Five legendary track and field athletes were inducted into the ACU Sports Hall of Fame Friday night. The inductees, which includes Olympic athlete qualifiers, national champions and several letter winners, were inducted on the eve of the grand opening of the new Elmer Gray Stadium.
“With the rich history that we have in track and field, we have probably overlooked these five individuals over the course of the years,” athletic director Lee De Leon said. “We thought this was an appropriate time, with the opening of the new Elmer Gray Stadium, to give them the recognition they deserve for their incredible accomplishments at ACU.”
The new members, known as the Tradition Class of 2015, all continued the tradition of ACU’s track and field program.
Brian Amos, Ann (Foster) Faulknor, Waymond Griggs, Ian Morris and Dennis Richardson joined the Hall of Fame. With the new inductees, the Sports Hall of Fame now stands at 170 members.
Amos was a two-time qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Trials, three-time Div. II national champion in the 110-meter high hurdles and male Athlete of the Year in Div. II track and field for 1994. Amos was the top collegiate hurdler in the country in 1994 and owned the all-time Div. II record of 13.37.
At the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1992, Amos advanced to the quarterfinals in New Orleans and semifinals in 1996 in Atlanta.
Faulknor was one of the greatest triple jump athletes to come through ACU. In her four years as a Wildcat, she was a four-time national champion, a three-time Lone Star Conference champion and finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Div. I national championships three times.
Faulknor set the ACU record as a freshman with 40-11 1/2, and she improved the mark each year to 41-9 1/2 as a sophomore, 42-0 as a junior and 42-4 1/4 as a senior.
Griggs’ claim to fame is that he was a part of the ACU relay team that set three world records and won 16 titles at major collegiate relay meets (Texas, Drake, Penn, West Coast, Coliseum and California Relays).
With Griggs leading off and fellow ACU Sports Hall of Famer Bobby Morrow anchoring, the two created a winning duo for legendary track and field coach Oliver Jackson. Griggs was a member of Wildcat teams that won the 1955 NAIA national championship and the 1956 Gulf Coast Conference title.
Morris had one of the best times in the quarter-mile while at ACU. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, he was a two-time finalist at the Olympic Games in 1988 and 1992 and a silver medalist at the Pan American Games in 1991 in Havana, Cuba.
At the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Morris narrowly missed a medal after finishing fourth in the 400-meter with a time of 44.25 seconds. He was a six-time conference champion for the Wildcats with the 200 in 1986, 400 in 1986 and 1988, 4-x-100 relay in 1986, and 4-x-400 relay in 1986 and 1988.
Richardson tied the record of 9.3 seconds for the 100-yard dash set by Olympic sprinter Bobby Morrow and Bill Woodhouse, was a member of the Wildcat 880-yard relay team that established a world record in 1961, and he was the 100-yard dash champion at the Texas Relays in 1961 and Penn Relays in 1962.
Richardson turned in one of the top performances in ACU track and field history at the Texas Relays in 1961 when he won the 100-yard dash and helped the Wildcats to a sweep of the 440, 880 (with a world record of 1:22.6) and mile relays in Austin.
In another memorable day in ACU track and field history, March 27, 1963 – the day his daughter was born – Richardson returned to campus from the hospital and won the 100- (9.3) and 220-dash (20.9) and ran on both winning relay teams as the Wildcats defeated the University of Colorado, 91-54, in a dual meet.
“ACU track and field is synonymous with success,” De Leon said. “We have been blessed with numerous student-athletes and coaches who have carried ACU’s name across the globe through their performances at the national and international levels. The amount of exposure and publicity ACU has earned through its track and field program is unparalleled at our university.”