Check out the recent inductees to the Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame at the library. In June 2018 Tanner Gardner, Bob Chipman and Gerard Christensen were inducted to it Hall of Fame.
The Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame was created by the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Council to honor a legacy of outstanding performance by athletes, coaches, administrators, sports writers and broadcasters with Shawnee County ties.
Gardner was a two-time undefeated state wrestling champion at Shawnee Heights High School before becoming a three-time NCAA All-American wrestler at Stanford. He went 80-0 in his junior and senior campaigns as a Thunderbird, and still holds Stanford’s records for most career wins, most single-season wins and most single-season pins.
Chipman, still the MIAA’s winningest coach with 569 wins, coached the men’s basketball team at Washburn University for 38 years. He retired at the end of the 2016-17 season. He coached the Ichabods to the NAIA national championship in 1987 and to an NCAA national runner-up finish in 2001.
Christensen was the storied founder and head coach of the Topeka Thunderbolt Track Club for nearly four decades. He founded the club in 1965, and coached many of the area’s best track and field athletes to success at the Division I level. Christensen lost his battle with Alzheimer’s in May of 2017.
The Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 2006, which was made up of baseball legends, Ken Berry and Mike Torrez, wrestler Melvin Douglas, basketball star and coach Lon Kruger, and a pioneer of women’s basketball Billie Moore. Since 2006, 39 people from a varied background have been honored.
The next time you visit the library be sure to stop by and view the plaques of the new members. Also view information on the previous inductees and memorabilia from local area high schools. The Hall of Fame display is located in the Sports Neighborhood in the East Wing of the library.