June 26, 2006
BERKELEY - The University of California will induct six new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame in November, including representatives from five different sports.
Cal's newest honorees include Kirsten O'Hara from women's cross country and track and field, Charlie Butt from men's track and field, Ralston "Rusty" Gill and Jim Hanifan from football, former men's water polo player Pete Cutino, Jr., and former men's swimmer Pelle Holmertz.
The new class of Hall of Famers will be inducted on Nov. 3, the night before the California football squad hosts UCLA. The class will also be honored during the Bears-Bruins game. The California Hall of Fame now includes 213 individuals and five teams.
One of the most decorated distance runners in Cal history, O'Hara garnered five All-America accolades as a member of the Golden Bears' cross country and track and field teams from 1984-89 and is a member of Cal's Pac-10 All-Decade team (1986-96). O'Hara is the only three-time All-American in Cal cross country history, placing 11th at the 1987 NCAA Championships for the highest-ever finish by a Cal runner. She received her other cross country All-America accolades by finishing 20th nationally in 1985 and 37th in 1988, adding to her credentials as Cal's Athlete of the Decade in cross country from 1986-96.
O'Hara earned track and field All-America recognition for her sixth-place showing in the 5000m at the 1985 NCAA Championships, clocking the current school record of 15:46.8. She wrapped up her Cal career with a third-place All-America performance in the 10,000m (32:52.86) at the 1988 NCAA Championships. O'Hara's 10,000m school record (32:40.76) also has endured for 21 years.
Butt established school records in both the shot put (53-8.75) and discus (161-7.75) in 1954, breaking marks that had stood since 1941. Since 1954, he was the only Cal athlete to hold both the shot put and discus records at the same time until Dave Porath set both marks in 1981. Butt placed third in the shot put (53-6.5) at the 1954 NCAA meet, helping Cal to a third-place team finish. In 1956, Butt set another Cal mark and Edwards Stadium record in the discus with a heave of 174-6 in a dual meet vs. Washington. He clinched the Pacific Coast shot put title with a throw of 57-8.75 in 1956. After graduation, Butt became only the fifth person in history to surpass the 60-foot barrier in the shot put with a mark of 60-2 to place second at the 1959 Modesto Relays. He established a lifetime best of 60-9.5 in the shot put at the SPAAU meet on June 12, 1959, and placed first in meets in Finland and in Sweden in July 1959.
A versatile three-year letterman, Gill played both fullback and halfback for Cal's football team. He was a dependable back who gained his greatest fame in his senior year, leading Cal to an 8-2 record and second place in the PCC in 1931. Gill was tabbed with an assortment of All-America honors, including first team by both the New York Journal and the American Football Players, second team by United Press and honorable mention by the Associated Press. A first-team All-Coast selection, Gill came from a very athletic family, as brothers Frank, Harry, Sam and Carol all played football at Cal.
Hanifan started three years at defensive end for the Bears, and in 1953 and 1954, he also started at tight end. The Bears 1954 team captain led the nation that year in receiving with 44 receptions for 569 yards and seven touchdowns. He received the Andy Smith Trophy for most conference minutes, was a unanimous first-team All-Coast honoree and was chosen to the Catholic All-America team. After participating in the East-West Shrine Bowl, the Hula Bowl and the College All-Star game, Hanifan was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League and later starred for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. In 1973, he entered the coaching ranks and has been a long-time NFL assistant and is a former head coach.
Cutino, Jr., the son of legendary Cal water polo coach Pete Cutino, is one of the most accomplished student-athletes to ever play water polo for the Bears. A two-time All-American (1982-83) who was named 1983 Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year, Cutino, Jr., helped the Bears to the 1983 NCAA title with a 29-3-2 record, earning Co-NCAA Tournament MVP and Co-National Collegiate Player of the Year accolades with teammate Alan Gresham. Cutino, Jr., also excelled on the international stage, as he propelled the U.S. national team to a gold medal at the 1982 National Sports Festival and to a silver medal at the 1983 World University Games.
While a member of the Cal swimming team, Holmertz won a silver medal in the 100-meter freestyle for Sweden at the 1980 Olympics. A four-time All-American, Holmertz led Cal to its first NCAA team championship in 1979 and contributed to another Cal team title in 1980. He was part of two NCAA record-setting relay teams - the 400-yard medley relay (1979, 3:15:22) and the 800-yard free relay team (1982, 6:28:94). In 1982, Holmertz won the 200-free title in 1:36.46 at the NCAA Championships and won the Pac-10 100-free title in 43.73. His career-best time of 43.62 in the 100 free ranks 11th in the Cal record book. Additionally, he stands in a tie for 12th place in school history in the 50 free (19.78).
The 2006 California Hall of Fame Inductees:
Name Sports(s) Years Kirsten O'Hara Women's Cross Country/Track & Field 1984-89 Charlie Butt Men's Track and Field 1954-56 Ralston "Rusty" Gill Football 1929-31 Jim Hanifan Football 1951-55 Pete Cutino, Jr. Men's Water Polo 1979-83 Pelle Holmertz Men's Swimming 1979-82