COLUMBUS, Ohio - Eight new members will be enshrined in the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame this fall. The Class of 2016, which includes athletes from eight sports. Will be inducted Sept. 9 at a dinner and introduced to the public at halftime of the Ohio State home football vs. Tulsa.
The group includes Justin Kronauge (men's tennis), John Machado (baseball), Jantel Lavender (women's basketball), Randall Larson (diving), Sam Marder (softball), Dan Taylor (men's track and field), Evan Turner (men's basketball) and Paul Zelenak (pistol).
The hall of fame was created in 1977 and has inducted 294 men through 2015. Machado will be the 22nd baseball player enshrined, while Turner will be the 38th men's basketball alumnus to be inducted. Taylor is the 24th member of the track and field program to be selected, while Zelenak will be the first men's pistol standout to be enshrined. Kronauge will bring the number of men's tennis players enshrined to six and Larson will be the 21st diver inducted.
Women were first inducted into the hall in 1993, with 116 outstanding student-athletes, coaches and administrators enshrined through 2015. Lavender is set to be the 13th women's basketball player to be inducted and Marder will give the softball program six inductees.
Justin Kronauge, men's tennis
Ohio State has surged to the top of men's tennis in the last decade and Justin Kronauge has had as much influence on the program as anyone during that time. As a player from 2006-10, Kronauge won more singles and doubles matches than any Buckeye in history and currently has the ninth-most all-time wins of any collegiate tennis player with 280. The two-time All-American and three-time unanimous first team All-Big Ten honoree led the Buckeyes to four Big Ten regular season and tournament titles as a player. His teams never lost a match to a Big Ten team in four years. As a junior in 2009, Kronauge led the team to an NCAA runner-up finish and the program's first No. 1 team ranking. In addition to earning All-America honors in 2009, he was named to the NCAA All-Tournament team. In the classroom, Kronauge was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.
After his playing career, Kronauge joined the coaching staff and has helped continue the program's rise. He was named the 2012 and 2014 ITA Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year after helping guide Blaz Rola and Chase Buchanan to the 2012 NCAA Doubles Championship and the team to its first ITA National Indoor title in 2014. He also guided Rola's run to the NCAA Singles Championship in 2013.
Kronauge has been a part of 19 team championships as both a player and a coach. The Buckeyes have been ranked no worse than 12th in all 11 years he has been with the program. Kronauge was also part of one of the most remarkable records in all of collegiate sport, Ohio State's 200-match home win streak from 2005-15, which stands as an NCAA all sport record.
Randall (Randy) Larson, diving
A national champion and All-American, Randy Larson is one of the most decorated divers Ohio State has ever seen. The 1964 NCAA Champion on three-meter and three-time All-American on both one and three-meter, he set a standard by which all Ohio State divers should be measured and added another chapter to Ohio State outstanding history of diving.
Larson began his career as a sophomore in the 1963-64 season during a time when freshman were not eligible to compete at the varsity level. Larson proceeded to earn All-America distinctions in all six events he entered in his career, and between Big Ten and NCAA Championships he never finished outside of the Top 6 in any postseason event. His national championship made him the seventh consecutive Buckeye to take home the title in that event and the 11th in a 12-year span.
Larson was a finalist for the 1964 Olympic Trials and a finalist on both one and three meter boards, as well as platform, at AAU Nationals all three of his varsity seasons. He served as a co-captain during his senior campaign in Columbus.
Jantel Lavender, women's basketball
Jantel Lavender graduated as arguably the greatest Buckeye in the history of women's basketball. She became the first Big Ten player, male or female, to be named the Big Ten Player of the Year four times and the only women's basketball player in a Power Five conference to accomplish that feat. She also became just Ohio State's second three-time All-American in the history of the program.
Lavender left Columbus as Ohio State's all-time leading scorer (2,818 points), the Big Ten's all-time leading rebounder (1,422), and held the school and B1G single season record with 774 points. She scored in double-figures in all 136 career games, which is still an NCAA record for consecutive games with at least 10 points, and set a school-record by starting all 136 games in her career.
During Lavender's career, she was part of three Big Ten regular season championships, three Big Ten Tournament titles, four NCAA tournament appearances and two trips to the Sweet 16. She was named the Big Ten Tournament's MVP three times and led the conference in scoring twice. As a sophomore, she became only the second player in Big Ten women's basketball history to complete the statistical Triple Crown, leading the conference in scoring (20.8), rebounding (10.7), and field goal percentage (.541).
John Machado, baseball
John Machado was a three-year letterwinner on the baseball team from 1962-64. He was named a second team All-American in 1963 after leading the Buckeyes in runs scored (36), RBI (32) and home runs. Machado was the first three-time first team All-Big Ten selection (1962-64) in school history and was a captain during the 1964 campaign. His 12 home runs in 1963, during the wooden bat era, stood as the program record for 20 years and are currently tied for 19th in the OSU record book for a single season. In both 1962 and '63 he was the recipient of the Potter Run Maker's Cup, awarded to the Buckeye baseball player who has "been the greatest value on offense."
Machado was also an assistant coach from 1965-67 during “The Golden Era” of Ohio State baseball when the program won its first NCAA title (1966), finished as NCAA runner up (1965) and claimed a Big Ten championship (1967).
Samantha (Sam) Marder, softball
The only three-time All-American in program history, Sam Marder finished her career at Ohio State by cementing her status as one of the greatest power hitters in Ohio State history after setting both the single-season and career records for home runs (19 and 61, respectively). The 2010 OSU Female Athlete of the Year from Calabasas, Calif., wrapped up her career with a .384 batting average, .778 slugging percentage and .571 on-base percentage, all records at OSU. She also holds the record for RBI (191), total bases (438) and walks (232). A four-time Ohio State Scholar Athlete, Marder's walk total ranks No. 5 all-time in NCAA Division I history, while she is also 26th in career home runs and her slugging percentage is the 15th-higest.
During her junior year in 2009, Marder led the nation with a school-record 67 walks - including 18 intentional. Behind the plate, she threw out 16-of-21 base-runners, including two during the NCAA Tournament. Led by Marder, the 2009 Buckeyes went 47-11 and advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals.
As a sophomore, Marder was an at-large selection to the Third Team All-America list after leading the nation in on-base percentage (.633) and walks per game (1.07, 60 total) while ranking second in batting average (.475) and eighth in slugging percentage (.842). Marder also ranked among the national leaders in RBI (25th, .96 per game) and home runs (14).
Following her career with the Scarlet and Gray, Marder was the seventh overall pick in the 2010 National Professional Fastpitch (NPF) Draft by the Akron Racers.
Dan Taylor, men's track and field
Nine-time All-American, seven-time Big Ten champion and two-time NCAA champion Dan Taylor was a four-year letterwinner for the Ohio State track and field team from 2000-04. A former NCAA record-holder in the weight throw (24.01 meters/78-9.25), Taylor still owns school records in the weight, hammer (69.34 meters/227-6.00) and discus (58.17 meters/190-10.00) throws. He was a Big Ten record holder in the weight throw and hammer throw until 2015.
Unlike many of his peers at the time who specialized in one or two throwing events, Taylor excelled in all major throwing specialties. In 2004, he became the first and only collegiate male to win both the NCAA indoor shot put and weight throw titles in the same season. That same year, he earned runner-up honors in the outdoor shot put.
Taylor, a native of Middlefield, Ohio, was a two-time Big Ten Athlete of the Year, two-time Outstanding Male Athlete at the Penn Relays and the 2004 Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year. He graduated from Ohio State in 2005 with a degree in construction systems management.
Evan Turner, men's basketball
Evan Turner, a 2010 first team consensus All-American, earned National Player of the Year accolades to go with 2010 Big Ten Player of the Year honors. The Chicago native, who earned first team All-Big Ten honors in 2009 and 2010, was the Buckeyes' second conference player of the year and first national player of the year in the Thad Matta era.
Turner finished his career 18th on Ohio State's all-time scoring list with 1,517 career points while also leading the Buckeyes in rebounding as a sophomore and a junior. He owns two of Ohio State's five all-time triple-doubles, achieving the feat against Alcorn State and again against Lipscomb in 2009, and finished his career with 27 double-doubles, the 12th-most in program history. Turner was named Big Ten Player of the Week an Ohio State-record 10 times. He had his No. 21 jersey retired Feb. 16, 2016.
Paul Zelenak, pistol
Paul Zelenak's career at Ohio State set a standard that remains unequaled to this day. A four-time individual national champion and team national champion, Zelenak earned All-America honors in six events throughout his career, and he still holds to program record in the individual free pistol event (535/600).
During a two year stretch from 1999-2001, Zelenak was nearly unbeatable. He led his team to two free pistol national championships, a standard pistol title and an overall team national championship. During that time he earned two national titles in both the 3-gun aggregate and free pistol and he earned top-three finishes in standard and air pistol as well. All six of his All-America distinctions were awarded during this timeframe: two each for free, standard, and air pistol.
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