LETTER TO SPORTS EDITOR: York College Athletic Hall of Fame should add forgotten Spartans
Forty-two years ago, York College Spartans John Hagemann and Steven Ferree trained and raced on cinders and set track records that have stood the test of time.
Hagemann ran four events per meet, one being the 110-meter high hurdles, which unlike today, required racing over heavy, unforgiving wooden barriers. His time of 15.14* seconds in the high hurdles is still the college record today. He was also second in total points scored his first three years and first his senior year. Upon graduation Hagemann had a total of five outdoor track records.
Ferree had a total of two outdoor track records, including a 1:53.2** in the 800 meters. His 800-meter time is still a college record. Ferree also led his 1976 cross country team to a 17-3 record — the best in the history of York College cross country.
Both Hagemann's high-hurdle and Ferree's 800-meter times set in 1978 are still considered elite performances in NCAA Division III.
Who knows what Hagemann and Ferree would have accomplished with the leadership of current Coach Stephen LoBianco and today's York College all-weather track and training program. Unheard of today, they shared their track coach with the wrestling team, drove themselves to winter indoor meets and ran on challenging cinder tracks.
I strongly urge the York College Athletic Hall of Fame Committee to induct both Hagemann and Ferree to acknowledge not only their contributions to York College's cross-country and track-and-field programs, but also to recognize two forgotten York College alumni who excelled in a different era.
(*Converted from 120 yards. **Converted from 880 yards)