The LMU Athletics’ Hall of Fame will need a little more space as four former athletes, an official and a team will be inductedas the Class of 2015. This honor is given to players, teams and others who have significantly impacted a program here at LMU.
Jason D’Amore (’08) was a leader for men’s golf in the mid-2000s. He is the only golfer in program history to be awarded four first team All-West Coast Conference (WCC) honors during his time at LMU and only the sixth athlete in school history to accomplish this feat. In addition to these individual awards, D’Amore also led the golf team to its first WCC Championship in 2006.
Laura Mickelson (’08) ran both cross country and track for the Lions. She was the first female to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships at LMU by finishing 22nd in the prelims for the 5,000-meter race. On top of this, she also earned three consecutive All-WCC honors. Mickelson went on to win the individual WCC championship in 2006 and followed it up with a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Regionals and a 50th place at the NCAA Championships later that year.
Baseball will see two of its former players and teammates inducted this year. Billy Traber (1998-2000) is one of the best and most decorated pitchers that the Lions have ever had. Traber was awarded All-American honors and WCC Pitcher of the Year during his last season for the Lions in 2000. He amassed 338 career strikeouts, second best in LMU history. His 156 strikeouts in 2000 and his 135 in 1999 are, respectively, the best and third best single-season performance in program history. Traber also ranks in the top 10 for wins in a single season and career innings pitched. Traber went on to be a first-round draft pick by the New York Mets and played nine seasons as a professional baseball player.
Scott Walter, Traber’s former teammate, will join him again in the LMU Athletics’ Hall of Fame. During his freshman year alone, Walter won WCC Co-Freshman of the Year, the WCC Player of the Year and a first-team Freshman All-American. As a catcher, he earned second-team All-American honors in 2000. Walter also ranks third overall for career home runs, tallying 36 during his time on the Bluff. He also ranks in the top 10 for five other offensive categories, despite only playing three seasons. Traber went on to play six professional seasons of baseball after being a third round pick of the Kansas City Royals in 2000.
Walter and Traber went on a special run together. Though both of them only played three seasons (all of them together), they made sure to make them count. The baseball team went on to win three straight WCC championships between 1998 and 2000, becoming the first men’s program to complete this feat in school history.
The 1996 volleyball team will be the team inducted this year. They became the first program in school history to win three consecutive conference titles and they also made a big splash in the NCAA tournament, making it all the way to the Sweet 16. One of the members of the squad was Kim Blankinship, who was inducted as an individual for the Class of 2007.
The final inductee to this year’s class is not a player, coach or team. Dale Marini has been the official scorekeeper of LMU basketball since his days as a student in 1966. Though Marini graduated from LMU in 1970, that didn’t stop him from being part of the team. Being a staff member during the 1989-90 season meant he had to keep up, considering the Lions scored an average of 120.1 points per game – an NCAA record. His work with the Lions has led to him being asked by the NCAA to help rewrite the NCAA scorebook.
This group of inductees will be honored during the men’s basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 21 against Santa Clara University. Seeing as the Hall of Fame is all about “honoring the tradition of champions,” they clearly got it right this year.