Kent State set to induct seven into Varsity 'K' Hall of Fame

Staff and wire report Published:

Staff and wire report

The newest chapter of Kent State athletic greats will be inducted into the Varsity 'K' Hall of Fame on Saturday.

The group of seven, which also includes a team dinstinction honor for the 1990 softball team, will be the 35th induction and will also be recognized at halftime of Saturday's home football game against Buffalo (3:30 p.m. kickoff).

Here is a look at the seven being inducted:

Jennie Allerding Bishko

Softball (1993-97)

Bishko earned All-MAC First Team honors as a freshman. She broke the Flashes' single-season record for strikeouts in 1996 on her way to another all-conference season. The Loudonville, Ohio native was a two-time Academic All-American, earning a first team nod in 1996.

She received the Janet Bachna Award in 1997, recognizing Kent State's senior women's student-athlete who has demonstrated combined qualities of leadership, athletic ability and academic performance. Allerding also served as a pitching coach for Kent State.

Shannon Beck

Field Hockey (1989-92)

Field Hockey's starting goalkeeper for three seasons, Beck posted a program-record 26 shutouts, leading the Golden Flashes to MAC regular season and tournament titles in both 1991 and 1992. She claimed All-MAC First Team honors in both 1991 and 1992, while earning all-region accolades. In 1991, Beck carried a 0.26 goals against average as the Flashes finished 18-1-2. Her 40 career wins are the third-most in school history and her 18 wins in 1991 are the most in a season.

Emmanuel Burriss

Baseball (2004-06)

A native of Washington D.C., Burriss was the 33rd overall pick of the 2006 MLB Draft and spent parts of five seasons in the major leagues, including a pair of World Series runs by the Giants. In 2006, he was named Mid-American Conference Player of the Year and earned All-America honors from both Baseball America and the American Baseball Coaches Association.

Kent State's lead-off hitter in 2006, Burriss hit .360 with 17 extra-base hits, leading the Golden Flashes to a MAC regular-season title. He also helped the Flashes to a conference tournament title in 2004. Burriss holds Kent State records for stolen bases in a career (92) and a season (42).

Nathan Fanger

Track & Field (1997-2000)

The MAC discus champion for four straight seasons, Fanger's throw in 2000 (194 feet, 3 inches) is still the longest in Kent State's history. He was also a two-time place-winner at the MAC Indoor Championships in the weight throw and a two-time place-winner at the MAC Outdoor Championships in the hammer. A native of Kalispell, Mont., Fanger's efforts in the discus and hammer helped the Golden Flashes win a MAC outdoor title in 2000.

Fanger was a two-time qualifier for the NCAA Championships and earned Academic All-MAC First-Team honors in three straight seasons. He has also served as assistant track & field coach for 12 years, guiding Kent State's throwers to over 40 MAC championships.

Heather Langham

Gymnastics (1999-2002)

Langham still holds Kent State's highest finish in the all-around at the NCAA Championships -- 14th place in 2002, earning Second Team All-American honors. The Concord, Ohio, native helped the Golden Flashes to a 2001 MAC Championship by finishing second on the floor, third on bars and seventh on vault. Langham won an individual MAC title in 2000 on bars. In that season, she finished second at the MAC Championships in the all-around, earning All-MAC First-Team honors. Langham claimed a spot on the all-conference second team as a freshman and earned Academic All-MAC accolades twice.

Tom Viggiano

Ice Hockey (1980-84)

Viggiano averaged over a goal per game throughout his four seasons and was the first four-year varsity letterwinner in the program's history. He holds Kent State's career records for goals scored (97), total points (203) and hat tricks (9). Viggiano ranks second in career assists (106) and game-winning goals (9). He also served as an assistant coach and head coach for the Golden Flashes from 1986-88.

Cathy O'Donnell

Administrator

Serving Kent State Athletics for 22 years, O'Donnell began her time in the department as an academic counselor. She later became senior woman administrator and executive associate athletic director. O'Donnell guided student-athletes in academic, social and real life endeavors. Meanwhile, she played a major administrative role in the department as numerous teams achieved new levels of athletic and academic success. An indicative reflection of O'Donnell's work with Laing Kennedy came during the 2009-10 academic year when Kent State won the Reese, Jacoby and Cartwright Awards for excellence in athletics, academics and community service.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.