Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches

OATCCC Hall of Fame

Ed Barker Award Recipiants

Barbara Charske
Barbara Charske

The Ed Barker Award is given as an acknowledgement to the individual who has shown the most exceptional service to the OAT&CCC and to the sports of Cross Country and Track & Field in Ohio. This year’s winner is Barb Charske.

Barb has over four decades of service and dedication coupled with a desire to see our sports continually grow for the betterment of athletes in our charge. Her roles as coach, registered official, and meet administrator have been models for young people entering our sport. Her volunteerism to the OATCCC at events including the Mideast Meet and its celebratory events as well as the Midwest Meet of Champions and the annual Clinic has been invaluable to the success of these endeavors.

The athletes of Kettering Fairmont High School were the beneficiaries of her coaching expertise where she served as the distance coach from 1994-1999. The rest of the state has been the beneficiary of her officiating expertise, especially in the high jump where she is recognized and appreciated by athletes from all around Ohio. She has officiated every age group from junior high dual meets to high school invitationals and up to and including numerous roles at the OHSAA State Championships. Additionally, Barb has helped officiate the Dayton River Corridor Road Race as well as Masters’ level track events and the Senior Olympics. In 2003, Barb helped coordinate the AAU Age Group National Championship held in Kettering.

Barb has been a frequent presenter at local Southwest District officials’ clinics and is widely respected as an official who has an extensive knowledge of the rules and their proper application, who applies those rules consistently and fairly, but who also believes in and promotes preventative officiating. She is respected by everyone with whom she comes in contact and is truly and ambassador of track and field in the State of Ohio.

Therefore, because of her many efforts on behalf of our sports, the athletes and coaches, and her community, we are proud to recognize Barb Charske as the 2016 Ed Barker Award winner.

Christi Smith
Christi Smith

In her four years at Bexley High School, Christi competed in six different events as a State Meet qualifier, reached the podium in all six events, helped the Lions’ 1996 4x100M relay to a State Championship title (:49.48), and doubled as an individual State Champion in the long jump with a PR of 19’ 3.” - the Division II State Record at that time. Christi’s all-around athleticism made her the perfect candidate to pursue the multi-event competitions and it was at the University of Akron where she chose to make her national mark.

In her four years of competition, Christi won eleven MAC indoor and outdoor titles and earned All-MAC honors seven times. Christi was also Akron’s first multiple All-American re-ceiving this recognition on four different occasions. She smashed women’s records at Akron in every event in which she competed including a school and MAC record (5797 points) in the hep-tathlon in 2000. Christi was the NCAA Runner-up heptathlete in 1999 and in 2000 became Ak-ron’s first NCAA Champion in the same event. Later that summer, she competed as Akron’s first female athlete to qualify to the US Olympic Trials and was a finalist for the James E. Sullivan Leadership Award in addition to being named the Caroline Pardee Female Athlete of the Year (University of Akron) for the third consecutive year.

Christi has been inducted into the Bexley HS Hall of Fame (2007), the U of A HoF (2011), and the MAC HoF (2013). In 2012, Akron recognized her as Akron’s Number One Athlete of All Time.

Christi Smith-Ryan is currently an assistant coach with Central Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon.

Debbie Williams Hoak
Debbie Hoak

In her years at Euclid High School, Debbie was an All-American in basketball and a legend on the softball field, had the highest bowling average in Ohio for her age group, and was an out-standing tennis player. But her career has been one of many firsts and she is a pioneer in women’s athletics at all levels of competition.

The Girls State Track and Field Tournament was in its first year (1975) when Debbie took advantage of the opportunity in front of her to show the world that “throwing like a girl” was something of which to be very proud. In her years at Euclid High School, she won too many invi-tational titles and championships to name. A five time All-Ohio athlete, she was the State Runner-up in the shot put her junior and senior year. The discus was her event though, and she was a three time State Champion. She also earned All-American honors three times before her gradua-tion in 1978.

At the University of Michigan, she found a new throwing event to love—the javelin. Debbie became the University of Michigan’s first Big Ten Champion in Track & Field and would go on to win the event all four years she competed. She was the NCAA Runner-up and earned All-American honors. Her throwing career continued after college and she went on to represent the USA in team competitions against West Germany and the Soviet Union. Debbie competed in six US Olympic Festivals and in 1984, she finished 5th in the Olympic Trials.

Debbie returned to Michigan as the women’s track coach and has been inducted into the Wolverine Hall of Fame. She also played one year of professional golf on the LPGA Tour.

Since 1996, she has helped lead the Magic of Christmas Adopt a Family Foundation which helps hundreds of Ann Arbor area families realize their holiday wishes in cooperation with fund raising efforts of local law enforcement and the University of Michigan.

Debbie currently coaches golf at Saline High School and lives in Ann Arbor Michigan.

Erin Ebner Shawk
Erin Shawk

The dictionary characterizes an “eagle” by its strength, its speed, and its tenacious spirit all of which make it the “apex predator” of the avian world. What an appropriate mascot for Erin Ebner from Colonel Crawford High School. Her prey was the entire State of Ohio; she demonstrated great strength her senior year winning the 100M HH, then walking back down to the starting line and winning the 100M; and man, could she fly!

One of the most celebrated sprint / hurdlers in Ohio track and field history, Erin helped Colo-nel Crawford win three consecutive State Championship team titles from 1990-1992 by reaching the podium for All-Ohio honors twelve times during her four years of state level competition.

As the anchor of the 6th place 4 x 100M relay her freshman year, Erin got her first taste of glory in a State Championship. Her sophomore year, she won her first of three Runner-up titles in the 100HH before reaching the Championship spot on the podium in both the 4 x 100M and the 4 x 200M relays. Her junior year was her first four event State Championship where she placed 2nd and 6th respectively in the 100HH and 300IH, and then helped defend Colonel Crawford’s relay titles once again winning the 4 x 100M and 4 x 200M relays. Her senior year was her signature year: 1st place and a State Record in the 100HH; then jog back to the starting line in order to take 1st in the 100M; then another 1st in the 4 x 100M relay and a 2nd in the 300IH. A good day!

Final count: seven State Championship titles and three State Runner-up titles. Erin also qualified to the TAC/USATF Junior National Championships as a 100HH athlete and in 1992 earned All-American honors with her 3rd place finish. She ran one year for Miami University and is still listed in their media guide as one of the top 10 all time 100M racers in their team history.

Erin lives in Galion, Ohio and continues to help with track meets while cheering on her own children.

Joe Rider Horn
Joe Horn

Good coaches just have that Midas touch at whatever they choose to pursue and Joe Rider Horn is no exception. He has coached soccer (5 years) - and won. He has coached basketball (8 years) - and won. His football teams (coached for 10 years) won league championships four times in a five year period. But it is for his contributions to the sport of Track & Field and the accomplishments of his athletes spanning a 39 year career at Benjamin Logan and Waynesfield Goshen that Joe enters the Hall of Fame. And — he has coached the Horn family.

Four generations of the Horn family have competed in track and field. Joe’s father, Joe Ash-ley Horn, was a top all-around athlete in the 1920’s and competed for Miami. Joe coached his sons Jay (Air Force Academy) and Jon who is still listed as one of the Air Force Academy’s top high jumpers. Joe Neal Horn was a four time State Champion who swept the sprint events in 2006. Gray Horn, was a State Champion and is currently at Tiffin University training and at-tempting to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in the decathlon. The family tradition has also in-cluded coaching Ivy Horn who signed in 2012 to run for Ohio State and Morgan Horn who signed in 2013 to run for the Air Force Academy. In fact, 9 of the 17 boys records at Goshen have the Horn name beside them as do 7 of the 17 girls’ records.

But—it has not just been the Horn family. There has been a long line of excellent athletes at Benjamin Logan where Joe’s boys’ team won the 1992 District and Regional Championships, and at Waynesfield-Goshen where they have won the league title twelve times and the State Championship in 2006. There have been seven individual and two relay champions in outdoor track, eight champions in indoor track, and 38 All-Ohio selections.

Joe hosted USATF summer meets for a number of years as well as serving on the OHSAA State Rules Advisory Board. As a teacher of Special Education, he helped initiate programs in Character Education and Service Learning.

Joe continues to coach and live in Waynesfield, Ohio

Lewis Johnson
Lewis Johnson

Sometimes in athletics, it just takes a little time to hit one’s stride, and then a “late bloomer” comes out of the pack and shows everyone the diamond that was hidden just beneath the surface. Such a runner was Lewis Johnson of Cincinnati Northwest High School.

Lewis was a pretty good high school athlete and every coach out there can use an extra 400M runner. By the end of his 1982 senior year, he had PR’d with a very respectable 51.5 and had also turned a 1:59 800M. He never qualified to the State Meet and he turned his attention to pursuing a communications degree from the University of Cincinnati.

And this is where the diamond shined. A high school friend, Doug Wiesman, talked him into coming out for the UC track team—and the rest is history. Lewis’s PR’s in the 500M (:62.68), 600 yds (:70.64), 1000 yds (2:09.16), and 1000M (2:22.64) are still on the UC all time perform-ers’ list nearly 30 years later. His 1:47.00 800M remains a school record as does the sprint med-ley of 3:16.44 thanks to his stunning 1:45.8 anchor which he did at the Drake Relays. UC’s 4 x 400M record of 3:09.93 was not broken until 2010. Additionally, Lewis qualified to the Olympic Trials in 1988 and 1992 and was inducted into the University of Cincinnati Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.

Today, he remains a world class ambassador for track and field as a broadcaster. He has covered seven Olympic Games (Summer and Winter) beginning in Sydney (2000). He continues to cover events ranging from the Diamond Games, the Prefon-taine Classic, and numerous NCAA and world championship meets. Lewis makes his home in Grapevine, Texas and is still a fixture on track and field broadcasts as well as for the NBA.

Voren Hughes
Voren Hughes

There is an old coaches’ saying: “Speed kills—them that ain’t got it.” Well, Voren Hughes had speed to burn and burn up the track at the State Championship level he did. For all four years of his high school career at Leavittsburg Labrae High School, Voren was the premier sprinter in Ohio short events and his only real competition was against himself and the clock.

As a freshman, he qualified to the State Meet in the 400M and made it to the finals. Like all true champions—they come, they learn, they come back. Voren’s sophomore year was his breakout year and he put his lessons learned to good use earning Runner-up titles in the 400M (49.12) and as part of Labrae’s 4 x 400M relay. On only about 30 minutes of recovery between events, he added his first State Championship title in the 200M with a 21.89. Labrae High School tied for the team Runner-up title that same year and a star was born.

As a junior, Voren added two more State Championship titles—the 100M (10.99) and the 200M (21.64). Additionally, Labrae’s 4 x 100M relay finished in 3rd earning him All-Ohio hon-ors for the 6th time. Voren’s senior year (1986), was one of dominance rarely seen in the 108 year history of Ohio Track & Field. He swept through the season winning everything he entered. He took all three Regional sprint titles in the 100M, 200M, and 400M—and then took all three Champion-ship titles in those same three events at the State Championships. His 100M time of 10.69 set a State Record, which he then fol-lowed up with a 21.56 200M and a 47.64 in the 400M. Total medal count: Six individual State Championship titles and two State Runner-up titles. Nine times he earned All-Ohio honors.

Voren competed for two years at Ohio State lettering in 1987 and 1988.

He currently lives and works in Seattle, Washington.

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