Move over Darrel Chaney. Make room Jeri L. Hoffmann.
The Hammond Sports Hall of Fame’s inductee display inside the city’s civic center is about to add seven new plaques.
The Hall will host its 33rd annual induction dinner program on March 12 at the Hammond Civic Center to honor the following former high school standouts: Clark baseball player Albert Carpen, Clark football player Dan Hernandez, Hammond hurdler and sprinter Larry Hines Jr., Hammond cross country and middle distance track runner Randall J. Lewis, Hammond diver James R. Murphy, Hammond football player Steve Runyon and Morton track and field athlete Rudy Skorupa, who went on to become Lake Central’s longtime track and cross country coach.
They will be joining the likes of Chaney, who won the 1975 World Series with Cincinnati and Hoffmann, who played professional women's basketball and was the first female inductee.
In addition, the Hall will recognize three 2018 graduates of Hammond high schools with the 28th annual Anderson-Peterson Family Distinguished Athlete Award for their achievement, dedication, citizenship and service. This year’s recipients are Morton’s Hannah Hammar, Bishop Noll’s Megan Sullivan and Gavit’s Jamari Washington.
Short bios of the seven Hall of Fame inductees and the three Distinguished Athlete Award recipients follow. All information was provided by the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame.
• A three-sport athlete who graduated from Clark in 2007, Carpen was a Class 3A all-state outfielder in baseball.
• During his senior year he batted .464 with 67 RBIs. He finished his career with 22 triples and 179 RBIs.
• As a senior at Chicago State in 2012, he hit .426 with a .522 on-base percentage. He ranked third in batting average and second in on-base percentage across all of Division I and became the Cougars’ first All-American baseball player since they joined Division I.
• A 1998 Clark graduate, Hernandez set nine school records as a wide receiver and linebacker — including the record for tackles in a game, 33 — and was all-state in Class 4A. He also played on the Indiana North High School all-star team.
• In addition, Hernandez played basketball and ran track at Clark. He set school records as a middle distance runner.
• After high school, Hernandez had a standout career at MacMurray College (Illinois). He was a two-time all-conference linebacker and team defensive MVP.
Larry Hines Jr.
• The 1997 Hammond graduate won a total of 20 sectional and conference titles in the 100-meter dash, 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and long jump. He also captured two regional championships in the hurdles.
• Hines advanced to state three times and was an AAU All-American.
• A two-time junior college All-American at Vincennes University, Hines went on to compete at Indiana State, where he was part of a shuttle hurdle relay team that set a Drake Relays record.
• He founded the Sycamore Striders Track Club in Terre Haute.
Randall J. Lewis
• During the 1978 and 1979 cross country seasons, Lewis was a sectional and conference meet winner and a state meet qualifier for Hammond.
• In track, he was a conference and sectional winner in the 1,600-meter run in 1979 and a sectional champion in the 800 in 1980.
James R. Murphy
• The 1955 Hammond graduate won the state diving title in 1954 and 1955 after placing fourth in the 1953 state meet.
• His strong showings helped the Wildcats win the 1954 swimming and diving team state championship and finish as the runner-up in 1953 and 1955.
• In 2007 he was part of the initial class inducted into the Indiana High School Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame.
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• Runyon, a 1981 Hammond graduate, played middle linebacker and helped the Wildcats football team compile a 30-3 record during his three-year varsity career.
• He earned junior all-state recognition in 1979 and all-state honors in 1980. He was The Times’ Defensive Player of the Year in 1980.
• A 1969 Morton graduate, Skorupa was a state finals-qualifying long jumper who went onto reach the NCAA College Division national meet four times as a long jumper at DePauw University.
• He spent 39 as head coach with the Lake Central track and field and cross country programs.
• His track teams claimed 19 sectional, two regional and 11 conference championships.
• His cross country squads won 18 sectionals, 10 regionals and one semistate. They also qualified for 10 state finals and placed second in 1982.
• Hammar earned 13 varsity letters and was a four-time first-team all-conference selection in cross country, basketball and track and field at Morton.
• She holds three school track records, earned first in the 800-meter run at a sectional and anchored a sectional-winning 4x400-meter relay team. She also was named the basketball team’s recipient of the Most Dedicated Governor Award.
• Hammar served as a peer tutor for students with special needs and volunteered at Hammond’s Special Education Summer Day Camp.
• She attends Indiana University Northwest on a basketball scholarship.
• Sullivan competed on five Bishop Noll sports teams; earned 13 varsity letters; was all-conference in soccer, track and cross country; and captained those three sports her senior year.
• She also was academic all-state her senior year in cross country and soccer and was named her swimming team’s Best Mental Attitude award recipient.
• In addition, Sullivan wrote a musical composition that was performed at graduation. She also has volunteered at a food pantry and elementary school and has been an altar server for her church.
• Sullivan attends Notre Dame on an academic scholarship.
• Washington earned eight varsity letters on Gavit football, wrestling and track and field teams.
• He was all-conference and team captain in football, and he was a state qualifier and three-time semistate qualifier in wrestling.
• Washington was active in student council, served on the Principals Leadership Committee, was vice president of his class and performed in the school band.
• He is a member of the Wabash College football and wrestling teams.
There will be one additional honoree at the induction dinner program: The Times of Northwest Indiana. According to a statement from the Hall of Fame, “For distinctive and noteworthy professionalism in informing Northwest Indiana and beyond about the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame over the past 32 years, The NWI Times will receive the Hall of Fame’s Richard Jay Special Achievement Award.”
Jay was a wrestling, cross country and track and field coach at Gavit.