NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Friday that the association will induct four new members to their Division III Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame. Leonard Jones (St. Thomas (Minn.)), Rhondale Jones (Lincoln (Pa.)), Vera Stenhouse (Tufts), and Gary D. Wasserman (Nebraska Wesleyan) will be recognized during an induction ceremony on Wednesday, May 23, in Claremont, Calif., held in conjunction with the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships.
Leonard Jones – University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)
Jones is the all-time Division III indoor leader in individual NCAA Championship titles having won seven in jumping events. He won an NCAA record three national crowns at the 1994 national indoor championships with winning performances in the high, long, and triple jumps. All told, Jones won nine total NCAA crowns, tied for most among any male Division III athlete in any sport. Outdoors, Jones won back-to-back long jump titles in 1992 and 1993. Indoors, Jones was the long jump’s best man in 1991, 1992, and 1994. With 19 USTFCCCA All-America nods, Jones is tied for the most such honors among all Division III men all-time. Also during his collegiate career, he set four MIAC Championship records.
Jones was a three-sport athlete at St. Thomas where he also played football and basketball – he was discovered a possible jumping prospect after showing stellar dunking skills on the basketball court. A native of Minneapolis, Minn., Jones qualified for the 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials in the long jump.
Currently, Jones coaches at this former high school, Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis, and just opened a real estate company. Also in the works is a biography and music album.
Rhondale Jones – Lincoln University (Pennsylvania)
Jones, a 16-time overall NCAA Champion, holds the NCAA record among all divisions and both genders for winning nine national outdoor individual crowns in her outstanding career. Jones won the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 100 hurdles in 1999, 2000, and 2001 at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships for the nine individual outdoor crowns. At the 1999 and 2000 outdoor championships, Jones also anchored Lincoln to 4×100-meter crowns. In 1999, Jones clocked the current NCAA-meet record in the 200 meters of 23.72.
Indoors, Jones won five national crowns, which included a three-year sweep of the 55-meter hurdles in 1999, 2000, and 2001. She also won the 55-meter dash in 1999 and 2000.
Jones was a member of the USTFCCCA Division III Silver Anniversary Team (2006) and was inducted into the Delaware Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2009. Jones currently coaches and teaches in Wilmington, Del.
Vera Stenhouse – Tufts University
Stenhouse was a sprint-jump legend in Division III, capturing eight NCAA titles and 23 USTFCCCA All-America honors. She won four national crowns in the triple jump, three coming outdoors in 1989, 1990, and 1991. At the 1991 outdoor championships at Baldwin-Wallace, Stenhouse won national crowns in the 200 meters, 400 meters, and triple jump and was a Honda Award nominee that year for her efforts.
Stenhouse is credited with the ECAC Division III triple jump record (40-5½, 12.33m).
Stenhouse, originally from Jamaica Estates, N.Y., earned an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship and competed at the USATF Championships after college.
Gary D. Wasserman – Nebraska Wesleyan University
Wasserman, a 15-time USTFCCCA All-American, is the only man in Division III history to win three indoor NCAA 5000-meter crowns – he did so with three-straight wins in 1991, 1992, and 1993. Wasserman won the 1992 NCAA cross country title as well. Wasserman was a four-year NCAA scorer in the indoor 5000, outdoor 5000 and 10,000 meters and is one of ten men in DIII history to be a four-time All-American in the same event indoors and outdoors.
Wasserman is the all-time Division III top ten in the indoor 5000 and outdoor 10,000. Inducted into the Nebraska Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003, Wasserman was an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship winner and currently owns an accounting business in Omaha, Neb.