2016 St. John's Track & Field Legends Ceremony

On Saturday April 16th we celebrated the induction of the Class of 2016 St. John's Track & Field Legends.  The celebration, held before the running finals of the Nick Finnegan Spring Invitational, included several Legends from the Classes of 2013, 2014, and 2015, along with a couple of surprise honorees for this year.
The Class of 2016 St. John's Track & Field Legends:
Jim Gay '63 - A great sprinter and jumper, Jim Gay held the 100 yard dash record and was clocked in 9.9 at a meet in 1963.  He also ran on the record 440 Relay team and was an accomplished long jumper.  He ran for the legendary St. John's teacher and coach J. Fred Duckett.  Today Jim lives in Santa Fe and was able to be in town while attending his granddaughters' Christening!  Teammate and friend Andy Greenwood '63 spoke on Jim's behalf.
Martin Ankamah '98 - Martin Ankamah broke the St. John's School 800 meter record at the 1998 SPC Championships held at Kinkaid School, where he also ran on the SPC Champion 4 x 800 Relay team.  Martin also led the 4 x 800 Relay team to a first place finish in 1997.  He switched from Football to Cross Country his sophomore year, was Cross Country and Track & Field All-SPC for three years, finished 2nd overall individually in the SPC Cross Country Championships in 1996, and he was captain of the St. John's SPC Championship Cross Country team in 1997.
George Hawkins '72 - George Hawkins was a great quarter-miler in the early 1970s and part of a string of SPC Track & Field Championships for the school.  He holds the 440 yard record, the Mile Relay record, and the Mile Medley record.  George was the anchor who beat out Kinkaid in the Mile Relay to win the SPC team title one year!  George ran with other SJS Legends Doug and Andy Lockwood '71 and Paul Geis '71, and for a time he was teaching at Episcopal High School and helping coach the track team there with SJS Legend Dick Phillips, who spoke about George and his running career at St. John's.
Stephen Kaestner '87 - Stephen Kaestner held records at one time in the 300 Hurdles, 4 x 100 Relay, and 4 x 200 Relay, and he still holds the school record in the 110 Hurdles.  Stephen was team captain of the 1987 SPC Runner Up Track & Field team.  After fighting off brain cancer several years ago, Stephen battled cancer again last spring and finally finished his great race in April of 2015.  We re-named the Outstanding Male Athlete Award for the Maverick Relays after Stephen this spring, and last spring we awarded the first Stephen Kaestner Award for Courage, Heart, and Determination.  Stephen's sister Andrea, mother Ursula, and best friend Jeff Golub '87 were here to speak about this wonderful young man.
Hunter Baker '76 - Hunter Baker was a surprise guest and honoree who happened to be in town for his 40th Reunion!  We had tried to honor Hunter in the past but he was unable to make it from his home in England.  Hunter was the premier St. John's cross country and distance runner in the 1970s, running yard record times in the 880, Mile, and Two Mile.  Hunter and his wife were able to make the celebration and let us honor him as a St. John's Track & Field Legend!  Coach Dick Phillips spoke about Hunter's fabulous running career at St. John's School.
Sallie Armstrong '06 - Sallie Armstrong ("All American Girl"!) was a multiple sport athlete at St. John's and was All-SPC in the 100 Hurdles, 300 Hurdles, 4 x 100 Relay, 4 x 400 Relay, and the Long Jump.  Sallie was a team captain and the SPC Champion in the 100 Hurdles and 300 Hurdles, and won an SPC team Championship in 2005 and a runner up finish in 2006.  Sallie held records at one point in both hurdles, 4x400 Relay and Long Jump (breaking the record of Sophia Smith '97), and still holds the 4 x 100 Relay record.  She also came back to help coach sprints and hurdles for a couple years after college!
Meredith Gamble '10 - Meredith Gamble was instrumental in getting girls cross country and track & field back on top in the SPC.  She won and SPC Team Championship, and as a senior captain in 2010 she won the 1600 meters and then 30 minutes later ran on the 4 x 400 Relay team that set a school record, upset Episcopal, and pushed the team to a 1 point victory and an SPC Team Championship.  Meredith held the 1600 meter, 4 x 400 Relay, and 4 x 800 Relay records at one time and still holds the 800 meter record.
Sophia Smith '97 - Sophia Smith won a team SPC Championship for St. John's School and was All-SPC in the 400 meters, 4 x 100 Relay, 4 x 400 Relay, and Long Jump.  She held the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 Relay records as well as the Long Jump school record, all of which have been broken, including the Long Jump by Sallie Armstrong '06.  Sophia set the 400 meter record at a local meet, beating Jenny Adams of Tomball, who went on to hurdle and jump on two USA World Championship teams!
We also awarded official Legends plaques to the recipients from the past three years who were on hand for the ceremony.  These included Edison Medina and Kathy Wheat Huntsman '88 from the Legends Class of 2015; Doug Lockwood '71 and Coach Linda Suttles from the Legends Class of 2014; and Jill Ahrens '03, Gay Goodwin Wickham '79, Bridget Jensen '81, and Coach Dick Phillips from the Inaugural Legends Class of 2013.  A list of all St. John's Track & Field Legends appears below.
Class of 2016
Martin Ankamah '98
Hunter Baker '76
Jim Gay '63
George Hawkins '72
Stephen Kaestner '87
Sallie Armstrong '06
Meredith Gamble '10
Sophia Smith '97
Class of 2015
David Barndollar '84
Mitch Blake '85
Edison Medina
Kathy Wheat Huntsman '88
Jackie Modesett '13
Alexis Sanford '87
Class of 2014
Andy Lockwood '71
Doug Lockwood '71
Frank McMurrey '74
Laurie Loveland Daniel '78
Mary Kempner Daniel '81
Coach Linda Suttles
Inaugural Class of 2013
Paul Geis '71
Ethan Glass '80
Bob Groth '72
Jill Ahrens '03
Gay Goodwin Wickham '79
Bridget Jensen '81
Coach Dick Phillips