June 9, 2014
PHOTO GALLERY - Photos by Kaden Huntrods
MADISON, S.D. – The Dakota State University Athletic Department inducted four new members as well as a team into the 19th Annual Hall of Fame Saturday (June 7) at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse. Inductees included Desa Rae Cleveland (Doyle), Amy Tvedt (Hansen), Lorin Larsen (posthumously), Coach Buzz Stevenson and members of the 1996-97 Dakota State University Trojan Men's Cross County/Track & Field South Dakota-Iowa Conference (SDIC) Championship teams.
Stevenson commented on his women's jumper Cleveland (Class of 2002), who claimed the first-ever female national champion at Dakota State University. Her memorable and historic day occurred on her 20th birthday at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championship in Lincoln, Neb. Cleveland cleared the high jump bar of five feet, six inches to win the national high jump event. She held a DSU school record of 5 feet, 8.5 inches, which stood for eight years. Cleveland produced five NAIA All-American awards, four All-Conference honors and was picked as DSU's Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year twice. She was also listed on the NAIA All-American Academic list for her success in the classroom.
Gerald Kubiak introduced Tvedt (Class of 1998, 2003). The former NAIA All-American runner accumulated eight South Dakota-Iowa Conference (SDIC) individual conference champions, SDIC All-Conference honors on nine different occurrences, qualified for nationals in each cross country, indoor track and outdoor track from 1995-97, and three-time NAIA All-American honors. Tvedt set numerous DSU school records, including eight different school records in her senior outdoor track season. She was voted as DSU's Most Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year twice in 1996 and 1997.
DSU's Director of Alumni Affairs Jona Schmidt commented on inductee Lorin Larsen. He was one of the best jumpers in Dakota State University history. Five of the school records he set still stand after 30 years. He holds the school record in triple jump with a measurement of 48 feet, 1 inch, set in 1983. He added to the school records with a 24 foot, 5 inch long jump, set in 1984. He ran a leg in the men's record setting 4 x 400-meter relay that set a school record of 3 minutes, 16.40 seconds. Larsen added two indoor track school records – 46 feet, 8.75 inches in the triple jump and 23 feet, 1 inch in the long jump. He was a four-time Most Valuable Athlete at the South Dakota Intercollegiate conference meet. He qualified for the Outdoor Track National meet four times and the Indoor Track National Meet three times. The Larsen family – Lorin's father Roger and Lorin's three children Kelsi, Kristin and Jordyn – accepted the award.
Phillips (Class of 1993) was introduced by Stevenson. Stevenson considered Phillips as one of the finest distance runners at DSU during the late 1980's and early 1990's, a period when the Trojans won three straight SDIC titles (1989-91). He was a four-year All-SDIC runner in both cross country and track. He was an NAIA All-American in track his senior season. Phillips was the Trojans' Most Outstanding Male Athlete-of-the-Year in his junior and senior years.
Former Dakota State's Athletic Director Tom Mauer then introduced Stevenson. Stevenson announced his retirement this past spring after coaching for 29 years at DSU. In his years at Dakota state University, Stevenson has coached two first-ever national champions in the track and field programs – Cleveland in the women's high jump and Andy Coy in the men's 1000-meter run. Over the years, Stevenson has coached a total of 60-plus NAIA-American status and over 100 All-Conference performances. He had earned SDIC Coach-of-the-Year 14 times and Great Plains Regional Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year twice.
Before Stevenson's acceptance speech, a special tribute video was played reflecting back to his years at Dakota State University.
The 1996-97 DSU Trojan Men's Cross Country and Track/Field was introduced by Stevenson. Several members of the SDIC championship teams made comments. The Trojans owned the SDIC conference with dominating performances at all three conference meets. The cross country team won the SDIC conference title by 33-point margin, placing five DSU runners in the 'Top 10'. DSU finished 17th overall as a team at the national cross country meet. The Trojans won the SDIC Indoor Track & Field in dominating fashion with 144 points. Dakota State added another SDIC conference title during the outdoor season, posting a score of 141 points. Highlight video from the 1996-97 DSU Track & Field was displayed at the banquet.
The Class of 2014 inductees join 73 other DSU Athletic Hall of Fame members. The 1996-97 DSU Men's Cross County/Track & Field teams became the ninth team to be inducted to the Hall of Fame.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State Sports Information Director