Ed Barker Award Recipiants
Ira Wentworth When a young athlete has that early appreciation of the gifts which they have been given and a burning desire that every race be worthy of and reflect the appreciation of those gifts, there will be a dedication and work ethic bound to yield a special level of success. Such an athlete was Zanesville’s Ira Wentworth. From 1985-1989, Ira posted a stellar high school career in both cross country and track & field. A three time AAA state qualifier in cross country, Ira earned All Ohio honors finishing sixth as a junior and as State Runner-up his senior year. In track and field, he dominated AAA distance running at the 3200M distance and won State Champion titles in that event in both his junior and senior year posting a high school PR of 9:14. Ira also posted a 4:20 1600M along the way. Choosing to continue his education and running at Malone, Ira became one of those athletes who excelled at the longer races offered by the collegiate format. In cross country, he became only the second athlete in school history to earn NAIA All American honors in each of his four seasons of competition. Individual titles include Mid Ohio Conference champion (1995), All Ohio XC Meet champion (1990), and NCCAA Nationals Champion (1990). His 31:14 10K PR was the Malone cross country record until 2014. In track, Ira was a multiple NAIA Indoor and Outdoor All-American posting a 13:53 5000M PR at the Penn Relays (5th place) which still stands as Malone’s school record. In 1990, he won the NCCAA championship title in the 1500M and went on to win the 1991 NAIA National Runner-up title. His 3:50.4 1500M performance remains 4th on Malone’s performance list and his 4:10 indoor mile record now ranks 3rd. Ira has been recognized as Malone’s Graduate School Alumnus of the Year (2008) and was inducted into the NAIA Athletic Hall of Fame and the Malone University Hall of Fame in 2004. Ira continues to serve others as the Superintendent of the Indian Valley LSD. He and his family live in Sugarcreek, OH.
Katy Burkowski (Radkewich)
Just when you think a program is about as good as it can get—because Beaumont sure was doing its share of winning through the 80’s - along comes someone who not only elevates that championship program to a new level, but also raises the level of women’s running in Ohio in general setting standards and goals which remain elusive 20 years later. Just such a runner was Katy Radkewich. Katy led the Blue Streaks to State Champion cross country team titles all four of her years at Beaumont while destroying records in both Division I (‘93) and Division II (‘94, ‘95, ‘96). After finishing a State Runner-up as a freshman, she went on to win the individual State Champion title three times and her 16:59.8 remains the all time fastest 5000M race ever run by an Ohio athlete and the only time an Ohio athlete has broken 17:00. She is a member of a very select group of four-time Foot Locker National Championship qualifiers. Finishing 20th as a freshman, she returned over the next three years to win the Midwest Regional Qualifier twice before going on to earn All American honors with 7th, 3rd, and 2nd place National finishes. Her senior year, she also represented the USA at the World Cross Country Championships in South Africa, finishing 41st in the junior women’s race. In track, Beaumont won three more State Champion team titles behind three 3200M titles (‘94, ‘95, ‘96), a 1600M championship title (’94), and two 4 x 800M titles (’94, ’95). Track PR’s included a 4:50.40 1600M and a 10:17.33 3200M State Record which stood until 2008. Her 10:27.5 State Meet time also remains the #4 all-time State Meet performance. In addition to her 3200M state titles, she also finished 2nd at the Penn Relays, 2nd at the Indoor National Championships, and 2nd at the Outdoor National Championships adding All American status to her resume in track & field as well as in cross country. A stress fracture cut her senior track year short and kept her from adding to this performance list. However, that’s 16 times she had a State Champion medal placed around her neck as either an individual or team member. Not too bad. Katy went on to run at Michigan where she was a six time letterman and recognized as All Big Ten in 2000. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in Orlando, Florida.
They say that when Albert Einstein died, he was still trying to figure out gravity. Shoot—all he had to do was go to Pettisville High School and Lincoln Cobb could have helped him with that, or at least with the part of how to overcome it. Pettisville did not have a track of any type during Lincoln’s first three years of competition, so it was pretty tough to work on the specifics of such a technical event as long jump. Despite this lack of facilities, Lincoln won the State Champion title in the 1989 long jump as a sophomore and then came back to repeat as State Champion as a junior. Also in his junior year, Lincoln qualified to the State Meet in the 100M and 200M events where he qualified to the finals and finished third in both events earning Pettisville a 3rd place team finish and just missing the podium. Not bad for a kid with no track. What if he had the advantage that so many others take for granted? To find out, the summer between his junior and senior year, Pettisville built an eight lane track & field facility largely with the help of volunteer labor of which Lincoln and his dad put in more than their share of man hours. And it paid off— In 1991, Lincoln was again the only entrant in the Division III State Championship from Pettisville. But—when you know how to beat gravity, one entrant is all you need. At the end of the day, Lincoln had won the long jump for a third time, added another state title in the 100M, taken second in the 200M, scored 28 points, and won the State Championship team trophy for Pettisville. Currently, this 1991 trip to the podium is the only team title in Pettisville’s track & field history. Lincoln’s 23’ 9¾” stood as a State Record until 2011 and his Miami University record jump of 24’ 5” stood until 2002. Final count: four championship titles, one runner-up title, and one team title. Lincoln now lives in Mason, Ohio.
Marv Frye has been a winner all of his life as an athlete and a coach. As a high school athlete in basketball, he helped Akron Ellet HS win the 1944 Ohio Class B Championship and District titles in 1946 and 1947. He lettered in track and basketball at Heidelberg before graduating in 1951, did two years at Bellville HS as head coach in basketball and track, and then returned to Heidelberg where he helped the football team win Ohio Athletic Conference Championships in 1954, ‘56, and ‘59. His 1960 track team went undefeated and also won the OAC. For these accomplishments, Marv was inducted into the Heidelberg Hall of Fame in 1995. In 1960, when he went to Ohio Wesleyan to take over the head track and field coaching job is when Marv made his mark on track and field in Ohio. Over the next 37 years, he built Ohio Wesleyan into a perennial power in the OAC, and now the North Coast Athletic League. The regard in which he is held as an educator, mentor, role model, and friend to hundreds of OW athletes was perhaps best demonstrated in 1985 when his athletes donated nearly $300,000 to build the all-weather track at OWU, twice the site of the DIII National Championships as recently as 2014. Marv’s teams won three NCAC titles. He has coached 123 conference champions, 25 NCAA Division III All Americans, two Academic All Americans, and seven National Champions. His athletes still hold 14 of the 22 school records. Marv has been named NCAC Coach of the Year on two occasions (’90, ‘96), and was inducted into the Ohio Wesleyan Hall of Fame in 1997. In 1974, he was elected as the first ever president of the DIII TF Coaches Association. H e served as host and meet director for the 1984 NCAA Cross Country Championships and also served as Meet Director of the All Ohio XC Championships for 37 years. Marv is also highly respected for the 24 times he has served as referee for the NCAA National Championship Meet. Marv and his wife, Ellen, live in Delaware, Ohio.
Every coach’s heart has a special place for their alma mater and given any chance to return, will usually do so. A 1989 Wayne High School graduate and former school record holder in the 300IH (39.4) and 4 x 400M (3:19.51), Michael returned to Wayne in 1991 as an assistant coach and then middle school coach. He took the assistant coaching job in 1993 and served in that capacity until 1998 when he was named head coach where he remains today. And the rest, as they say, has been history. Michael brought a level of leadership and motivation that demanded his athletes bring their level of performance up to his level of expectation and they have responded over the years with a roll call of State Championship level performances as well as two Olympic Trials qualifiers (Darien Thornton and Alexis Thomas) Michael’s Warriors have sent 241 athletes to the State Championships with 75 of them earning All Ohio honors including 12 State Champions (11 individuals and one relay) and nine State Runner-up performances including two relays. The indoor track & field program at Wayne has also flourished under Coach Hernandez with 10 individual State Champions at the OATCCC Indoor TF Championships. Michael has had five 4 x 55M Shuttle Hurdle relay champions at the New Balance National Indoor TF Championships as well as another six individuals who placed top six, a total of eleven All American honors in Indoor Track and Field. Michael has coached Team Ohio to Midwest Meet of Champions title in 2014, ‘15, and ‘16. He continues to coach at Wayne High School and lives in Huber Heights, OH.
When Sunni Olding left Minster High School in 2004, she left behind a spectacular string of championship level performances rarely seen in state track & field history. In cross country, Sunni was a three time State Champion and led the Minster Wildcats to team state championship titles in two of those years. On the national stage, Sunni qualified from the Foot Locker Midwest Regional to the National Championships in San Diego where she twice earned All-American honors. Her senior year, she was chosen as the National Cross Country Runner of the Year. In track, she was even more spectacular. Minster won the state championship title all four years of her career led by her nine individual State Champion titles and three State Runner-up titles. Her four 1600M titles made her only the ninth athlete in Ohio history to win the same event all four years and she was undefeated in the 4 x 800M, 1600M, and 3200M throughout her junior and senior years. Her 10:32.75 3200M from 2003 remains the Division III record today. Nationally, Sunni won two national 3200M titles and was named USA Today All-American her junior and senior years. She was invited to train at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA and was named by JJ Huddle as one of the top five athletes of the 2000-2010 decade. Continuing her career for Notre Dame, Sunni earned All American honors her freshman and sophomore years. Injuries her junior and senior years hindered her final seasons, yet she was still awarded Notre Dame’s Top Gun academic award winner as well as named an ESPN Academic All-American for graduating with Summa Cum Laude honors. Sunni continues to live in Minster, still runs, and remains an inspiration to the young athletes of the Minster tradition.