Sixteen inductees have entered the SUNY Cobleskill Athletic Hall of Fame, at a ceremony held during Homecoming & Family Weekend, Saturday, October 5. This year’s class includes the members of the College’s 1959 NJCAA-Champion Men’s Cross Country Team.
Erin O’Rourke, ‘08
Women’s Track & Field, Basketball
Multi-sport athlete Erin O’Rourke earned All-Mountain Valley Conference honors as a freshman in 2006, winning the league championship in the high jump. Her 2007 campaign was even more decorated: Erin again earned conference honors, as part of the Fighting Tigers conference championship 4×100 meter and 4×400 meter relays, and won the NJCAA Region III Heptathlon Championship, earning a place on the NJCAA All-Region III Team. O’Rourke wrapped up her career at the 2007 NJCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field National Championships, winning the national title in the Heptathlon to earn NJCAA First Team All-American honors. She was recognized as the 2007 Fred Bennett Women’s Outstanding Female Athlete-of-the-Year.
Daniel Pierre, ‘05
Standing 6’7’’, Pierre helped lead the Fighting Tigers to the 2005 NJCAA Region III Division III Championship, as well as an NJCAA Division III Tournament appearance, earning Third Team NJCAA All-American honors for the season to go with First Team NJCAA Region III Division and First Team All-Mountain Valley Conference honors. Pierre concluded his SUNY Cobleskill career as the program’s leading rebounder, with 849 boards, and as the record holder in varsity appearances, with 68. He continued his basketball career on the professional circuit, playing overseas in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Heather Frees, ‘03
Women’s Swimming & Diving
One of the most talented and well-rounded competitors in the history of Fighting Tiger Women’s Swimming & Diving, Frees earned NJCAA All-American honors in the 100- and 200-butterfly in 2003, after earning NJCAA All-American honors in the 200-butterfly in 2002. During her storied career she held program records in the 50-freestyle, 100-freestyle, 200-freestyle, 1000-freestyle, 100-butterfly and 200-butterfly. The Johnstown, NY native was also a seven-time Mountain Valley Conference event champion during her career. She won a pair of league titles in the 50-freestyle and 100-butterfly, to go with conference championships in the 200-individual medley, 500-freestyle, and 1000-freestyle.
Richard Chapman, ‘98
A two-year starter in goal, Chapman posted 25 wins in 32 contests, which, along with 19 career shutouts, led SUNY Cobleskill to a seventh-place finish at the 1996 NJCAA Division III National Championship Tournament. That season Chapman propelled the Fighting Tigers to a 14-3-1 record, with a program-record 11 shutouts, and season goals against average of 0.64 – tops in NJCAA Region III Division III. The Nassau, NY native earned Second Team NJCAA All-American honors, First Team All-NJCAA Region III Division III Team honors, and First Team All-Mountain Valley Conference honors at the conclusion of the 1997 season.
1959 Men’s Cross Country Team
Prof. Steven A. Warde – Head Coach
Bill Lochner, Rochester, NY – Team Manager
Tom Farry, Schenectady, NY
*Norm Marincic, Watertown, NY
*Richard Schopinsky, Marlboro, NY
Gerald Schopinsky, Marlboro, NY
Lew Faxon, Saugerties, NY
Dave Simmons, Poughkeepsie, NY
Bob Millen, West Islip, NY
Harold Edmonds, Cherry Valley, NY
John Butler, Richmondville, NY
Matty Brown, Cobleskill, NY
*Indicates team co-captain
The Aggies, as they were then known, captured the 1959 NJCAA National Championship, becoming the association’s first national champions in cross country (previous champions were only contested on a regional level). Led by Head Coach Steven A. Warde, and behind the efforts of 1959’s National Champion (Farry) and four NJCAA All-Americans (Marincic, Schopinsky, Schopinsky, and Faxon) SUNY Cobleskill compiled a 33-1 record in head-to-head competition, for a .970 winning percentage in the 1959 season. The team also won that year’s NJCAA Regional Championship, four dual meets, three triangular meets, and the Canisius College Invitational. SUNY Cobleskill posted a perfect team score of 15 points to capture the championship event.