Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame announces 2016 inductees

SCTB-Sports-Commission-LogoThe Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame Committee has announced the 2016 Induction Class, which includes five athletes, one coach, two teams and one sports contributor.

The athletes being inducted are:

Kayla Burt – Basketball
As a 2001 Arlington High grad, Burt was a Street & Smith’s & USA Today All American Honorable Mention as a senior and as a senior averaged 27.4 points, becoming the first female in the county to surpass 2,000 career points, and was an AP Washington state 1st team selection. Also, she was the Herald Player of the Year as a junior and co-player of the year as a senior.

She was a scholarship player at the University of Washington and as a sophomore was in the starting lineup, when she suffered cardiac arrest on New Year’s Eve, finishing her season and causing her to red shirt in her junior year. She began playing again the next year and was awarded The V-Foundation Comeback Award and the 2004 Herald Woman of the Year in Sports. Also, she was team co-captain and Pac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention but was forced to retire prior to her senior year because of her heart condition, which cut short her UW and future basketball career.

Randy Courture – Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC)
Courture was a Lynnwood High graduate who won a state wrestling title as a senior. He then wrestled collegiately at Oklahoma State University and was a three-time NCAA D1 All American, and a two-time D1 NCAA national championships runner-up. In 1988, 1992 and 1996, he was an Olympic Wrestling Team alternate.

After college wrestling, he became an assistant wrestling coach at Oregon State University and, while doing so, began Mixed Martial Arts competition and the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). This retired UFC fighter was a three-time UFC heavyweight champion and two-time UFC light heavyweight champion. He was the first of only two UFC fighters to hold two UFC championship titles in two different divisions. He competed in a record number of 15 UFC championship bouts and is the fourth member to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.

Bob Cummins – Rowing
Cummins rowed with the 1990-93 Everett Rowing Team (1990-93) and graduated from Everett High in 1994. In 1997 he was the 1996-97 Male Athlete of the Year for all University of Washington Athletics, “The Big W Award”. In 2008, he was inducted into Husky Hall of Fame. He initially rowed at Cornell but transferred to UW in 1996 and rowed there during the remainder of his collegiate career. He was a member of two U.S. Junior National Teams (Bronze Medal in 1993), and 1997 U.S. World Championship Senior Team (Gold Medal). At UW, he earned an Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Gold in 1997 & Silver in 1998. He was an alternate on the World Team in 1998.

He is now an Everett chiropractor who serves his community along with wife, Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Mickelson Cummins, by visiting local schools, coaching on the water, and running community and corporate wellness clinics.

Karen Thorndike – Sailing
Thorndike is the first American woman to sail around the world alone in open ocean around the five Great Capes. She completed the 33,000-mile sail on Aug. 18, 1998, returning to San Diego after two years and 14 days. Her historic accomplishment won her the Herald’s 1998 Woman of the Year in Sports and gained her considerable media attention. She was featured on CBS and CNN news, in a Seattle Times article, and in a PBS documentary in 2000. In 1999, the Cruising Club of America honored her with the Blue Water Medal, awarded annually for the most meritorious example of seamanship. And, Guinness World Records awarded her a prestigious certificate for her record setting achievement.

Her enthusiasm and love for sailing and other outdoor activities was before and after her record sailing feat as she competed in various local sailboat races, as well as a lot of hiking and climbing mostly along ocean and beach routes.

Jack Westland – Golf
Westland was a very accomplished amateur golfer who was also an American politician, serving as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives from 1953 to 1965, representing Washington state’s 2nd Congressional District

As an amateur golfer for over 25 years, he won 13 amateur titles including the 1929 French Amateur, 4 Pacific Northwest and 3 Washington State amateurs, 3 Chicago District amateurs, 1 Western Amateur, and the 1952 U.S. Amateur (the oldest to win this tournament). Additionally, he played on 3 Walker Cups teams and was the non-playing captain of the 1961 team. In 1978, he was inducted into the PNW Golf Association’s Hall of Fame.

The coach being inducted is:

Keith Kingsbury
For 36 years Kingsbury was a physical education instructor and men’s basketball coach at Edmonds Community College. He coached the men’s basketball team for 32 years and his teams won 570 games and participated in 18 Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) {formerly Northwest Athletic Association for Community Colleges (NWAACC)} post-season championship playoffs.

In 1985, his team won the NWAC men’s basketball championship. Three other times his teams placed in the NWAC championships. He is the all-time winningest coach in Edmonds Community College history and he has sent over 100 players to four-year level colleges including 25 to NCAA Division 1 schools. In 2013, Kingsbury was inducted into the NWAC Hall of Fame.

The teams being inducted are:

1955 Darrington High School Boys Basketball
Darrington High is a Class 2B school and it is the only-county 2B School to win three state championships in boys’ basketball — 1955, 1957 and 2003. The 1955 team was the first Darrington High team to win a state championship and this team was definitely not favored to win the title. The team lost four regular-season games for a record of 16-4. But, for the district playoffs they were 3-0 and at state they were 4-0, beating Bainbridge High 56-54 for the title. The lead changed 12 times during this hotly contested game.

The head coach was the well-known basketball coach LaVern Simmons, and his assistant was William Carroll. The team’s roster consisted of 12 players and one of the players — Gerald Green — was the state tourney MVP. It was an exciting time for the town of Darrington and Darrington High, as well as for the Bainbridge contingent as over 6,000 people attended the championship game.

1981 Meadowdale High School Girls Soccer
The 1981 Meadowdale High girls soccer team was the first Snohomish County Class school to win a Washington state high school soccer championship, in fact, this championship match was the first ever Washington state soccer championship playoff for girls. This team placed third in its Class 4A Wesco league and was not expected to win the state title. But they did by beating the Hazen Highlanders 3-2 in a shootout in weather that was very rainy and windy. Roger Bray, an elementary school teacher, was the head coach and two of his daughters, Gayle and Leslie, were members of the team.

Before the shootout, Meadowdale and Hazen played two, five-minute overtimes with neither team scoring. Thus, the shootout. The shootout was tied throughout most of the penalty kicks but Hazen missed its last shot and Meadowdale’s, Karen Turner made hers, and the match was over.

The sports contributor being inducted is:  

Bill O’Mara – Radio Sports Broadcasting
O’Mara is a Pacific Northwest sports broadcasting pioneer and legend and is best known for covering the glory days of Unlimited Hydroplane racing. He began by doing Seattle Rainiers baseball broadcasting and was the first for a Seattle TV “major league” sport — a live Unlimited Hydroplane race west of the Mississippi. He did Seattle Seafair Hydro races, 1951-59 and other major Unlimited Hydro races. In 1998, he was inducted into the Unlimited Hydroplane Museum Hall of Fame.

He also had a distinguished career as a 1380 KRKO broadcaster, reporting local high school and recreational sporting events, as well as being on camera for years as sports director/broadcaster at Seattle KING 5 News. For his broadcasting of local high school sports, he was the first recipient of the Jim Reding Media Commitment to High School Baseball Award – received from the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association.

The Sports Hall of Fame inductees were nominated by the public and the 30-member Sports Hall of Fame Committee.

The 2016 Sports Hall of Fame Inductees will be honored at the 2016 Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Sept. 28, 2016 at Edward D. Hansen Conference Center at XFINITY Arena. Purchase tickets at https://tinyurl/HallofFameTickets.

In addition, the banquet will feature 2016 The Herald Man and Woman of the Year in Sports Award. The 2016 Herald Man of the Year in Sports is Jacob Eason, quarterback of Lake Stevens High School football. The 2016 Herald Woman of the Year in Sports is Mikayla Pivec, Lynnwood High School multi-sport athlete and Oregon State University-bound to play basketball.

For the third year in a row, the banquet will also honor the collegiate male and female athlete of the year. The Collegiate Male Athlete of the Year is Dejon Devroe, Track & Field, Trinity Lutheran College. The Collegiate Female Athlete of the Year is Emily Bland, Track & Field, Everett Community College.

For more information on the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame Banquet, visit or call Snohomish County Sports Commission at 425-348-5802 ext. 102.

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