GRANVILLE, Ohio — Denison University's Varsity D Association has announced its 2019 Hall of Fame inductees who will be honored as part of the college's annual Big Red Weekend festivities on Friday, September 27, 2019. This year's class consists of Larry Bates '76 (Track & Field/XC), Bob Gibson '67 (Wrestling/Football), Bill Hall '86 (Lacrosse), Kate (Flikkema) Holland '02 (Swimming), Melanie (Cluss) Lott '04 (Track & Field), Christina Polumbus '93 (Lacrosse), Lynn Schweizer (Coach/Administrator), Anne (Young) Sheffield '07 (Soccer), Bill Thomas '85 (Golf) and Adam Ulrich '07 (Swimming).
Larry Bates '76 is one of Denison's all-time great runners. He was a member of the track & field and cross country teams from 1973-76. He was a four-time Ohio Athletic Conference champion in track & field, logging two conference titles in the mile and one in the outdoor 880-yard run and one in the indoor 600-yard run. In 1976 he was named the OAC's Most Valuable Runner. In 1974 he set a school record in the 880 that stood for 27 years. He was a part of a record-setting time of 7:47.70 in the 4x800 relay that still stands. In cross country, Bates qualified for the 1975 NCAA Cross Country Championship where he placed 45th overall. He was an all-region selection in cross country that season.
Bob Gibson '67 was a two-sport standout in wrestling and football from 1963-67. He compiled an outstanding 38-5-2 career record on the wrestling mat, placing third in the nation at the 1967 NCAA College Division tournament out of the 177 lb. weight class. Gibson went undefeated in dual meets during his senior season and was named the team's MVP that season. Over the course of his career, Gibson wrestled at three different weight classes (177, 191, heavyweight) and led the team in pins in three consecutive seasons. While advancing to the semifinals of the NCAA College Division tournament in 1967, Gibson's loss came to the defending national champion from Iowa State. As a member of the Denison football team, Gibson lettered in all four seasons and finished with eight receptions for 71 yards.
Bill Hall '86 was a two-time USILA All-American goalie in men's lacrosse from 1983-86. He remains Denison's career leader in saves (763) while ranking sixth in career save percentage (.641). As a senior, Hall was named the NCAC Player of the Year while repeating as a first-team all-conference selection. He also holds the distinction of starting every game in goal over the course of his four-year career. He left Denison with a career record of 46-22 while helping the Big Red to three consecutive NCAA Tournament quarterfinal appearances between 1984-86. Lacrosse has remained a part of Hall's life post-Denison. He was the head coach at Fairfield University between 1988-91 and was an assistant coach at Cornell from 1993-96. He spent seven seasons as the head lacrosse coach at Heritage High School in Colorado and was the assistant general manager of the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League from 2004-10.
Kate (Flikkema) Holland '02 was an 18-time All-American and four-time national champion with the women's swimming & diving team from 1999-2002. Holland captured event national titles as a member of the 400-medley relay in 2001 and 2002, the 800-yard free relay in 2001 and the 200 free relay in 2001. That season, Holland helped lead Denison to its first-ever NCAA Division III national championship. In 2002, Holland was the recipient of the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, presented to the nation's elite student-athletes across all three divisions of the NCAA. She was also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team and was a CSCAA Scholar All-American. Holland went on to receive a Master of Arts in Pastoral Clinical Counseling at Ashland Theological Seminary.
Melanie (Cluss) Lott '04 is the most decorated hurdler in Denison women's track and field history. A standout for the Big Red from 2001-04, Lott was named to the NCAC 20th Anniversary All-Decade Team in two events; the indoor 55-meter hurdles and the outdoor 100-meter hurdles. A qualifier for the 2001 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championship, Lott remains the school and NCAC record-holder in the indoor 55-meter hurdles (8.38 seconds). Lott also currently holds school records in the indoor 4x400 relay and the outdoor 100-meter hurdles and the 4x100 relay. She captured 13 NCAC Championships and 23 top-three all-conference finishes over the course of her career. Lott was the recipient of the President's Medal in 2004 and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team as a senior. She went on to earn a master's degree in kinesiology from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in physics from Bryn Mawr College.
Christina Polumbus '93 was a two-time All-American as a member of the women's lacrosse team from 1990-93. One of the top goalies in program history, Polumbus ranks third in career saves with 422 while boasting a .618 save percentage. In 1993, she was named the NCAC Defensive Player of the Year. A three-time all-conference pick and a two-time all-region selection, Polumbus led Denison to four consecutive conference titles and four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances. In 1992, Polumbus and the Big Red posted a perfect 16-0 record. Overall, Polumbus' teams went 52-12 in four seasons. She also played two seasons on the Denison field hockey team where she served as a co-captain in 1990.
Anne (Young) Sheffield '07 was a four-time first-team all-region performer as a member of the women's soccer team from 2003-06. She scored 31 goals and added 13 assists in 76 career matches. In 2005 she led Denison to its first NCAA Elite 8 appearance in program history. In 2003 she was named the NCAC Newcomer of the Year and in 2014 Sheffield was named to the NCAC's 30th Anniversary All-Decade Team. At the conclusion of her senior year Sheffield was awarded the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, presented to the nation's elite student-athletes across all three divisions of the NCAA. Sheffield's teams advanced to three NCAA Tournaments while capturing two NCAC championships. She was recognized as a first-team all-conference performer and a first-team All-Ohio selection in all four seasons and was a two-time team captain. After Denison, Sheffield earned her MBA from Ashland University. She is married to 2017 Denison Hall of Fame inductee, Kristen Sheffield '07.
Bill Thomas '85 was a three-time All-American in men's golf from 1982-85. Over that span, Thomas led Denison to an 11th place finish in 1982 and a 16th place finish in 1984. He was a four-time team MVP who boasted the squad's best scoring average in all four seasons. At the first-ever NCAC Championships in 1985, Thomas placed fifth, individually and was a second-team All-NCAC pick. In 1982 he was the individual medalist at the Ohio Athletic Conference Championship and from 1982-84 he was an All-OAC honoree.
Adam Ulrich '07 captured the national championship in the 200-yard backstroke at the 2007 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships. From 2004-07 he totaled 17 All-American performances with 11 of those All-American swims coming in individual events. Over that time frame, Denison's men's swimming & diving team logged a fourth-place national finish in 2004 followed by a fifth-place national finish in 2005. In 2006 and 2007, the Big Red were the national runners-up. At the NCAC Championships, Ulrich was a three-time champion, winning back-to-back titles in the 200 back in 2006 and 2007 in addition to a 200-yard medley relay title in 2006.
After retiring from Denison University in 2017 after 44 years in various teaching, coaching and administrative roles, Lynn Schweizer will be inducted into the Varsity D Association Athletics Hall of Fame. In 1973, Schweizer was hired as the head women's basketball coach, a position she held until 1980. While serving as the women's basketball coach, Schweizer also took on the role of head women's swimming coach (1974-85) and head women's diving coach (1974-86). She was honored as the National Diving Coach of the Year in 1986. She also took on the head coaching duties of synchronized swimming teams (1974-79) and the men's diving team from 1984-86.
After stepping away from the pool deck, Schweizer moved into an administrative role at Denison, serving as the chair of the Physical Education Department from 1985-2004. She took the reins as director of club and intramural sports in 1986 also serving as the point of contact for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Across campus, Schweizer served on over 40 committees during her tenure. Schweizer was integral in the formation of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) and was a part of 15 of the college's record 17 NCAC All-Sports Championships. Schweizer's Hall of Fame induction comes on the heels of her receiving the Rasmussen Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators in 2018.