THE BELMONT PLATEAU CROSS COUNTRY HALL OF FAME 2016 INDUCTEES (THE CHARTER CLASS)


The Belmont Plateau Cross Country Hall of Fame will annually induct  outstanding athletes, coaches, adminsitrators and teams into it's "Hall of Fame".  Inductees will be selected from a long list of worthy candidates who have excelled over a period of time in the sport of cross country/and or distance running on the track or road and have a connection (within 20 mile outreach) to the city of Philadelphia, either by birth or by school/club affiliation.  The goal would be to induct 3 local (born in Philadelphia area) and 3 non local (born outside Philadelphia, but connected by school/club) to the city, 1 outstanding cross country team (Philadelphia based team that demonstrated  outstanding season locally and or on the national scene in college or club level),   The BPCCHOF will also recognize individuals and or organizations each year who have made exeptional contributions to Belmont Plateau Park and or the sport of cross country in the Philadelphia area  (Presidents Award).  The Belmont Plateau Cross Country Hall of Fame selecton committee was chosen for their long time knowldege and expertise in the sport of  cross country/distance running and the history of the sport and it's athleetes and coaches from the Philadelphia area.   The selection committee is background is from  respected distance athletes, coaches, administrators, and sports writers who cover  the sport of cross country/track and field.   CLICK HERE FOR A LISTING OF CURRENT HALL OF FAME SELECTION COMMITTEE MEMBERS .
  Plans  for the future by the BPCCHOF is to build a "wall" or "walk" of fame that will list the names of the Hall of Fame inductees  at Belmont Plateau Park, home of cross country racing in the Philaelphia area since the early 1960s.


               HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES FOR THE CLASS OF 2016 -CHARTER CLASS

     TOM DONNELLY  (Local) Athlete and Coach    "The Master"

  • Grew up in the Logan section of Philadelphia abd attended La Salle High School and Villanova University.
  • Known as a fierce competitor as and athlete and a coach and by far one of the most successful distance runners to ever come out
  • of the streets of  Philadelphia.

  • AS AN ATHLETE:

  • 3x Philadelphia Catholic League Champion for cross country (undefeated in the Phila. Catholic League.  One
  • of only 2 athletes in the PCL history to win the CC title 3x.

  • From 1962-1964, was undefeated in 46 straight races in cross country, including 3 Eastern State
  • Championships.

  • Broke high school course records in Philadelphia and on the Van Cortlandt Park ,NY 2.5 mile  course  

  • Besides cross country, won the Philadelphia Catholic League Outdoor mile 3x (1963-1965)

  • Won the first ever "Big Five" cross country meet held at Belmont Plateau  (25:33) for a course record on the 5.2 Mile Classic Course at Belmont Plateau Park.    

  • While at Villanova University, he was a member of 3 NCAA National Cross Country Championship teams and individually finished 7th (1966), 23rd (1967) and 8th (1968). Less than one week after winning the NCAA title, his Villanova team also won the AAU National Cross Country Championship at Van Cortlandt Park in 1968.   2x NCAA All American in Cross Country. 

  • Finished 3rd in 1966 and 1967 leading his team to 2 IC4A Cross Country titles.

  • On the track, he finished in the top 10 in the NCAA  National Championship for the steeplechase and won the 1st ever Penn Relays 6 mile in 1971.   2x NCAA All America in Steeplechase.

  • He was a member of 3 'Championship of America' winning teams at the Penn Relays ( 4 x 1 mile) and  member of the NCAA DMR Championship team in 1968.   After graduating Villanova, he was  a dominate runner in many road races and open cross country races in the Mid Atlantic region during the 1960s and 1970s  

  • Finished 6th in the USA National 3,000 meter steeplechase in 1969

     AS A COACH:

  • Led 3 teams from 2 schools to Philadelphia Catholic League Cross Country Championships. (Archbishop Wood /1969)  and La Salle High School /1971 & 1972).  All 3 teams won the Philadelphia City Title in Cross Country. 

  • Has coached at Haverford College (Men's Cross Country and Track ) since 1975.  While at Haverford, has led his cross country teams  to a NCAA National Championship in Cross Country (2010) and 3x NCAA National Champion Runner Up in Cross Cross Country (2007,2011 & 2012).

  • His cross country teams at Haverford College have qualified for the NCAA National Championship for Cross Country 33 times while coaching 33 All Americans, and 2 Individual Champions.  Haverford has finished 17x in the top 10 in the NCAA National Cross Country Championship.    

  • Led his team to 28 Conference and 21 NCAA Regional Championships in CC.

  • Besides Haverford, privately coached a number of world class runners including Sydney Maree and Marcus O'Sullivan in the 1980s and 1990s) as well as two of his Div 3 Haverford runners who broke the 4 Minute Mile barrier.   

  • Named the US Track & Field and Cross Country Association "Coach of the Year" in 2010 and named to the USTFCCCA "Hall of Fame" (2015) as well as the Pennsylvania Track & Field "Hall of Fame" (1999).  Inducted into the La Salle High School  "Hall of Fame"& Field and Cross Country Assoc. "Coach of the Year" in 2010 and named to the USTFCCA "Hall of Fame" (2015), the PA HS Track & Field Hall ofFame (1999) and the La Salle College High School Hall of Fame (2013)                                                          
 


        JAMES 'JUMBO' ELLIOTT  (LOCAL)  COACH of Villanova University 


  • Born and raised in West Philadelphia.  Attended West Catholic HS and Villanova University. As an athlete his
  • primary event was the 300 and 400 dash and he was undefeated in duel compettition while in high school.
  • Attended Villanova University and focus was in golf and sprints.   Known for his great salesmanship and
  • getting the most out of athletes at the right time (especially at the Penn Relays). Known as "the maker of milers
  • and the maker of men"  

  • He was named head Men's Cross Country/Track and Field Coach in 1949 and held that position until 1981.

  • Led Cross Country teams to 4 NCAA National Championships in Cross Country (1966, 1967, 1968, 1970) and
  • 1 individual NCAA Cross Champion, Vic Zwolak in 1963). 

  • Coached 9 ICAAAA Cross Country Championship teams (1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1978 1979)

  • Coached 19 NCAA All Americans in Cross Country as well as 7 Individual ICAAAA Cross Country Champions and 1 AAU National Cross Country team championship (1968).
  • Led a  long time strong assistant coaching staff  at Villanova  with James Tuppeny (fellow inductee into the BPCCHOF) and Jack Pyrah.   Former runners under him (Tom Donnelly and Marcus O''Sullivan) have gone on to lead very successful coaching careers at the college level.

  • His relay teams won 75 "Championship of America" crowns at the Penn Relays in such events as the Distance Medley, 4 x 1 mile,  4 x 800.

  • He led the team to 39 ICAAAA Team Championships in Cross Country and Track & Field and 377 individual ICAAAA championships

  • Overall led Villanova University to 8 NCAA National Team Championships (4x Cross Country, 3x Indoor, and 1 Outdoor Track & Field)
  • His athletes captured 66 NCAA Individual Crowns and 28 of his athletes qualified for the Olympic Games with 5 winning Gold Medals (Including Ronny Delany in the 1500 in the 1956 Games)and a number of his athletes won world championships (Eamonn Coghlan in the 5,000 and Marcus O'Sullivan in the 1500 Indoor).

  • Other national &  world class distance runners coached by Jumbo in his career were Tom Donnelly, Marty Liquori, Dave Patrick, Dick Buerkle, Sydney Maree, Ken Shappert, Phil "Tiny" Kane, Don Paige, Gerry O''Reilly, Browning Ross, Donal Walsh, John Hartnett, Mark Belger, Noel Carroll, Davey Wright, Chris Mason, Dean Childs, John Burns,  and  Kevin McCarey.





        JACK SAINT CLAIR   (LOCAL)  ATHLETE/COACH/COURSE DESIGNER  "The Saint"

  • Born and raised in Philadelphia (Port Richmond) .  Attended La Salle College High School and Penn State University (1951). 'The Saint' had a throwback "old school"  coaching style; loud, overbearing at times but had a heart of gold and wanted each one of his athletes to succeed. A one of a kind personality that every distance runner  who ran in Philadelphia from the 1960s to the 1980s would never forget. 

  • As an athlete, competed in 3 NCAA National Cross Country Championships finishing 28th (1948) ,
  • 35th in 1949, and was a member of the Penn State team that won the team championship in 1950
  • (finishing 16th overall ). 

  • He was a member of 5 National AAU Cross Country Championship teams.     He finished 21st in the
  • world famous Boston Marathon in 1953 and in the top 10 a number of times in the Yonkers Marathon  

  • AS A COACH     Head Coach of the Cardinal Dougherty HS (1956 -1968).  Led Cardinal Dougherty HS
  • to 8 Philadelphia Catholic Cross Country Championships and 8 City of Philadelphia City Title in Cross
  • Country. 

  •  Led Cardinal Dougherty to the Eastern States Cross Country Championship (Van Cortlandt Park, NY)
  • in 1958.

  •   Coached 2 individual PCL Cross Country Champions (Frank Carver & Frank Kreiger and also led Cardinal
  • Dougherty to 3 Track & Field Championships (Indoor and Outdoor).   

  • Head Coach of Cross Country and Track & Field at Temple University from 1967-1983 where he compiled a 104-32-1 record in Track & Field.

  • COURSE DESIGNER  
  • "Saint" is credited as the Belmont Plateau cross county course designer
  • (Along with Lou Nicastro/St Joes,  Frank Wetzler/LaSalle and Jim Tuppeny/Penn & Villanova).
  •   Designed the college men's classic 5. 2 mile course (Flagpole, Parachute, and Surekill Hills)
  • along with the 2.3 High course (later lengthened to current 3.1 mile).  Colleges and later Phila
  • Catholic and Phila Public League started competing on the course in 1963.   The Belmont Plateau
  • CC course is still considered one of the premeire 'old style" courses and has everthing a CC
  • runner could want with steep challenging climbs, rapid descents, grass and dirt trails and
  • spectacular views of the Philadelphia skyline.   Saint Clair once said "To run Belmont well, you have to be a bull!"   

  • Long time AAU and Penn Relays Official and managed the Philadelphia Athletic Club and the Penn AC running teams, while organizing a number of local road races and Cross Country races at Belmont Plateau, and track races in Philadelphia during the 1970s and 1980s.

  •   Served at President of the ICAAAA and awarded a special 25 years of service award in 1977 by the ICAAAA.  Named to the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1977

Belmont Plateau Cross Country Hall of Fame
611 Jamestown Street
Philadelphia , Pa  19128

Dave Thomas, Founder and President
          

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    JAMES TUPPENY (Local)  COACH / ADMINSTRATOR           "TUP"  
  • Born and raised in the Sharon Hills area, just outside of West Philadelphia.(with his brother Charles (Brother Luke) a long time winning coach at West Catholic).   Tup attended West Catholic high school where his focus was on the hurdles and field events where he won City Titles in the pole vault, hurdles and high jump. He competed in the pole vault at the Penn Relays in 1946. He graduated La Salle Colleg in 1950 and captained the MAC track & field championship team. While at La Salle, he was undefeated in duel competiton in the pole vault. 

  • Coached Malvern Prep HS (1950-1953) before taking assistant coaching position at Villanova University (1953 -1966). Under head coach James "Jumbo" Elliot, he worked with a number of athletes who became  NCAA and Olympic champions (Ron Delaney, Charles Jenkins, Larry James, Don Bragg) He also worked with Villanova runners such as Vic Zwolak (NCAA Cross Country Champion) and cross country championship teams.    Head coach of cross country at University of Pennsylvania (1967-1979). Led Penn to 17 Heptangonal Game Championships (2 in Cross Country) and the cross country team was 103-15 in duel meet competition.  

  • While coaching Penn, the Ivy league university saw it's biggest success in distance running and cross
  • country by qualifying 3 of the Penn cross country teams for the NCAA National Championship.  Penn 
  • teams placed 3rd (1971), 8th (1969) and 22nd (1970).   

  • Tup coached a number of national class distance runners at Penn including Dave Merrick (Course record
  • holder of the Belmont Plateau 5.2 mile cross country "Classic Course" in 24:44/1975),  and sub 4 miniute
  • milers Dennis Elton Cochran-Fikes, and Karl Thorton.     He has been mentioned as helping in the original
  • design of the cross country college course at Belmont Plateau back in the early 1960s with Jack Saint Clair
  • (Temple/CD), Lou Nicastro (St Joe), and Frank Wetzler (La Salle).   Later in Tup's career, he pushed  the
  • City of Philadelphia to have Belmont Plateau courses and trails re furbished.

  • Director of the Penn Relays (Worlds Largest Track Meet) from 1970-1987 and during his tenure, the Penn
  • Relays saw tremendous growth with in numbers and events .  During his tenure,  the Marathon was added
  • (Monday and opening event held on Kelly Drive), heptathlon, decathlon, and entire days where added with
  • a women's day (thursday) and distance night (multible college and open 5,000 and 10,000 meters races)
  • added to the program. 

  • President of the NCAA Track & Field Association (1979-1981), Vice President of the Athletics Congress (USATF) in 1986, founder and executive director of Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (Philadelphia Sports Congress).   Later  after 'retirement' in the 1990s, he returned to Villanova University and helped Head Cross Country & Track Coach, Marcus O'Sullivan with the program and earned the title, Associate Head Coach.  

  • As a leader in sports administration and organizational skills, 'Tup'  led the AAU in 1976 and he was intrumental in Philadelphia and Belmont Plateau Park being awarded as the host site for the 1976 National AAU Cross Country Championship.   He also served as race director of the NCAA Track & Field Championship in 1976 (held at Franklin Field).  He was also a race organizor of the Martin Luther King Games (held at Franklin Field in 1971) that saw the first ever "Dream Mile" between Jim Ryun and Marty Liquori.  

  •   Tup was also called upon by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 to host and organize the "Freedom Games" after the USA boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics.  He served as race director of the Freedom Games Track & Field meet that included all of the countries that boycotted the 1980 Olmpics and the meet was held at Franklin Field. 

   VICKI HUBER (Rudawsky)    (Non Local)        ATHLETE      

  •  Born and raised near Wilmington , Delaware, attended Concord High School and Villanova University. She was a champion at all levels of distance running (high school, college, national and world) and was also earned a number of awards as Academic All American while in college. 

  • While at Concord HS, she won 5 state titles in cross country, 800 and 1600 meters on the track.  State record holder in the 800 and 1600 meters. 

  • At Villanova University (1985-1990), competed in 3 NCAA National Cross Country Championships. 
  • She led the Villanova women cross country team to it's first ever national championship in Cross
  • Country by becoming the women's program first overall champion in 1989.   In the other 2 NCAA
  • National Cross Country Championships, she finished 9th (no team) in 1987 and 29th (team 13th)
  • in 1986. 

  • 3x individual champion of the NCAA District 2  Cross Country Championship (1986, 1987, 1989) ,
  • 3x Big East Cross Country Champion (1986, 1987, 1989) and 3x ECAC Cross Country Champion
  • (1986, 1987, 1989).  

  • At the time (1989), ran the fastest 5000 meter time for cross country championship in 15:59.86)   

  • NCAA Indoor and Outdoor 3000 meter champion in 1987 and 1989.   

  • 8x  NCAA Champion in cross country and the track

  • After college, had a stellar career and one of the leading distance runners in the USA .

  • In Cross Country, placed  4th Place at the IAAF World Cross Country Championship (1992)
  • and led the USA team to a 2nd place finish.

  • Placed 6th at the 1988 Olympic Games (Seoul, Korea) in the 3,000 meters.  

  • In 1992, set an American record in the 5,000 meters (road) in a time of 15:14 and
  • qualified for the 1996 USA Olympic team (1500).

  • Personal records of 4:07.40 (1500), 8:37.25 (3,000), 15:34.94 (5000) on the track

  • Qualified for the US Olympic team in 1996 in the 1500 meters.   She was given the  Jumbo Elliot  Award (2x), Named NCAA "Athlete of the Year" (2x) , nominated to the Delaware  Track and Field Hall of Fame as well as the Delawar Sports Museum  Hall of Fame.

  MARCUS O'SULLIVAN    (Non Local)      ATHLETE & COACH of Villanova University
   Born in Cork, Ireland and attended high school in Ireland beford attending and competing in cross country & track for  Villanova University (1980-1984) and coached by by Jumbo Elliot.  Known more for his exploits on the track as a middle/distance runner, he was also a strong cross country runner in college.

  •  While at Villanova, he competed in 3 NCAA National Cross Country Championships. In 1980, he finished 92nd (team 9th).  In 1981 , he finished 126th (team 13th) and and 1983, he finished 47th (team 14th). 

  • He was the Big East Cross Country Champion in 1983 leading his team to the Big East Cross Country Championship in 1983. 

  • While at Villanova and after, he represented the Republic of Ireland in the 1984, 1986, 1992 and 1996 at the Olympic  Games in the 800 and 1500 meters. 

  • He won 3 Gold medals at the IAAF World Indoor Track Championships (1987, 1989 ,1993) in the 1500 meters and won a silver medal in the European Indoor Championship in the 1500 in 1989. 

  • He   broke the World Indoor 1500 record in 1989 with a time of 3:35.4  and won the prestigeous
  • Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games 6 x.  (1986, 1988, 1989, 1990. 1992, and 1996 ). 

  • He is ranked #3 All time for most sub 4 minute miles with 101 Sub-4 miles (behind Steve Scott /137
  • and John Walker /127).   Along with Irish teamates Ray Flynn, Eamonn Coghlan, and Frank O'Mara, 
  • broke the world record for the 4 x 1 mile relay with a time of 15:49.08 (1985). 

     AS A COACH  

  • He has been head  men's coach of cross counry and track & field at Villanova since 1996.  (He was
  • also head women's  women's cross country coach in 1997 and 1998) 

  • Coached Villanova Women's Cross Country team to the NCAA National Cross Country Team
  • Championship in 1998.  Led the Men's Cross Country team to 5 NCAA Mid Atlantic Regional
  • Team Championships (2001, 2002, 2003, 2013, 2014).   

  • Coached Villanova Men's Cross Country team to 3 Big East Cross Country Championships
  • (2011, 2013, 2014).   In each of those 3 Big East Championships, 6 of his runners earned All
  • Big East honors. 

  •   Led the Villanova Men to 13 NCAA National  Cross Country Championship appearances  since 1996. 

  • He has coached 12  sub 4 minute milers  while at Villanova and 7 Penn Relay Championship of
  • America teams.     He has coached a number of world class athletes including  Adrian Blincoe,
  • Bob Kennedy, Carmen Douma, Frances Kooms, and Sheila Reid.   

  • He has opererated a High School summer Cross Country Camp called Running Works in Canadenis , Pa
  • for a number of years

  • He was named USTFCCCA National Women Cross Country Coach of the year in 1998 as well
  • as being named NCAA Regional Coach of the Year 6x.

SONIA O' SULLIVAN   (Non Local)  ATHLETE  Born, grew and attended high school in Cobh, County Cork, Ireland before attending Villanova University (1988-1991) and coached by Marty Stern.   She rose to a world class runner and one of Ireland's most decorated sports heroes. 

  • While at Villanova University, she competed in 3 NCAA National Cross Country Championships.
  •   She finished 26th (Team National Champions) in 1989. 

  •   In her junior and senior year at Villanova, she led her team to 2 National Championships
  • and she was 2x Individual NCAA Cross Country Champion (1990 and 1991). 

  • She was 2x ECAC Cross Country Champion (1990 , 1991) and won a total of 5 Individual NCAA
  • Championships and was part of 6x Penn Relays' Championship of America Championship relays. 

  • She was 10x Big East Champion and in cross country was 2x Individual NCAA District 1
  • Champion in 1990 and 1991.

  • After graduating from Villanova, she rose to wold class status as a distance runner
  •  highlighted by being 2x IAAF World Cross Country Champion (4k and 8k) in 1998. (She also
  • finished in the top 10 4 times at the World Cross Country Championships in her career).  

  •   Competed in 4 Olympic Games for the Republic of Ireland (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008) and
  • highlighted by winning the Silver medal in the 2000 Olympics in the 5,0000 meter.

  •    She won the Gold medal (5,000) and the Silver medal (1500) at the IAAF World Track
  • Championship. (1998)    

  • Gold medal in the 5000 and 10,000 at the European Track & Field Championship (1998) 

  • Silver medal in the 5000 and 10,000 at EuropeanT & F Championship (2002)  

  • She set 3 x World Records on the track during her career .   

  •    Also dominated the longer road races winning both the prestigous BUPPA Great North Run,
  • (1998) the Dublin Marathon (2000) nd finishing 4th at the World Half Marathon Championship (2004). 
  •   Best times in her career cover a wide range of distances  (800/2:00.69), (Mile/4:17.25), (5,000/14:41.02),
  • (10,000/30:47.59) and the Marathon (2:29.01). 

  •   * Sonia O'Sullivan  ran much of her career in the 1990s during the time of the Chinese runners 
  • who's performances where questionable and whether they where aided with SADs.   Who is to
  • say whether she would of been able to acheive more at the Olympic games and world championships.   








HALL OF FAME  / Outstanding Team
 THE 1968 VILLANOVA MEN'S TEAM

  • The Villanova Men's  Cross Country team in 1968 was a dominating team winning all of their meets during the year and topping off the 1968 season by winning the ICAAAA, the NCAA National Championship and the AAU Club Championship (the only college team ever to accomplish this ).

  •   In the NCAA Championship was 6 miles and run on the Van Cortlandt Park (Bronx) course. The date was Nov 25th and 47 degrees with 15 mph winds.  The team was led by seniors Tom Donnelly, who finished 8th overall (29;55) and Dick Buerkle who finished in 22nd place (30:09). Both runners earned All America status.  The other top 5 scorers for Villanova that day where junior Des McCormack (29th/30:15), Sophomore Chris Mason (36th/30:21) and Frank Murphy (47th/30:39).   The Team finished with 78 points , with Stanford (100) 2nd and Univ of Southern Cal (115) 3rd.

  •   This same Villanova team came back less than 1 week later on the same Van Cortlandt Park course (this time over 10,000 meters).   This time the varsity team was led by Chris Mason (13th), Dick Buerkle (17th),  Frank Murphy (22nd) and Tom Donnelly (25th) as they won the AAU National Cross Country Championship.   The Varsity Club team scored 59 points over 2nd place team from Chicago Univ TC, and Fort Hayes Club.   ** On a side note to that race, the Villanova "Frosh" team finished 4th  with 107 pts.(Freshmen not able to run NCAA varsity yet) led be freshmen Davey Wright and Donal Walsh. 

PRESIDENTS AWARD-   The Belmont Plateau Cross Country Hall of Fame will award 1 or more presidents awards each year.  This award is given to the person (or group) who demonstrates long time excellance and service to the sport of cross country/and/or distance running on the road or track in the Philadelphia area.  Recipients could of contributed positively to foward and promote the traditions of cross country running at Belmont Plateau. 

2016 President's Award Winners

  • Joe Ryan-  Long time involvement in the sport of cross country /distance running as an athlete (Cardinal Dougherty/La Salle College), as a coach (Philadelphia Textile) and the chief official since the 1980s of many USATF cross country meets at Belmont Plateau and in the Philadelphia area.  He is also a chief clerk at the Penn Relays.

  • Tom O'Hora-  Long time involvement with cross country and Belmont Plateau as a coach (Cabrini) and race orgamizer. For over 25 years, organized many of the college  cross country races at Belmont Plateau (Philadelphia Metropolitan, Belmont Classic and Cabrini Invite). 

  • Jim Marino (Dept of Parks and Recreation) and Katheryn Ott- (Fairmount Park Conservancy).   Both were instrumental in helping Dave Thomas (BPCCHOF) optain the funding needed to supply the Belmont Plateau cross country courses it's first major signage and maintenence improvement since the 1980s. in 2015,  46 new directional sign posts (for the 3k, 5k, 8k) and a new Results and map board were created for the cross country courses at Belmont Plateau Park.  Marino also has served many years as the Broad Street Run race director and has been named as the Philadelphia Marathon Director in 2016. Since 2015,  Ott has moved on from director of the Fairmount Park Conservancy to become Commissioner of the Dept of Parks and Recreation for the City of Philadelphia.   
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