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2024 Hall of Fame induction class announced

GAMBIER, Ohio – As part of Kenyon College’s 2024 Homecoming Weekend, a class of seven will be inducted into the Kenyon Athletic Hall of Fame. The class, which includes John Butcher ’95, Tina Ertel ’10, Ellen Griggs ’77, Ali Lacavaro ’99, Justin Martinich ’02, Katie Walker ’06 and Bryan Yelvington ’09, will be the 31st group of inductees to enter the Hall since 1988.     

The induction ceremony will be held in the Lowry Center on the evening of Friday, September 27. The following day, the new Hall of Fame class will be introduced at halftime of the Owls’ football game with The College of Wooster.

In a separate ceremony, during a reunion event in the spring, Scott Thielke, former Kenyon men’s and women’s tennis coach, will be inducted into the Hall. 

In addition to the inductions, the Donald May Award will be presented to Griggs and the Burchell Rowe Award will be given to Rachel Berger ’11. The Donald May Award honors former Kenyon athletes who have had outstanding accomplishments in sports and who have performed creditably and honorably in a career, while the Burchell Rowe Award goes to those who embody the finest spirit of Kenyon College and have made significant contributions to Kenyon Athletics.

John Butcher ’95, diving

One of just two in Kenyon swimming and diving history to earn multiple NCAA Division III Diver of the Year awards, John Butcher was one of the first to set the stage for program success on the boards. At the 1993 national championship, he won both the one-meter and three-meter diving titles. Two years later, he won the three-meter NCAA title again and placed second on the one-meter. Overall, Butcher collected six All-America awards in national competition, was Kenyon’s 1995 Senior Athlete of the Year and was an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient. At the conference level, Butcher was a three-time North Coast Athletic Conference Diver of the Year and a five-time event champion. 

Tina Ertel ’10, swimming

A member of three NCAA Championship swimming and diving teams, Tina Ertel was a five-time NCAA event champion and a 22-time All-American. In the 2009 season, Ertel won the national title in the 200-yard individual medley. Two years prior, she earned her other four national event titles as part of relay teams on Kenyon’s 2007 squad. At the conference level, she was an eight-time champion with four relays titles, two individual titles in the 200-yard individual medley and one each in the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly. She was the 2007 North Coast Athletic Conference Swimmer of the Year and a two-time winner of the Daniel Ray Memorial Trophy, given to the team’s most valuable member.

Ellen Griggs ’77, field hockey, lacrosse

Part of two start-up programs at Kenyon, Ellen Griggs played four years of field hockey and lacrosse. In her first year, she helped the field hockey team record its first winning season and, one year later, assisted in producing a team record of 7-2-1. With lacrosse, she was a part of the program’s first winning season in 1974. She was named captain of the 1977 lacrosse team and earned MVP honors that same year. At the conclusion of her collegiate career, Griggs was tabbed Kenyon’s Senior Athlete of the Year. She went on to serve as a member of Kenyon’s Board of Trustees for 15 years and remains very much involved in development projects across campus.

Ali Lacavaro ’99, lacrosse
A four-year letterwinner and a three-time team MVP, Ali Lacavaro scored 66 goals for the 1998 Kenyon women’s lacrosse team. At the time, that goal total was a program record and it stood for more than 20 years. That same season, Lacavaro posted 93 draw controls, which was another program single-season record. Transitioning through three coaches, as well as position changes, Lacavaro’s offensive prowess was unleashed in her final two seasons. She was a four-time All-NCAC honoree, including a first-team award her senior season. She was also named a first-team All-Region player as a senior. She ended up scoring 122 career goals and amassed what was a Kenyon record 239 draw controls.

Justin Martinich ’02, lacrosse

Justin Martinich graduated in 2022 as the Kenyon lacrosse program’s all-time leader with 238 points, a total that still remains atop the team’s chart. He was both a scorer and a creator, as evidenced by his balanced career totals of 126 goals and 112 assists, both of which rank second all-time at Kenyon. Martinich played in 56 career games and the teams he played on racked up a combined record of 44-13. In 2000, he lifted the squad to a share of its first-ever conference championship. He was a four-time All-NCAC pick with two selections to the first team. In his final season he was team captain and Kenyon’s Senior Athlete of the Year. 

Scott Thielke, tennis coach

The long-time coach of the Kenyon men’s and women’s tennis programs, Scott Thielke maintained standards that started in places unattainable for other programs. His career included 419 wins and 19 NCAA appearances with the men, as well as 398 wins and 14 NCAA appearances with the women. Six times his teams made it to the NCAA semifinals. He won a combined 30 NCAC Championships and collected 18 NCAC Coach of the Year awards. He coached one NCAA singles champion and two NCAA doubles champions, while his teams combined for 34 Top-25 national rankings. Additionally, Thielke developed 43 All-Americans and 28 NCAC Players of the Year over a tenure that spanned 28 years.

Katie Walker ’06, track and field, volleyball, basketball

A three-sport student-athlete, Katie Walker played basketball and volleyball, but track and field was her forte. A long jumper, Walker was a three-time All-American, placing fifth and sixth, respectively, at the 2003 and 2005 NCAA Outdoor Championship and placing eighth at the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championship. She was a three-time All-Ohio long jump champion and a seven-time NCAC champion, including five titles in long jump competition. Walker also ran sprints and collected a dozen career All-NCAC awards. In 2006, she was voted the NCAC MVP for Sprints/Hurdles and in 2014 she was named to the NCAC’s All-Decade Team. Walker still holds the Kenyon long jump records for both indoor and outdoor competitions.  

Bryan Yelvington ’09, basketball

The most recent All-American in Kenyon men’s basketball history, Bryan Yelvington left his name plastered all over the program record book. He concluded his career with top-10 marks in field goal percentage, free throws made, free throw percentage and rebounds. At the time of his graduation, his career total of 1,413 points ranked 13th best at Kenyon. He was a three-time All-NCAC pick, including first-team selections in 2008 and 2009. His senior season was capped off with a CoSIDA Academic All-District award, his second career All-Region award, an NABC All-America honor, and the title of 2009 NCAC Player of the Year. In 2013, he was named to the NCAC All-Decade Team.

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