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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
DATE: Oct. 18, 2006

Inductees Include Olympic Medalist Tommie Smith

Olympic gold medalist and retired Santa Monica College professor Dr. Tommie Smith, along with internationally renowned rock climber Lynn Hill and table tennis champion Jerry N. Davila-Castro, will be inducted Nov. 4 into the SMC Foundation’s 2006 Sports Hall of Fame. Hill and Davila-Castro are both SMC alumni.

The induction ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the SMC Pavilion. It will be followed by the SMC homecoming game against Glendale College at 4 p.m. at Corsair Field.

Tickets are $50 and include barbecue lunch, snacks, game ticket and a $20 donation to the SMC Athletics Support Fund. The college is located at 1900 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica. Call (310) 434-4307.

Smith coached SMC’s track & field teams from 1978 until his retirement in 2005. As a competitive sprinter, he is the only man in track history to hold 11 world records simultaneously. Winner of the gold medal in the 200-meter at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Smith tied or broke 13 world records while a student at San Jose State University in the 1950s. Aside from his coaching, Smith also taught sociology, health and physical education classes while at SMC and served as interim athletic director.

Hill is widely recognized as the world’s best female rock climber. While at SMC from 1982 to 1983, she concentrated on middle-distance running and was a member of SMC’s State Championship Women’s Track & Field Team in 1982. One of the world’s best competitive rock climbers, winning more than 30 international titles, she was the first person to complete a free ascent of the nose of El Capitan, Yosemite National Park’s most famous climb.

Davila-Castro, who is in a wheelchair because of infant polio, attended SMC from 1989 to 1993, earning a certificate in recreation/leisure studies. A member of the 1992 USA Paralympics Team in Barcelona, he has racked up a number of achievements in table tennis, including silver medals in the 1986 Pan American Games and at the 1987 World Championships, a gold medal at the 1991 California State Championship, and a silver medal at the 1991 National Championship.

This is the second year of the Foundation’s annual Sports Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees join alumnus Lenny Krayzelburg, four-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming; alumnus Johnny Gray, four-time track and field Olympian who won a bronze medal in the 1992 Games in Barcelona; John Joseph, legendary swimming coach at SMC for 44 years; and the late Dr. Kay Teer Crawford, who established SMC’s accomplished drill team, the Coronettes, in the late 1950s.

Funding for the project is made possible by contributions through the President’s Circle, an annual giving support group founded in 2001. The President’s Circle funds programs designed to enhance teaching and learning at SMC.

“The Sports Hall of Fame brings deserved attention to the outstanding programs and rich sports traditions of Santa Monica College,” said SMC Foundation Executive Director Dr. JoAnn McLin Ortiz. “It exemplifies the importance of saying ‘well done’ to those who have participated in those traditions and to those who will carry them on.”


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