HICKORY – Lenoir-Rhyne University’s next Sports Hall of Fame class will include six new members.
The Bears’ athletic department announced in a press release that the school has selected Crystal Clary, Bill Davis, Audrey Kreske, Vernon Long, Tom Lumsden and Lauren (McLelland) Mauldin as the Class of 2019.
Due to a scheduling conflict, Clary will be inducted with the 2020 class, while the other five picks will be inducted on Oct. 5 in a ceremony (11 a.m.) at the P.E. Monroe Auditorium.
The class will also be honored at the football game that afternoon – against UVa-Wise at 2 p.m. – in Moretz Stadium.
“These six honorees are some of the finest student-athletes to play here and represent a tremendous class,” LRU Athletic Director Kim Pate said in a press release. “We look forward to honoring them this fall.”
Some background on the Class of 2019:
Crystal Clary (Basketball)
Despite playing just two seasons for the Bears, she continues to hold several school records, including career field goal percentage (61.9) and rebounds per game (11.6).
Playing from 2003-05, Clary averaged 18.8 points per game, third in team history, and her 1,055 career points place her 16th. Clary is fourth with 91 career blocks.
In 2003-04, Clary finished with 357 rebounds and a 65.6 field goal percentage, still the highest single-season marks in team history. That year, she was named to the All-South Atlantic Conference (SAC), All-Region and All-American teams while helping the Bears win a conference title.
Bill Davis (Basketball/Track & Field)
One of the finest dual-sport athletes to ever play at LRU.
Davis was a first-team All-Carolinas Conference player in basketball, scoring 1,122 career points. He also ranks second in team history with 11.3 rebounds per game and his 895 career rebounds places him fifth.
In back-to-back seasons, Davis averaged 13.8 (1968-69) and 12.7 (1967-68) rebounds, and he ranks 35th on the all-time scoring list.
On the track, Davis won both the conference and Davidson Relays in the triple jump and set new meet records at both events.
In the Carolinas Conference meet, Davis etched his name in the LRU record books with a jump of 45 feet, 11 inches and that stood as a school record for 41 years (broken in 2010).
Audrey Kreske (Softball)
A four-time All-SAC selection, she was twice named MVP of the conference tournament.
Kreske threw two no-hitters in the same season – against Pfeiffer and Lees-McRae about a month apart. She is one of four Bears to throw multiple no-hitters.
Her 1.21 ERA in 2001 ranks fifth in team history and she’s in the top five in career appearance (111), starts (107), complete games (91), innings pitched (703), ERA (1.37), shutouts (29) and strikeouts (728), all while making the Commissioner’s Honor Roll every year she played.
Vernon Long (Basketball)
His influence on LRU basketball goes far beyond just his playing career, and his impact reached outside the court.
Long broke the color barrier at LRU, becoming the first African American to play for the Bears in the fall of 1968.
During the Civil Rights Era, Long overcame many hurdles to enjoy an exceptional career.
He poured in 1,253 career points (23rd all-time) despite playing in an era without a 3-point line.
Long remained in the school’s top 10 all-time scorers 20 years after he graduated and led LRU to 75 wins in four years.
In 1971-72, the Bears won the Carolinas Conference Championship and made the NAIA District 26 finals and came within a basket of making the national tournament.
Tom Lumsden (Football)
A feared defensive lineman, Tom Lumsden was named Carolinas Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 1970.
He was also a three-time all-conference and all-district selection and was twice named to the All-State team.
Lumsden earned Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American in honors in 1970 and was named the Hickory Quarterback Club’s Best Defensive Player in the same year.
In 1970, when he was a team co-captain, he had five fumble recoveries and scored a touchdown.
Lumsden was selected as a second -team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), and LRU went 28-11 during his career.
Lauren (McLelland) Mauldin (Volleyball)
She stands as the best setter in LRU volleyball history with 5,558 career assists – 1,777 more than any other Bears player.
Mauldin was the starting setter for the 2004 conference championship team, the first SAC Championship in program history.
In total, Mauldin led the Bears to two SAC titles and was named the league’s Freshman of the Year in 2004 and second-team All-Conference in 2006.
Mauldin owns the record for single-season assists (1,671), single-season assists per set (12.11) and career assists per set (10.98) on top of career assists.
– Reported by LRU Sports Information