Annual dinner honors track and field hall of fame inductees

Leanne Cave

There were many touching moments at the 2003 Bakersfield College Hall of Fame Track & Field and Cross Country Alumni Dinner.

The highlight of the evening was the first award given.

The 2003 Norm Hoffman Scholarship Award was introduced by Hoffman’s son, Grant Hoffman.

Hoffman was an assistant track and field coach at BC for 17 years and taught health classes. He was killed while riding his bike in 2001.

Grant Hoffman described the award as one that epitomizes his father’s hard work and dedication to athletics.

Jerome Miller received the male award. At the time of the awards, Miller was ranked No. 1 in hurdles in the Western State Conference and has a 3.42 GPA.

In a touching moment, Kirsten Hoffman, Norm Hoffman’s daughter, introduced the female winner, Shelley Rice. Rice is ranked fifth in the Western State Conference in discus and has a 4.0 GPA.

“My dad would be proud of this award,” Kirsten Hoffman said.

“He would think that this is neat. I would just like to congratulate the athletes who are receiving the awards.”

Many athletes were in attendance to collect the awards that were given throughout the evening, including current athletes who were honored. It also was a special time for past Hall of Fame inductees in attendance as they were introduced and applauded.

“This was a super event,” said Jan Stuebbe, BC athletics director. “Bob Covey did a great job getting this organized to honor some great track and field and cross country athletes.”

Not all of the Hall of Fame inductees could attend, but for those who did, it was a time of celebration as well as a time to reflect on successes.

Steve Clark, who was to be inducted in 2002, but could not because his mother became ill just as he entered the building last year, summed up what the awards meant to him.

“This really does mean a lot to me,” Clark said. “This will be the most memorable to my mother. You young athletes of today, you’ve got the world by the tail and you don’t even know it. Work hard and make every moment count because this is the greatest time of your life.”

Another memorable moment was when Greg Barrett accepted the Hall of Fame induction on behalf of his deceased father, Robert Barrett.

“He’s not here to accept this.” said Barrett.

“But he would have been proud of this prestigious award. Thank you on behalf of him.”