Keturah Lofton to be inducted into Hall of Fame
Former track and field student-athlete Keturah Lofton will be enshrined into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame this fall. The class will be inducted Sept. 14 at a dinner and will be introduced to the public at halftime of the Ohio State home football game against California Sept. 15.
The 2012 class also includes Louise Bond-Williams (fencing), Pete Cusick (football), Jessica Davenport (basketball),George Downes (wrestling), Joseph Gailus (football), Ray Griffin (football), Rex Holman (wrestling), Dick Schafrath (football), Jim Stone (volleyball coach) and Mike Vrabel (football).
The hall of fame was created in 1977 and has inducted 261 men through fall of 2011. The addition of Cusick, Gailus, Griffin, Schafrath and Vrabel moves the all-time number of former football players in the hall to 108 and the prestigious list will now include 11 wrestlers with the inclusion of Downes and Holman.
Women were first inducted into the hall in 1993, with 96 women enshrined through 2011. Lofton is the ninth inductee for track and field, with Davenport the 10th women's basketball honoree and Bond-Williams the fifth female fencer to be enshrined. Stone is the fourth former women's coach to receive a spot in the hall of fame.
Lofton was a three-time All-American, six-time NCAA championship qualifier and Big Ten Medal of Honor winner for the Ohio State women's track and field from 2000-2006.
A former walk-on who missed two full seasons because of injury, Lofton experienced tremendous success as a student-athlete despite the hardships she faced. Lofton earned a full athletic scholarship by capturing a title in the weight throw at the 2004 Big Ten Indoor Championships and set OSU school records in both the hammer (209-0.75, 2006) and weight throws (69-5.25, 2006) prior to graduating from Ohio State with a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene. In addition, she won a Big Ten title in the hammer throw and became the first female in Big Ten history to break the 200-foot mark in the event.
In 2007, one year removed from her Ohio State graduation, Lofton returned to the Buckeye track and field program as director of strength and conditioning for the women's throwers. During her one season with the Buckeyes as a coach and trainer, Lofton helped Veronica Jatsek best her school weight throw record with a throw of 70-7.75, a mark that still stands today. Lofton held the school hammer throw record until this past May, when Alexis Thomas shattered the mark with a Big Ten meet record-throw of 212 feet at the conference championships.
Now employed as a dental hygienist at Merion Village Dental in Columbus, Lofton is active in her community, teaching local children the importance of dental hygiene and raising money for the National Kidney Foundation as well as local charities. She recently participated in the Dentistry from the Heart program, a charitable initiative that offered free dental services to the Greater Columbus community.
A native of Zanesville, Ohio, Lofton currently resides in Columbus with her husband and two young sons.
Reservations are now being accepted for the Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner Sept. 14, which will be a joint dinner for the men and women for the first time. The event will be held in the Archie M. Griffin Ballroom at the Ohio Union and begins at 5:30 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres and cocktails; dinner will follow at 6:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $75, with tables of eight available for $600. Payment will not be accepted at the door; reservations and payment must be submitted by Aug. 31. For more information or to register, visit:http://go.osu.edu/halloffamedinner12.