Fans Select Fresno State's 25 Greatest Athletes

    March 4, 2001

    FRESNO, Calif. - The fans have spoken and Fresno State's 25 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century have been selected.

    The Fresno State Athletics Department, in conjunction with corporate partners KFSN ABC 30, ESPN Radio 1430, St. Agnes Hospital, The World Sports Café and NAPA Auto Parts, asked Bulldog fans to select their 25 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century. Balloting concluded on Feb. 25 and the 25 Greatest Athletes were chosen.

    The program is similar to the Valley's 25 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century that was conducted last spring.

    Fresno State's 25 Greatest Athletes of the Century will be honored at a gala at the World Sports Café on April 8. At that time, the fan balloting will be announced, including the declaration of Fresno State's Greatest Athlete of the Century. Tickets for the gala are available for $125 each at the World Sports Café. All proceeds from the gala will benefit fifth-year scholarships for the Fresno State Athletics Department.

    Tickets for the event may be purchased at World Sports Café.

    Fans were able to vote at athletics venues, at sponsor locations and on-line on Fresno State's official athletics web site, www.gobulldogs.com.

    Fresno State's 25 Greatest Athletes of the Century (Alphabetical Order)

    Stephen Abas, Wrestling (1997-present)
    The only current athlete selected to the list . . .won the 1999 NCAA Championship at 125 lbs. with a record of 37-1 . .currently undefeated and ranked No. 1in the nation who has lost just four matches in his career.

    Courtney Alexander, Men's Basketball (1999-00)
    Led the NCAA in scoring in 2000 at 24.8 points per game, the first WAC or Fresno State player to do so. . .a second team All-American. . .guided the Bulldogs to the WAC Tournament championship and first NCAA tournament appearance in 16 years.

    Ron Anderson, Men's Basketball (1983-84)
    Led the Bulldogs to the 1984 NIT championship. . .led the Bulldogs in scoring in 1983 and 1984. . .an honorable mention All-American.

    Lacey Barnes-Mileham, Women's Track and Field (1984-88)
    A three-time All-American in the discus. . .placed second at the NCAA championships three times. . .a four-time PCAA champion.

    Laura Berg, Softball (1994-95, '97-98)
    A four-time first team All-American. . .guided Fresno State to the 1998 NCAA championship. . .holds several records and is the all-time Fresno State leader in hits with 396, which ranks second in NCAA history.

    Ron Cox, Football (1987-89)
    A two-time All-Big West Conference selection at linebacker and was named the 1989 Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Year. . .was a second-team All-American as a senior after leading the nation in quarterback sacks. . .has the most sacks in school history with 50.

    Trent Dilfer, Football (1991-93)
    Guided Fresno State to the 1992 Freedom Bowl and the 1993 Aloha Bowl. . .an NCAA record-setting quarterback. . .selected third team All-American after guiding Fresno State to a WAC championship/

    Dora Djilianova , Women's Tennis (1996-99)
    Career singles victories leader with 129. . .selected the Academic All-American of the Year in 1999. . .first team All-American in 1999, one of two tennis Bulldogs ever honored, and guided Fresno State to its first-ever WAC title.

    Henry Ellard, Football/Track and Field (1979-82)
    A record-setting receiver and triple jumper for the Bulldogs. . .earned All-America honors in both football and track and field. . .won two conference triple jump championships and is one of five individuals to ever have his football jersey retired.

    Gerell Elliott,, Men's Soccer (1988-91)
    A two-time All-American who was named national player of the year in 1991. . .named the Fresno State Athlete of the Year in 1991. . .Fresno State's career leader in goals (54) and points (136).

    Doug Fraley, Men's Track and Field (1984-87)
    One of the greatest pole vaulters in NCAA history. . .a five-time All-American and three-time NCAA champion in the pole vault. . .school record holder with a vault of 18'11".

    Tom Goodwin, Baseball (1987-89)
    The career stolen-bases leader in Fresno State history and led the NCAA in stolen bases for two consecutive years. . .scored more runs than any other player in school history, 207, and ranks second in career hits with 287. . .a two-time first team All-American.

    John Hoover, Baseball (1981-84)
    Named the 1984 NCAA Pitcher of the Year and setting an NCAA record with 19 complete games. . .hold the Fresno State career record for victories with 44, and complete games with 42, also an NCAA record. . .a first-team All-American, he had 411 strikeouts in his career.

    Rod Higgins, Men's Basketball (1979-82)
    Led the Bulldogs in scoring in three consecutive years. . .a two-time honorable mention All-American. . .led Fresno State to consecutive NCAA tournament apperances in 1981 and 1982.

    Bobby Jones, Baseball (1989-91)
    The 1991 NCAA Player of the Year after a 16-2 record and 1.88 ERA and an NCAA record 166 strikeouts. . .guided the Bulldogs to the 1991 College World Series. . .a first-team All-American.

    Ruth Lawanson, Volleyball (1981-84)
    Fresno State's first volleyball All-American, she guided the Bulldogs to a firth-place finish in the 1984 NCAA tournament. . .is the school record holder in kills with 962. . .a recipient of the 1984 Rosa Parks Awards, she became the first female student-athlete to have her jersey retired.

    Wendy Martell, Women's Basketball (1984-87)
    The only women's basketball player to ever have her jersey retired after setting a school record with 1,595 points. . .selected an Academic All-American after her senior season. . .guided the Bulldogs to three consecutive 20-win seasons.

    Walter Marty, Men's Track and Field (1931-34)
    Became Fresno State's first NCAA champion, winning the 1934 NCAA high jump at 6'8 3/4". . .helping the Bulldogs to a sixth-place team finish at the 1934 NCAA meet. . . set two world records in the high jump as a Fresno State athlete.

    Dale Messer, Football (1958-60)
    The first football player in Bulldog history to have his jersey retired. . .a three-time all-conference selection as a two-way player. . .a two-time All-American who rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and rushed for 31 touchdowns in his career, while guiding the Bulldogs to three straight CCAA championships.

    Lorenzo Neal, Football/Wrestling (1990-92)
    A two-sport star who dominated on the football field and wrestling mat. . .placed seventh at the NCAA wrestling championships at heavyweight, earning All-America honors. . .ranked third in career rushing yards with 2,405 and scored 27 touchdowns while earning first-team All-Big West Conference honors.

    Amanda Scott, Softball (1997-00)
    Named an NCAA Top VIII Award winner. . .selected the MVP of the 1998 College World Series after leading the Bulldogs to their first NCAA championship. . .a four-time first team All-American, she led the NCAA in ERA in 1999 and 2000.

    Kevin Sweeney, Football (1983-86)
    Became the most prolific passer in NCAA history with 10,653 yards. . .the only player in PCAA history to finish in the Top 10 of the balloting for the Heisman Trophy. . .was the runner-up for the 1986 Davey O'Brien Award for the nation's top quarterback.

    Bernard Thompson, Men's Basketball (1981-84)
    Led Fresno State to the 1983 NIT championship and the 1984 NCAA tournament. . .a two-time All-PCAA first team selection. . .finished his career as the third-leading scorer in Bulldog history.

    Wende Ward, Softball (1980-83)
    Led Fresno State to its first-ever Women's College World Series and second place NCAA finish in 1982. . .had a 77-36 record and 0.61 ERA in four seasons and threw five of the first six no-hitters in school history. . .an All-American, she was the first Bulldog softball player to have her number retired.

    Dutch Warmerdam, Men's Track and Field (1937-44)
    The first human ever to clear over 15 feet in the pole vault and he did it 43 more times before anyone cleared it once. . .the 1942 John L Sullivan Award winner as the nation's best amateur athlete and seven-time national champion. . .selected the pole vaulter of the 20th century and voted the greatest track and field athlete of all-time in a 1955 UPI national poll.

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