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Yellowjackets to induct 6 people, 1 team into Athletics Hall of Fame

The Telegram's Ken Olson is among those who will be honored July 23.

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SUPERIOR — The University of Wisconsin-Superior and Yellowjacket Athletics announced the UW-Superior Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2022. The class, which includes six individuals and one team, will be inducted July 23.

"On behalf of our hall of fame committee, it is with great excitement to announce the induction of six outstanding individuals and one terrific team. Being inducted into our hall of fame is the highest honor we can bestow to an individual or team," said Nick Bursik, UWS director of athletics. "It is our honor to enshrine them in our Hall of Fame and celebrate their legacy in Yellowjacket Athletics history."

Individual Inductees

Gubio Henrique: A native of Florianopolis, Brazil, Henrique played for the Yellowjacket men's soccer team from 2006-08. He scored 37 goals in his three seasons, a record that stood for over a decade. In 2006 Henrique scored 17 goals and helped the Yellowjackets to a 13-3-2 mark. He was a two-time team most valuable player and a team captain during his final two seasons.

Sally Linzmeier: Linzmeier is arguably the best player in the history of the Yellowjacket women's basketball program, and finished her career as the school's all-time leader in points (1,686), field goals made (603), free throws made (447) and steals (318). Linzmeier claimed multiple All-American awards from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, Women's DIII News and d3hoops.com, and was also named Capital One Academic All-American by COSIDA, the first such honoree in school history. A two-time WIAC Player of the Year on the hardcourt, Linzmeier was also a four-year standout on the Yellowjacket softball team and closed out her career with one season on the Yellowjacket women's soccer team.

Samantha Birman: Birman enjoyed an accomplished career as a Yellowjacket track and field student-athlete and punctuated her career with NCAA All-American honors in 2005, the year she placed fifth in the nation in the high jump at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Earlier that year, Birman earned an 11th place finish in the high jump at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. A two-time All-WIAC selection, Birman had 19 top-eight finishes at the WIAC Championships in her career, and to date still holds numerous school records.


Mertz Mortorelli Coaching Achievement Recipient

Jim Kivisto: Kivisto was hired to take over the softball program at Hurley High School and immediately turned the program into a state powerhouse. In 33 seasons with Hurley, Kivisto's teams have compiled a record of 503-140, including an astounding 245-18 mark in conference play. Hurley has won 22 conference titles, 22 regional championships, eight sectional championships and has been state runners-up three times under Kivisto. A 17-time Indianhead Conference Coach of the Year winner, three of Kivisto's teams, as well as Kivisto himself, have been inducted to the Hurley Athletics Hall of Fame.

Carl Vergamini Contributions to Yellowjacket Athletics Recipient

Ken Olson: A native of Superior, for nearly all his life Olson has had ties to UWS and Yellowjacket Athletics. From being a team manager in his youth to serving in a sports information capacity later, Olson has deep ties to Yellowjacket sports. It was during his time at the Superior Telegram, a career that spanned decades, where Olson made an indelible mark. If there was a sporting event on campus, Olson was there, covering everything from regular season games to NCAA Championships. Starting out in circulation in the late 1970s, Olson retired from the Telegram in 2020.

Lydia Thering Meritorious Service Award Recipient

Dr. Chris Bell: Bell was a member of the Yellowjacket men's hockey team for four seasons (1997-2001) and was a team captain his senior season. He earned a bachelor's degree in exercise science in 2001, and later earned a master's degree in physiology from St. Scholastica in 2003. In 2018, he completed his doctorate in sports health and fitness from the United States Sports Academy. Bell has been the owner and operator of Impact Sports Training/IST Crossfit in Duluth for over a decade, a venture that allows him to dedicate himself to the health and wellness of others, working with youth and high school athletes in addition to people of all ages.

Team Inductee

2007-08 Women's Hockey Team: Arguably the most successful women's hockey team in school history, the 2007-08 Yellowjackets are the only team in program history to reach the NCAA Division III Women's Hockey Championships. Finishing the season with record of 23-6-1 and a fourth-place finish in the nation, the Yellowjackets set the program record for wins in a season that still stands and won both the NCHA regular season and tournament championships. Two Yellowjackets, Gina Baranzelli and Kirsti Hakala, were named AHCA All-Americans. Baranzelli was also named NCHA Player of the Year, while Dan Laughlin was named NCHA Coach of the Year.

If you go

What: 2022 UW-Superior Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

When: Saturday, July 23


Where: Yellowjacket Union Great Room

Time: Social at 5:30 p.m., meal and program at 6 p.m.

Cost: $40 adults, $20 children

Register online at uwsyellowjackets.com.

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