Gustavus Set to Induct Nine New Members into Athletics Hall of Fame

Posted on July 20th, 2016 by

ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department has chosen nine individuals for induction into its Athletics Hall of Fame. The 2016 inductees include Ryan Boutwell ’99 (Football), Scott Crowell ’01 (Soccer), Heather Fitch ’96 (Gymnastics), Rick Hjelm ’83 (Hockey), Molly Nemes ’01 (Gymnastics, Track & Field), Bret Newcomb ’92 (Hockey), Dana Peterson ’96 (Cross Country, Track & Field), Rod Swenson ’99 (Baseball), and Larry Zelenz (Coach). This group will be honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, which will be held in Alumni Hall at 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 22, following the Hall of Fame football game against Saint John’s at 1 p.m.

Individuals eligible for induction into the Gustavus Athletics Hall of Fame are athletes, coaches, and benefactors. Selection of athletes is based on athletic achievements while a student at Gustavus. Eight of the nine members of the Gustavus Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2016 will be inducted for their accomplishments as athletes, while one, Larry Zelenz, will be inducted as a coach.

Ryan Boutwell, a native of Shoreham, Vermont, is the most decorated kicker in the history of Gustavus football. In 1997, Boutwell was named First Team All-America by Hewlett-Packard and Football Gazette, and earned third team honors from the Associated Press. He was also a two-time All-Conference performer and holds Gustavus career records for points scored by kicking (200), field goals made (34), extra points made (98), and extra points attempted (108).

Scott Crowell, a native of Burnsville, Minnesota, was named First Team All-America and MIAC Player of the Year in 2000 after leading the Gusties to the NCAA West Region Championship. Crowell also earned All-Midwest Region accolades and was a two-time All-Conference performer. During his senior season, Crowell led the team in goals, assists, and points.

Heather Fitch, a native of St. Peter, Minnesota, was a two-time floor exercise national champion and All-American in 1994 and 1995. Fitch was a team member of the 1994 NCGA Championship team. She graduated as the school record holder on the floor with a 9.6 set in ’94.

Rick Hjelm, a native of Brainerd, Minnesota, was a First Team AHCA All-America selection in 1982 and was a two-time All-Conference honoree. Hjelm ranks 28th all-time in scoring for the Gusties and was a member of the 1981-82 team that took third place at the NCAA Championships. He ranks 10th in single season assists (31) and is one of 19 players in history to play 105 or more career games.

Molly Nemes, a native of Lakeville, Minnesota, won the 2001 NCGA floor exercise championship and was an eight-time All-American in the all-around, vault, floor, and bars. Nemes helped guide the Gusties to the NCGA Championships in each of her four years, including a second place finish in 1999. She also successfully competed on the track and field team where she earned All-Conference honors four times between the long jump and triple jump.

Bret Newcomb, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, is considered to be an elite goalie in the history of Gustavus men’s hockey as he was named First Team AHCA All-America in 1992 and was a three-time All-Conference performer. Newcomb ranks third all-time in saves (1,975) and minutes logged (4,065), and ranks fifth in goalie wins (44). He was named Team MVP for the 1990-91 season and helped guide the Gusties to two MIAC Playoff Championships.

Dana Peterson, a native of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, was a standout distance runner on both the cross country and track and field teams where she earned All-America honors at the 1994 NCAA Cross Country Championships and won the 3,000-meter run at the 1994 MIAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Peterson was also named All-Region three times in cross country and earned three All-Conference honors in track and field between the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs.

Rod Swenson, a native of New Ulm, Minnesota, was a three-time All-Conference performer for the Gustie baseball team in the late 1990s. Swenson was an ace pitcher, graduating with school records in career strikeouts (175), starts (34), and innings pitched (206.1). He finished with a career ERA of 2.68 and holds three of the top ten spots in single season strikeouts. His 175 career strikeouts ranks second in program history.

Larry Zelenz, a native of Waukegan, Illinois, is the winningest coach in the 50-year history of Gustavus men’s soccer with an all-time record of 280-114-44 after 24 seasons (1986-2009) on the sidelines. Zelenz’s teams won seven MIAC Championships and posted a 160-57-22 record in league play. He guided the Gusties to eight NCAA National Tournament appearances and was named the 2006 NSCAA Division III National Coach of the Year for his efforts in guiding Gustavus to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships.

The selection of the inductees to the Gustavus Hall of Fame is made by the Gustavus Hall of Fame Board, which is an 11-member group consisting of current athletic administrators, and former coaches and alumni.


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