Fitness Center.”
Judy is a woman of many accolades — she was the first TSU female Olympian, the first female inducted into the TSU Sports Hall of Fame (1986), was inducted into the Southwest Athletic Conference Hall of Fame (2001), was inducted into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame (2010) in Dallas, TX. She was the first female athlete to be featured on the cover of the Magazine of Texas Southern University in 2013 as an outstanding alumni. Judy served as chairlady of the TSU Relays for 15 years and was inducted into the TSU Life Time Alumni Association. She is currently serving a 3-year presidential appointment as TSU Foundation board member. In addition, in 2011 Judy was selected #30 in the Topeka Capital-Journal Top 100 athletes of all-time in Shawnee County.
Judy resides in Houston, Texas and is still very much involved in track and field and running her third company, Managed Medical Associates, Inc. Which she established in 1995.
Steve Tilford graduated from Topeka High School in 1978. He started racing bicycles when he was 14 years old and won the Kansas State Road Championship that year. In 1978, Steve was named to United States Junior National Cycling Team and began training and living at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 1981, he started traveling internationally racing on the U.S. National Team, mainly in Europe and South America.
Steve then began racing off-road and he won the U.S. National Cyclocross Championships in 1983 and 1984. In addition, he won the first U.S. National Mountain Bike Championships in 1983. In 1986, Steve turned professional for the Levis/Raleigh Professional Team and raced on the road professionally for the next decade in the United States and abroad.
In 1990, he started racing professionally on mountain bikes and finished 18 th in the first World Mountain Bike Championships and finished in the top 20 five more times. In 1991 and 1992, Steve was the Professional Cyclocross National Champion. He has raced the World Championships in three disciplines of the sport – road, MTB and cyclocross, the only U.S. male rider to do so. Steve is also the only U.S. rider to win National Championship medals on the road, track, MTB and cyclocross.
He placed 2 nd in the U.S. Olympic Mountain Bike Trials in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996. In 1998, Steve was the first American male to win the UCI World Mountain Bike Championships Masters title in Mont. Ste. Anne, Quebec, and has won this competition five times. He won the Masters World Cyclocross Championships in 2012 and 2013. Steve was inducted into the United States Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2000. He has competed in over 2,500 races in his lifetime. He has raced internationally in 30 countries on the highest level for nearly 40 years.
Steve resides in Topeka and still races professionally on a year-round basis.
Clardy Vinson graduated from Topeka High School in 1968. He attended Butler County Junior. College in El Dorado, Kansas and then transferred to Kansas State University where he graduated in 1972 with a degree in Health and Physical Education. He later received a Master’s of Science in K-12 School Administration from Emporia State University in 1988.
While attending Topeka High, Clardy was a three-sport letterman participating in basketball, cross country and track. In track, he was a three-time State Champion winning the half mile run his junior year and both the mile and half mile his senior year. Clardy set individual school records in the half mile, the mile and was a member of the Sprint Medley and Two Mile Relay school record teams.
As a student at Butler County Junior College he was a two-year letterman in cross country and track. His freshman year he was the National Junior College half mile Champion and ran the second leg of the championship mile relay team. He went on to Kansas State University where he was a two-time All-American in track and field. Clardy was the Big Eight half mile champion his junior year. He also ran the leadoff leg of the Distance Medley team that won the Drake Relays and established both an American and a World record. Clardy’s best times were 1:47.5 in the half mile run and 4:17.0 in the mile run.
Upon graduation from Kansas State, Clardy embarked on a career as an Elementary and Secondary Health and Physical Education instructor in the Topeka Public School system. He coached cross country and track at his alma mater, Topeka High, for twenty years. After his teaching and coaching career, Clardy served eighteen years in school administration as the principal of the following schools, Sumner Elementary, State Street Elementary, Robinson Middle School and Topeka High School. He retired in 2009 after thirty-eight years of serving the educational community. Clardy was inducted into the KSHSAA Hall of Fame in 1996.
Clardy resides in Topeka with his wife of 41 years, Paula. They have two children, Craig who lives in Bentonville, Arkansas and Chris (wife Lydia) who lives in Austin, Texas.
Here are the 2016 High School Sports Council High School Nominees
Fall Male-Jacob Klemz, Cross Country, Hayden; Cesar Guerra-Garcia, Soccer, Highland Park; Tucker Horak, Football, Rossville; Colton Moranz, Football, Seaman; Austin Kennard, Soccer, Shawnee Heights; Jacob Gerber, Cross Country, Silver Lake; Tevin Jenkins, Football, Topeka High; Lane Bays-Broils, Topeka West; Joah Hickel, Soccer, Washburn Rural.
Fall FemaleMariah Grunert, Volleyball, Hayden; Don’Tayjah Jones, Vollebyall, Highland Park; Rylee Neigenfind, Volleyball, Seaman; Mikala Wells, Volleyball, Shawnee Heights; Taylor White, Volleyball, Silver Lake; Rachel Stous, Golf, Topeka High; Jordyn Musselman, Washburn Rural, Volleyball, Addison Donohue, Topeka West, Volleyball.
Winter MaleCarson Engroff, Basketball, Hayden; Christopher James, wrestling, Highland Park; Kole Davoren and Christian Roduner, Rossville; Bailey Kelly, Wrestling, Seaman; Mitchell Ridder, Swimming, Shawnee Heights, Blake Hallacy, basketball, Silver Lake; TC Smith III, basketball, Topeka High; Darren Landis, Topeka West; Trenton Miles, Wrestling, Washburn Rural.
Winter FemaleJordan Lenherr, Basketball, Hayden; Sabrina Kuhn, basketball, Highland Park; Heidi Nitsch, Basketball, Rossville; Jaylynn Evans-Patterson, Basketball, Seaman; Natalie Crimmins, bowling, Shawnee Heights; Rachael Heiman, Basketball, Silver Lake; Adrianna Henderson, Basketball, Topeka High; Renee Howland, Bowling, Topeka West; Whitney Prockish, Bowler, Washburn Rural.
Spring MaleTommy Hunter, Tennis, Hayden; Nathaniel Muriitha, Baseball, Highland Park; Ryan Zeferjahn, Baseball, Seaman; Dawson Pomeroy, Baseball, Shawnee Heights; Rylon Prieb, Track, Topeka West; Lucas McCalla, Golf, Washburn Rural, Logan Wolfley, Track, Silver Lake
Spring Female Caitlyn Cochran, Track, Hayden; Paula Ramos, Highland Park; Britnee Douglass, Softball, Rossville; Hailey Reed, Softball, Seaman; Payton Reynolds, Softball, Shawnee Heights; ; Brianna Ullom, Soccer, Topeka High, Emily Jacobson, Softball, Topeka West; Darby Hirsch, Soccer, Washburn Rural, Madison Wegner, Silver Lake, Softball.
Most Inspirational MaleTommy Hunter, Hayden; Joshua Holfrod, Highland Park; Bailey Kelly, Seaman; Alex Sheikh, Shawnee Heights; Jacob Anderson, Topeka High; Nicholas Lawson, Topeka West; Matthew Voigt, Washburn Rural.
Most Inspirational FemaleCecilia Nuno, Highland Park; Britnee Douglas, Rossville; Jaylynn Evans-Patterson, Seaman; Jamie Siess, Shawnee Heights; Ida Piechel, Topeka High; Alyssa Gentry, Topeka West; Mercedes Parker, Washburn Rural.