Lo­cals se­lected for Delaware Track & Field Hall of Fame

Newark Post - - SPORTS - By JON BUZBY JonBuzby@hot­mail.com

Long­time Univer­sity of Delaware men’s track and field and cross-coun­try coach Jim Fis­cher, for­mer Ne­wark Char­ter ath­letic di­rec­tor Kevin Kelly and Chris­tiana High track and field stand­out Lynn Har­ris Her­nan­dez will be in­ducted into the Delaware Track and Field Hall of Fame.

Fis­cher served at the helm of the UD men’s pro­grams from 1982 un­til the sports were dis­con­tin­ued fol­low­ing the 2010-11 school year. He was a five-time con­fer­ence coach of the year, won five con­fer­ence cham­pi­onships, and helped guide his run­ners to 119 in­di­vid­ual con­fer­ence ti­tles. He re­mained at UD coach­ing the women’s dis­tance run­ners be­fore mov­ing on to Delaware Tech, San­ford School and his cur­rent po­si­tion as track and field head coach at Ur­su­line Academy.

“I am hon­ored and grate­ful to be con­sid­ered as one of the peo­ple who has had a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on our sport in the state of Delaware,” Fis­cher said. “I have truly en­joyed work­ing with the many ath­letes, coaches, of­fi­cials, par­ents and com­mu­nity mem­bers.”

His col­lege and high school coach­ing ac­com­plish­ments aside, Fis­cher is per­haps best known in the Ne­wark com­mu­nity for host­ing his weekly Tues­day night run­ning ses­sions that first be­gan on the UD track dur­ing the sum­mer of 1984 and con­tinue to­day at St. Mark’s High School. The year-round weekly train­ing op­por­tu­nity is open to run­ners of all ages and abil­i­ties, from kids to se­nior cit­i­zens, and be­gin­ners to marathon run­ners.

“We have had four-minute mil­ers and 14-minute mil­ers,” Fis­cher said.

Kelly’s ca­reer spanned more than four decades in a va­ri­ety of coach­ing and sports ad­min­is­tra­tive po­si­tions across sev­eral states. Among his stops was serv­ing as the first ath­letic di­rec­tor at Ne­wark Char­ter High School.

“I truly ap­pre­ci­ated all of the peo­ple I worked with at NCS,” Kelly said. “They were al­ways sup­port­ing pro­grams and help­ing to es­tab­lish a very pos­i­tive at­mos­phere for stu­dent-ath­letes.”

A grad­u­ate of Sale­sianum School and St. Mar y’s Col­lege, Kelly was named Delaware out­door boys track and field coach of the year in 1992 and 1996 af­ter lead­ing Wil­liam Penn to state cham­pi­onships. He was also named coach of the year in boys cross coun­try in 2004. Kelly chaired the DIAA State Track & Field com­mit­tee from 2006-16 and still re­mains ac­tive in the sports com­mu­nity.

“I am both hon­ored and hum­bled by my in­duc­tion,” Kelly said, adding he’d save the rest of his com­ments for the in­duc­tion cer­e­mony.

Her­nan­dez’ ac­com­plish­ments while at Chris­tiana High School in­cluded set­ting what was then the state record for the long jump (19-5½) and win­ning the state cham­pi­onship in the 55 in­doors, 100 out­doors and the run­ning long jump. She went on to set the long-jump record at the Univer­sity of Mary­land and was named an NCAA All-Amer­i­can.

“Be­ing in­ducted into the Delaware Track and Field Hall of Fame is such an in­cred­i­ble honor for me, both as a com­peti­tor and as a coach,” she said. “It wouldn’t have been pos­si­ble with­out my coaches, fam­ily, track fam­ily and team­mates. I am thank­ful for all I have been given and grate­ful that I am able to share my love for the sport with the fu­ture of track and field.”

Her­nan­dez coaches at the Tat­nall School and the Delaware Elite Track Club.

Also be­ing in­ducted are John Yasik and Ta­mara Stoner Shirley. Yasik com­peted at Arch­mere Academy and the Univer­sity of Delaware, where he ran on three East Coast Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship track teams. He went on to be­come an avid road racer, in­clud­ing clock­ing a 2:30:19 at the Bos­ton Marathon. Yasik started the Catholic Youth Min­istries (CYM) cross coun­try pro­gram at Holy An­gels in Ne­wark. He also founded the Neigh­bor­hood Re­lays in Hockessin.

Shirley ran at Del­cas­tle High School and West Vir­ginia Univer­sity, where she was an At­lantic 10 in­door 500 cham­pion.

The in­duc­tion cer­e­mony is Nov. 20 at Cava­liers Countr y Club, with a so­cial hour at 6 p.m. fol­lowed by din­ner at 7. Tick­ets are $50 and must be or­dered by Nov. 6 through Brian Stru­sowski at Bstru­sowski@ver­i­zon.net or 302753-9052.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

For­mer Univer­sity of Delaware coach Jim Fis­cher will be in­ducted into the Delaware Track & Field Hall of Fame on Nov. 20.

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