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2013 Jackrabbit Sports Hall of Fame class unveiled

by
SDSU
SDSU

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KWSN)— Four South Dakota State University all-time greats will be inducted into the prestigious Jackrabbit Sports Hall of Fame during on-campus ceremonies Oct. 26.

 

Hall of Fame inductees include:

• Kim Fordham Lien, women’s track and field; • Marty Johnson, men’s tennis; • Tim Johnson, baseball; and • Dan Sonnek, football.

 

Fordham Lien was the premier middle distance runner of her era, winning back-to-back 800-meter national titles indoors and earning NCAA Division II All-America honors seven times in the 800 meters between the indoor and outdoor seasons. After placing third in 1987, Fordham Lien won consecutive indoor 800-meter titles at the 1988 and 1989 NCAA Division II Championships. She also earned All-America honors four times outdoors in the 800, placing fifth in 1987 and 1991, around runner-up finishes in both 1989 and 1990.

 

Her 800-meter times of 2:06.24 (outdoors) and 2:11:37 (indoors) remain school records.

 

An Aberdeen native, Fordham Lien won a total of 11 individual North Central Conference titles from 1987-91, including four outdoor titles in the 800 and three indoors. She also won the 1,500-meter championship twice each indoors and outdoors. Fordham Lien added a pair of 1,600-meter relay titles to her list of accomplishments and was named the Most Valuable Performer at the NCC indoor championships in 1988 and outdoor championships in 1990.

 

Marty Johnson was masterful on the tennis court for the Jackrabbits, winning a total of four North Central Conference titles between singles and doubles play. In 1971, Johnson teamed with Wally Milfs to win the No. 2 doubles title at the conference meet. Later that year, Johnson became the first Jackrabbit tennis player to play in a national tournament as he received an at-large bid to compete at No. 1 singles in the NCAA College Division Tennis Championships.

 

A Brookings native, Johnson again finished as NCC runner-up at No. 1 singles in 1972, before claiming back-to-back league titles in 1973 and 1974. He teamed with Rob Wylie to win the No. 1 doubles conference title his senior season and competed in both singles and doubles in NCAA postseason competition.

 

Johnson remained a dominant tennis player following his days as a Jackrabbit, winning nearly a combined 30 titles between singles and doubles on the state tennis circuit. He also has coached tennis and served as head professional at various locations throughout the Midwest.

 

Tim Johnson excelled on the baseball diamond for the Jackrabbits, earning all-North Central Conference honors three consecutive seasons from 1985-87. He was named NCC Southern Division Most Valuable Player and was an all-district selection in 1987 after setting a then-Jackrabbit single-season record with 13 home runs. He also led the league with five home runs in 1985 and hits in 1986 with 26 in league play.

 

A native of Hastings, Minn., Johnson was named to the all-tournament team at the 1984 NCAA Division II Midwest Regional as the Jackrabbits advanced to the NCAA Division II World Series. By the time his collegiate career ended in 1987, he had set 12 school records, including games played (151), runs scored (137), hits (179), runs batted in (130) and home runs (31).

 

An infielder, Johnson batted .367 for his career, including posting a .431 mark in 1986. His 31 home runs still rank seventh in school history, while his .631 career slugging percentage ranks 10th.

 

Sonnek led the South Dakota State football team in rushing three consecutive seasons from 1985-87, setting school and North Central Conference records in the process.

 

The Easton, Minn., native broke through during his sophomore season in 1985, leading NCAA Division II in rushing with a then-school-record 1,518 yards. That season was highlighted by a then-Jackrabbit record of 268yards in a game against Northern Colorado.

 

After being slowed by injury during his junior season,Sonnek capped his career by earning first-team All-America honors from The Football News and second-team recognition on the Associated Press Little All-America squad during his senior season in 1987, He also was named NCC Most Valuable Back after setting the league career rushing mark.

 

Overall, Sonnek amassed 3,304 rushing yards during hiscareer — a total that is currently fourth on the SDSU charts. Sonnek also excelled in the classroom, earning Academic All-America honors and being selected as a recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

 

In conjunction with the Hall of Fame festivities, former Sioux Falls Washington High School football coach Brian Hermanson will be honored with the Ralph Ginn Award for Coaching Excellence. Hermanson led Washington to an unprecedented run of success by appearing in six consecutive Class AA state title games from 2007-12. The Warriors won titles in 2009, 2010 and 2012, compiling a 47-3 record along the way.

 

Hermanson lettered in football for the Jackrabbits from 1978-80 and was a member of South Dakota State’s NCAA Division II playoff team his junior season. He coached football in some capacity for 33 years, before stepping down following the 2012 season.

 

The inductions of the 2013 class will bring the number of Jackrabbit Sports Hall of Fame members to 68. Induction ceremonies will be held at a morning luncheon on Oct. 26, with the class also recognized at halftime of that afternoon’s football game between SDSU and Northern Iowa.

Courtesy of South Dakota State

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