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August 27,2018-   The Belmont Plateau Cross Country Hall of Fame  inducted 6 new members and 1 Outstanding Team to it's "Hall of Fame" this past Saturday .   Dave Thomas, founder and president of the BPCCHOF intoduced the 2018 class at the HOF cermony following the 4th Annual Hall of Fame Classic 5k & 1 Mile Youth Run at Belmont Plateau Park. The 2018 inductees were Eamonn Coghlan (Villanova), Sydney Maree(Villanova), Dave Merrick (Penn), Kevin Quinn (Saint Joseph), Fred Rosenfeld (Overbrook/Central HS), and Browing Ross (Villanova/Penn AC), along with the 1959 Cardinal Dougherty HS Boys Cross Country Team.  The inductees were selected from a list of over 70 nominated athletes/coaches with outstanding careers in distance running and connections to Philadelphia.  The committee selects 3 local (born within or near Philadelphia) and 3 non-local (connected to Philadelphia by school or club) and 1 Outstanding Team.

John Burns, a teammate of Eamonn Coglan represented him and accepted his HOF award for him. Coghlan was back in Ireland an unable to attend. "The Chairman of the Boards" from Ireland was won of the most dominant and celebrated distance runners from Villanova University winning 4 NCAA mile titles. He was one the world's dominant milers of the 70s and 80s, competed in 4 Olympic Games and was a World Champion at 5,000 meters.  Besides winning 7 Wanamaker Miles,  he is the first miler to break the 3:50 barrier indoors and the first Master (40+) to break the 4 minute mile.  He competed in a number of races on the Classic 5.2 Mile Course at Belmont Plateau while running cross country for Villanova in the 1970s.

Tom Donnelly, the personal coach of Sydney Maree in the 1980s accepted for Maree, who was back in his native South Africa. Maree was another world class distance runners that attended Villanova University in the 1970s. Maree came to Philadelphia from South Africa and was a top cross country  as well as track runner at Villanova, winning multible NCAA titles and setting college records for the 1500 and 5,000.  Post college, Maree became one of the worlds dominant distance runners setting records in the 1500 and 5,000 meters and finally able to compete in the Olympic games after becoming a US citizen. He set US records in the 1500/5,000.   

 Dave McKee, a teammate of Dave Merrick at Penn intoduced him at the ceremony. Merrick was the greatest distance run in Penn history.  He was a 2x  Illinois State Champion in cross country who ran dominant performances for Penn in cross country in track winning 3 ICAAAA Cross Country Championships, top 10 finish in the NCAA Cross Country Champs, and most of all known as holding course records on the USA historic cross country courses. In 1975, Merrick broke course records at Van Cortlandt Park and the famed Belmont Plateau Classic 5.2 mile course (a record that still stands 40 years later)!

 Kevin Quinn was intoduced by current men's coach at Saint Joseph, Mike Glavin. Quinn was a Saint Joe Hawk great from high school to retirement. He started his distance running career for Saint Joe's Prep, competing four years for Saint Joseph College and as head coach for over 6 decades for Saint Joseph University men and later women's cross country/track and field programs.  He was a Mid Atlantic Conference champion in the mile and cross country during his running career and later coached many Atlantic 10 champions, NCAA All Americans  and Olympians.

 Philaelphia City Councilman, Curtis Jones Jr (who ran for Overbrook HS) introduced Fred Rosenfeld.   Starting as an assistant at Overbrook HS, he quickly rose to head coaching position and became one of the most dominant coaches in the Philadelphia Public League and was part over 50 Public league championships in his coaching career for Overbrook and Central High School.   Many past athletes who Rosenfeld coached attended the ceremony.

 Jack Heath, author of Browing Ross"The Father of American Distance running intoduced Browning Ross. Ross, a truly special athlete and visionary known more for what he did for the sport after his running career ended. He was one of the first distance stars at Villanova in the 1940s in cross country and the steeplchase who later competed in 1948 and 1952 Olympics and won a gold at the Pan Am Games. One of the most dominant club runners of the 1950s and 60s in the US.  Known nationally after his career as one of the founders of the first publications for distance running, organizing many local road races and most of all, one of the founding members of the Road Runners Club of America. Ross' two daughters, Bonnie and Barbara attended the event.

The 1959 Cardinal Dougherty HS Boys team was honored and inducted into the "Hall of Fame" for the outstanding and dominant cross country seasons. Fran Carver and Ed Ulmer, two members of the '59 CD Team spoke on behalf of the team. After  only it's 3rd year since opening it's doors, had an undefeated season winning PCL and City Titles and went up to New York City to win the Eastern States Cross Country Championship and crowned as the top team in the East.

    The 2018 event was led off by a 1 mile youth cross country mile run with Owen Horton (boys) and Fiona Laban (girls) winning the race.  In the featured Belmont Plateau Hall of Fame Classic 5k, over 130 runners competed with Paul Matuszak and Loraine Jasper winning the titles this year.  The overall team champions were Belmont Harriers for the men and the Greater Philadelphia TC for the women.  The race also served as the USATF Mid Atlantic Master Championship with Brock Butler (Rosemont) and Loraine Jasper (Athena) crowned champions and Greater Phila TC winning both men and women USATF titles. 

   "I congratulate all of the 2018 inductees and I was excited to host the Hall of Fame Ceremony and 5k Race at one of America's premiere cross country courses" says Dave Thomas.   With the help of the City of Philadelphia and personal fund raising, we hope to  build a permenant "Walk of Fame" at Belmont Plateau Park in the near future. Donations for this mission can be made by personal donors to our mission.  Donation Checks made to "Belmont Plateau Cross Country Hall of Fame" and mail to 611 Jamestown Street, Philadelphia , Pa  19128.   The BPCCHOF is a 503 c non profit company.

PICTURES OF THE 2018  HALL OF FAME CLASSIC AND THE INDUCTION CEREMONY

  
Belmont Plateau Cross Country Hall of Fame
611 Jamestown Street
Philadelphia , Pa  19128

Dave Thomas, Founder and President
          

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