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Six Juniata Sports Icons Named to Hall of Fame

(Posted October 20, 2003)


Huntingdon, PA ? Juniata College inducted its ninth class into the institution?s Sports Hall of Fame this past Saturday. A total of six inductees were honored as the following athletes expanded Juniata?s Sports Hall of Fame to 82 members: Bob Berthold, Jr. ?63, Brian Giachetti ?92, Annette Hoffman ?93, Colleen Irelan ?84, Bob Newcombe and Larissa Weimer ?92.


The following are profiles on each 2003 inductee to the Juniata College Sports Hall of Fame.

Bob Berthold, Jr. ?63 (Cross Country/Track): Berthold won the two-mile run at the 1963 MAC Track and Field Championships with a time of 9:54.4, which was a conference record at the time. The previous year he came in second in the same race. He helped Juniata to its top showing at the MAC Championship at the time with a second-place result in 1963. Berthold was among the top three cross country runners at Juniata during his four-year career. He placed 28th, 23rd, and 39th during the MAC cross country championship runs in 1959, 1961, and 1962, respectively. In his senior year, he led Juniata to a third-place finish at the MAC championships, the highest finishing spot for Juniata to that point. Berthold was captain of the cross country team in 1961 and 1962. The team only lost once during his four years against some of the best small-college programs in the nation. He also received the outstanding track athlete award during the 1962 and 1963 season. Berthold went on to teach and coach for over 30 years at Delaware Valley College before retiring.

Brian Giachetti ?92 (Football/Track and Field): A three-year letter winner for the Juniata College football team, Giachetti started for the Blue and Gold gridders in 1989, 1990 and 1991. He was a cornerback for Juniata and was a two-time Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) first-team all-star. He earned the school?s prestigious Stanford Mickle Award at the end of his senior season and he also was tabbed as the Dr. J. Harold Engle most valuable back on the football team that same year. Giachetti led Juniata in interceptions as a junior (with eight) and as a senior (with five). At the time of his induction, he was tied for seventh on the all-time interceptions list at Juniata with 16 and he amassed 179 return yards on the picks. His eight thefts in 1990 tied him for fifth on the single-season chart at Juniata. He earned all-American status during his collegiate tenure as well. As a senior, Giachetti was a first-team Hansen?s Football Gazette Division III all-American, while following his junior campaign, he was a third-team member on the same unit. He also spent two years on the track and field team at Juniata where he earned two more varsity letters. Following graduation, Giachetti played football for Toronto in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and has been a competitor in the Indoor Football League with the Johnstown J-Dogs and the Ohio Valley Greyhounds, as well as the Steel Valley Smash. He also played semi-professional football with the Pittsburgh Colts.


Annette Hoffman ?93 (Women?s Basketball): Upon induction, Hoffman held virtually every scoring record for the Juniata College women?s basketball program, including game, season and career marks. She ranks first in school history in career points with 2,269, which is more than a thousand more than the next closest athlete. She averaged 24.1 points per game for her career, which is a school record. She owns the record for the most points as a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior and her 646 points in her junior season is the highest in school history. Hoffman netted a school record 49 points against Elizabethtown in her senior season, which came a week after setting the record for the most points in a road game with 47 at Washington and Jefferson. She scored 10 or more points 78 times while on College Hill. She averaged a double-double in points and rebounds in both her junior and senior season. She scored 30 or more points 11 times during her career and topped the 40-point mark on four occasions. Hoffman was chosen as the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Northwest player of the year her final three seasons as she led the conference in scoring as a sophomore, junior and senior. She earned All-District laurels three years in a row, while also receiving honorable mention for the 1992-93 Division III Kodak All-America team. Hoffman was given the Bagerstock award as Juniata?s top female athlete following her senior season. She also spent three years on the softball team where she lettered three more times giving her seven varsity letters in her career at Juniata.

Colleen Irelan ?84 (Women?s Volleyball): Irelan mastered two positions on the volleyball court. She was a setter and hitter, most notably a hitter. Her junior year was her first on the volleyball court at Juniata. In that year Irelan was Juniata?s first volleyball player to be named All-American in 1981 when she also earned NCAA national all-tournament honors. In her 1981 and 1982 seasons she was also an All- Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) pick. Irelan led the team in kills, hitting percentage and digs after her first year on the squad. At the time of induction, she was ranked third on the Juniata chart for career hitting percentage. Not only was she a presence on the volleyball court, she also helped out the softball team. In 1983, Irelan led the team with a .483 batting average, while also being named MVP by the College.

Bob Newcombe (Football, Administrator, Special Friend): A 1938 graduate of Huntingdon Area High School, Newcombe has been a special friend of Huntingdon area, Juniata College and Central Pennsylvania athletics for many years. He served as master of ceremonies numerous times at the Huntingdon All-Sports Banquet, and was master of ceremonies for the first five Juniata Sports Hall of Fame and first three Huntingdon County Sports Hall of Fame induction dinners. Newcombe played football as a lineman while attending Juniata in 1941-42. After returning from the service (serving three years as B-25 radio gunner in the Mediterranean Theater), he attended Hanover College before graduating from Ohio University in 1949. Newcombe was director of admissions at Juniata from 1952-57, helping to recruit many great student-athletes during his tenure. He was associate director of admissions at Bucknell before going to Penn State University in 1960 as an administrative assistant to the director of athletics. He then went on to be director of admissions at Lycoming before concluding his career as special assistant to the president at Pitt-Bradford. Newcombe was inducted into the Huntingdon County Sports Hall of Fame in June of 2000.

Larissa Weimer ?92 (Women?s Volleyball): Weimer was a four-year letter winner for the Juniata College women?s volleyball team as a middle hitter. She was a first-team American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III all-American and that same year she earned Asics/Tiger First-Team All-American laurels. During her four years on campus, Juniata was a combined 168-28 (.857) and finished third in the nation three times and fourth once. Weimer was a team captain during her tenure and was voted the squad?s most valuable player following the 1990 campaign. She was also a Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) all-star in 1990 and 1991. At the time of induction, Weimer was ranked third on the all-time blocks list at Juniata with 529 rejections in 447 games. On the single-season charts on College Hill, her 149 blocks in 1991 ranked her fifth. After graduation, Weimer was an assistant for the women?s volleyball team in 1992 and 1993.

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.