Spartan Club Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2018

Spartan Club Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2018

The Spartan Club, in coordination with the Case Western Reserve University Department of Athletics, has announced its 2018 Hall of Fame Class - Esther Erb Atkins (Cross Country/ Track & Field, CWRU '08), Aaron Johnston-Peck (Cross Country/ Track & Field, CWRU '07) , Santo Maimone (Football, CWRU '06), Lauren Preyss Erickson (Women's Swimming & Diving, CWRU '07), Pat Rodjom (Men's Swimming & Diving, CWRU '07), heritage selection John Davin (Basketball & Golf, CIT '60), and special category inductee M. Frank Rudy (CIT '50).

In addition, the Case Western Reserve University football teams from 2007-09, which went a combined 31-3 with three University Athletic Association Championships and three NCAA playoff appearances, will be recognized with the University Award for Athletic Excellence.

The seven inductees will join the 356 current members inducted since the inception of the Spartan Club Hall of Fame in 1975, while the 2007-09 football teams will become the third group to be recognized with the University Award for Athletic Excellence, joining the 1984 CWRU football team and the CWRU tennis teams from 1972-79.

The hall of fame class and the football teams will be honored at the Spartan Club Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Award Ceremony on Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Grand Ballroom in the Tinkham Veale University Center on the Case Western Reserve University campus.  The event will be held during Homecoming weekend, with more information on registration available in the upcoming weeks at http://athletics.case.edu/HOFRegistration.

Esther Erb Atkins
Esther Erb is the most accomplished women's distance runner in the history of Case Western Reserve University.  She is a six-time All-American, and is one of 18 CWRU athletes in any sport to claim a National Championship, winning the title in the 10,000-meter run at the 2008 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships.  The title came during her senior season, when she claimed All-America honors all three seasons, also finishing 27th at the Cross Country Championships, fourth in the 5,000-meter run at the Indoor Championships, and sixth in the 5,000-meter run at the Outdoor Championships.  Erb previously had claimed All-America honors during her junior cross country (34th place at the NCAA Championships) and outdoor track and field (fifth in the 5,000-meter run) seasons.  In cross country, she claimed the 2007 UAA Championship and was a three-time All-UAA First Team honoree, while helping lead the team to the 2006 conference title.  Between indoor and outdoor track and field, she was named the UAA Most Outstanding Performer three times, claimed six individual and one relay league championship, and totaled 12 all-conference honors.  Erb set school records in the indoor mile and outdoor 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs that still stand to this day.  Esther was also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team in 2008.  Erb has gone on to compete professionally in the marathon, and represented the United States at the 2015 World Championships.

Aaron Johnston-Peck
Aaron Johnston-Peck is one of the top distance runners ever to compete for Case Western Reserve University.  He had immediate success for CWRU, finishing 10th at the UAA Cross Country Championships during his freshman season, earning all-conference second team honors and the UAA Rookie of the Year award, after finishing as the top freshman in the race.  He went on to place 74th at the NCAA Championships during his freshman season, while also coming in 20th at the Great Lakes Region Meet (earning all-region honors) and fourth at the All-Ohio Championships.  Johnston-Peck became a force on the national level during his sophomore cross country season, finishing seventh overall at the 2004 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships to earn All-America status.  He also won the UAA Cross Country Championship his sophomore season, the only CWRU runner to date to win the conference meet.  In 2006, he was named the Most Outstanding Performer at the UAA Indoor Championships after winning the 5,000-meter run at the meet with a conference-record time of 14:44.18, a mark that still ranks as a school record to this day.

Santo Maimone
A star on the field and in the classroom, Santo Maimone ranks as one of the most successful all-around student-athletes in the history of CWRU athletics.  The defensive back and returner is one of just four players in program history to be named the UAA Special Teams Player of the Year, claiming the honor in 2005 after averaging 24.9 yards per kick return (sixth in school history) and 13.0 yards per punt return (third in school history).  A UAA 30th Anniversary Team selection, he claimed all-conference defensive first team honors in both 2004 and 2005, and is tied for third in school history with 12 career interceptions, fifth with 31 passes defended, while registering 161 career tackles.  Santo, a two-time team captain, was one of 16 finalists from all three NCAA divisions for the 2005 Draddy Trophy, which is known as the Academic Heisman, and was a CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team selection and a recipient of the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship during his senior year.

Lauren Preyss Erickson
In her brief career as a Spartan, Preyss made a lasting impact on the CWRU swimming and diving program.  In her one season on the team in 2006-07, she earned three individual All-America honors at the NCAA Division III Championships, placing second in the 200-yard freestyle, and fourth in both the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle.  She still holds school records in all three events, with times of 23.51 in the 50 free, 50.89 in the 100 free, and 1:49.93 in the 200 free.  Preyss was selected to the UAA 30th Anniversary Team, and to date, is one of just two swimmers in program history to be named UAA Swimmer of the Year.  At the 2007 UAA Championships, she claimed conference titles in the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle, while earning All-UAA honors with third-place finishes in the 500-yard freestyle and as a part of the 200-yard freestyle relay.  

Pat Rodjom
Pat Rodjom is the only CWRU athlete in program history to be named the University Athletic Association Men's Swimmer of the Year.  He claimed the honor during his junior season in 2006, when he won conference titles in both the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke, while also swimming a leg on the Spartans' second-place 200-yard medley relay team at the meet.  Rodjom went on to earn All-America honors with a sixth-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke with a sixth-place finish in the event at the 2006 NCAA Division III Championships.   Over his career, Rodjom added All-America Honorable mentions in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2004, and the 100-yard breaststroke in 2007, and won the 100-yard breaststroke at the UAA Championships three times, while totaling nine All-UAA certificates.  He was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team in 2006, and his career-best times of 56.55 seconds in the 100-yard breaststroke and 2:05.21 in the 200-yard breaststroke still rank as the second- and third-best in school history, respectively.

John Davin
John Davin was a star basketball player and golfer for the Case Institute of Technology.  A resident of Rocky River, Davin was the captain of the first St. Edward's High School basketball team to defeat St. Ignatius and a medalist on the golf team, prior to attending CIT, where he studied engineering.  While in college, he was one of the leading scorers on the basketball team, earning three letters, serving as a team captain for two years, and claiming a pair of All-Presidents' Athletic Conference honors.  Davin served in the Navy as a radar officer on the USS Constellation, and was inducted into the St. Edwards Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.

M. Frank Rudy
Frank Rudy studied mechanical and aeronautical engineering at the Case Institute of Technology, before inventing the "Air Sole" in 1978, which became Nike's ticket into sporting dominance, transforming the athletic shoe into a must-have technological marvel.  The Air Sole spurred Nike's success on the track, on the field, and on the court. Using Rudy's Air Sole as their launch pad, NIKE has grown into a $34.4 billion per year athletic apparel giant.  In respect to Frank Rudy's impact on CWRU and its athletics, in 1999 Frank and his wife,Margaret, donated $2 million to the Case School of Engineering, creating a chair named for the Rudy Family. In 2014, after Frank's death, Margaret and the Rudys' daughter, Kim McMahon, along with Nike, orchestrated a gift of $400,000 worth of uniforms and shoes to CWRU athletics in Frank's name. In May 2018 Kim donated $1,900,000 to CWRU athletics for the M. Frank Rudy and Margaret Rudy Athletic Endowment, which will purchase uniforms and shoes for all varsity athletes in perpetuity.  The overall impact Frank Rudy has had on the international sports world, as well as his alma mater, is beyond compare.