Spartan Club Inducts Six New Members into Hall of Fame

Spartan Club Inducts Six New Members into Hall of Fame

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Case Western Reserve University, in conjunction with the Spartan Club, inducted six new members into its Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 12th, in addition to honoring the 2001 softball team and the 2001-02 women's basketball with the University Award for Athletic Excellence.

The seven 2019 Hall of Fame inductees were first recognized at halftime of the Homecoming football game, a 35-19 win for the 23rd-ranked Spartans over Washington & Jefferson College at DiSanto Field.

Earlier in the game, the 2001 softball team and 2001-02 women's basketball team were recognized during the first quarter break:

The ceremony then shifted to the Kelvin & Eleanor Smith Grand Ballroom in the Tinkham Veale University Center for the official induction.  With Ron Jantz serving as the Master of Ceremonies, the following six were inducted into the Spartan Club Hall of Fame:

Tom Spear · CIT '64 · Heritage Inductee · Swimming & Diving (Presented by Michelle Spear, Taylor Spear & Leigh Chism)
Tom Spear was one of the top swimmers in the history of the Case Institute of Technology program, setting numerous team records over his career, both individually and as a member of a relay.  He graduated with individual program records in both the 200-yard individual medley and the 200-yard butterfly, setting his mark in the latter at the First Annual College Division Swimming and Diving Championships to finish 10th in the field.  Spear also added program records as a part of both the 400-yard medley relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay over his career.  The time in the 400-yard medley relay of 4:06.9 set a PAC record to win the conference championship in the event.  Spear earned three varsity letters during his time as a Rough Rider, serving as a team captain in both 1963 and 1964.

Kevin Bigart · CWRU '09 · Soccer (Presented by Keith & Denise Bigart)
Kevin Bigart enters the Spartan Club Hall of Fame as one of the most accomplished scorers in the program's history.  The forward ranks fourth in program history with 83 career points, third with 35 goals, second with 12 game-winning goals and eighth with 14 assists at the time of his induction.  After earning All-University Athletic Association second team honors as both a freshman and sophomore, he was named to the all-conference first team as a junior and a senior.  His accomplishments extended beyond the field, as he was the department's first-ever winner of the Bill Sudeck Outstanding Student-Athlete Award in 2008, in addition to claiming NSCAA Scholar All-America First Team honors and CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team recognition, while winning the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship during his senior year.  Bigart was also a part of the 2011 UAA Coaching Staff of the Year as an assistant coach with the Spartans.

Elaine Hillenmeyer Tronic · CWRU '05 · Swimming & Diving (Presented by Doug Milliken)
Elaine Hillenmeyer Tronic was a four-time All-American for the Spartans, claiming the honors as a part of the 400-yard freestyle relay (14th-place) and the 200-yard freestyle relay (16th-place) in 2002, and as a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay (11th) and 400-yard medley relay (12th) in 2003.  Her career-best time of 2:12.15 in the 200-yard individual medley was a school-record at the time of her graduation, and her mark of 24.49 in the 50-yard freestyle still ranks as the seventh-best ever notched by a Spartan in the event.  She was a part of the UAA Champion 400-yard freestyle relay team in 2002, and secured nine all-conference honors over her career, including a second-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle at the 2005 UAA Championships.  Hillenmeyer won CWRU's Glenn & Peggy Nicholls Female Athlete of the Year Award and the Emily R. Andrews Award as a senior, the Dorothy L. Hoza Award as a junior.

Melissa Scopilliti · CWRU '02 · Softball (Presented by Ron Poole)
Melissa Scopilliti was a standout two-way player for the early CWRU softball teams, including the 2001 squad, which was the first women's team sport program in school history to qualify for the NCAA Championships.  During the historic season, she led the team with a .421 batting average, while slugging nine home runs and 14 doubles, and drove in 47 runs.  She also notched a 13-7 record on the mound, pitching to a 3.18 ERA in 2001.  Scopilliti was a two-time All-University Athletic Association First Team honoree, claiming the award in both 2001 and 2002.  At the time of her induction, she still holds the program record for doubles in a season (19 in 2000), career slugging percentage (.668) and career on-base percentage (.458), while she ranks second in program history in career batting average (.386) and doubles (48), third in wins (48), and fifth in home runs (18), runs batted in (112) and strikeouts (280).

Angie Zeuch · CWRU '04 · Basketball (Presented by Kristin Hughes)
A two-year captain during one of the most successful stretches in the history of the women's basketball team at CWRU, Angie Zeuch ranks among the top players in the program's history.  The guard was a three-time All-University Athletic Association honoree, including a first team selection in 2001-02, when she helped lead the team to the first NCAA Tournament berth in the team's history.  As of the time of her induction, she ranks 13th in school history with 1,021 points, fourth with 149 made three-point shots, fifth with a .771 career free throw percentage, 11th with 224 assists and 17th with 130 steals.  In addition, her 101 games played are the most by an individual in program history, while her 98 starts are the fourth-most.  She was named the Glenn and Peggy Nicholls Female Athlete of the Year as a senior in 2004, after earning the Dorothy L. Hoza Award following the 2001 campaign.  Zeuch went on to coach women's basketball at a number of college programs, and continues to hold positions in athletic administration, including at the University of Pittsburgh at the time of her induction.

Nobby Lewandowski · CWRU MBA '64 · Special Category Inductee (Presented by Gary Pillar)
Norbert 'Nobby' Lewandowski received his MBA from Case Western Reserve University, juggling his class schedule while pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates' farm system.  In 1965, he made a list of 66 things he wanted to accomplish in his life, crossing off item number 55 (ballpark named after him) with the dedication of Nobby's Ballpark in 2007.  The home of CWRU baseball, named in his honor, came as a result of his donations to the first solely-athletics campaign of the Forward Thinking initiative.  He has supported athletics in multiple other ways over the past 20 years, presenting motivational speeches, serving as a founding member of the Athletic Visiting Committee, and providing guidance to athletes and athletic alumni.  Lewandoski played baseball at Kent State, receiving the program's first-ever baseball scholarship, and is a member of the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame and the Akron Baseball Hall of Fame.

In addition, the 2001 softball and 2001-02 women's basketball teams received the University Award for Athletic Excellence at the banquet.  The 2001 softball team was the first women's varsity team sport at CWRU to qualify for the NCAA Championships, going 31-10 overall and winning a pair of postseason games, while the 2001-02 women's basketball team followed less than a year later, going 20-7 overall and making the only NCAA Tournament appearance in the team's history.

The two teams joined the 1984 CWRU football team, the 1972-79 CWRU tennis teams and the 2007-09 football teams as University Award for Athletic Excellence recipients.

The Spartan Club is currently accepting nominations for its next Hall of Fame induction class.  For more information, and to nominate a worthy candidate, go to http://athletics.case.edu/sports/spartan_club/nominations.