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George Boiardi To Be Inducted Into Cornell Athletics Hall Of Fame

ITHACA, N.Y. — Eleven new members, including four All-Americans, have been selected for induction into the Cornell University Athletic Hall of Fame at the 37th annual ceremonies to be held Friday, Nov. 7 on the Cornell campus. After this year’s class is inducted, the membership in the Hall will stand at 566. Read More…

ITHACA, N.Y. — Eleven new members, including four All-Americans, have been selected for induction into the Cornell University Athletic Hall of Fame at the 37th annual ceremonies to be held Friday, Nov. 7 on the Cornell campus. After this year’s class is inducted, the membership in the Hall will stand at 566.

The All-Americans who will be inducted are Stephen Bâby ’03, men’s ice hockey; Clarence G. Fauntleroy ’54, men’s lacrosse; Carrie Giancola ’02, women’s lacrosse; and Michael LaRocco ’96, men’s lacrosse.

Also selected to be enshrined in November are George Boiardi ’04, men’s lacrosse/special category; David Eckel ’58, men’s cross country and track and field; Hannah Garrity ’04, women’s track and field; Mike Kalfopoulos ’85, baseball; Debbie Quibell ’04, volleyball; Ricky Rahne ’02, football; and Kate Varde ’04, softball.

In addition to the formal induction ceremonies on Friday evening, the honorees will be recognized at halftime of the Cornell-Dartmouth football game the following afternoon.

The Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame was initiated in 1978. It became a reality through the thoughtfulness and generosity of the late Ellis H. Robison ’18, whose devotion, advice and financial support to his alma mater started immediately upon graduation from the university.

A brief biography of each of the 11 inductees follows.
Stephen Bâby ’03, Men’s Ice Hockey
A second-team All-American as a senior forward, Bâby is one of just two two-time winners of the ECAC Hockey Defensive Forward of the Year Award since the honor’s inception in 1993. He was also the 41st player in program history to eclipse 100 points in his career. Bâby was extremely durable, racking up his 115 points over a school record 134 games. A two-time captain, he was a key contributor to the Big Red’s vaunted defense and special teams. The Big Red ranked first in the country in team defense and on the penalty kill in 2003, racking up a program-record 30 wins en route to its second straight Ivy League championship, an ECAC Hockey championship and a trip to the Frozen Four. Bâby earned the athletic department’s Ronald P. Lynch Spirit Award in 2003, and he was an All-ECAC Hockey second team selection as well. He was also a two-time winner of the team’s Joe DeLibero-Stan Tsapis Award (2001 and 2003), which recognizes skilled efficiency, unselfish dedication and hard-nosed competitive application, and was the 2003 winner of the Mark Weiss Memorial Award, which is given to the player who best exemplifies determination and passion. A seventh-round selection by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Bâby signed with the team after his Cornell career and played professionally for four seasons with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves and Springfield Falcons.

George Boiardi ’04, Men’s Lacrosse, Special Category
Boiardi played four seasons of varsity lacrosse for the Big Red, earning the team’s Cornell Lacrosse Club Most Improved Player Award in 2001. He was posthumously given the Dr. Ray Van Orman Memorial Award as team MVP in 2004. In 44 career games, he posted 40 ground balls as a shortstick defender and his teams went 36-19 (18-6 Ivy) with a pair of Ivy League titles, including the program’s first in 16 years. That started a run of nine consecutive Ancient Eight titles for the program. His presence on the team was key, but the mark he left after tragically losing his life during a game on March 17, 2004 on Schoellkopf Field, was indelible. His name has become synonymous with hard work, dedication, humility and selflessness not only within Cornell lacrosse, but also the entire athletics department. The number 21, worn by Boiardi as a student-athlete, was retired by Cornell lacrosse, but continues to be used in many other ways. The Class of 2007, the last to play with Boiardi, put together a 21-minute video to inspire future Big Red players. Shortly before his death, Boiardi started a program called the Big Red Readers. That program has continued, with the annual 21 Run helping support that initiative as well as the Family Reading Partnership . To date, that grassroots program has raised more than $21,000. Three former Big Red teammates created the Mario St. George Boiardi Foundation to empower the next generation through academics and athletics, funding the Foundation through a series of events – the 21 Dinner, the 21 Run West, Team 21, the Boiardi Open Golf Tournament and the Capital Lacrosse Invitational. The proceeds from those events are distributed to charitable organizations whose missions align with that of the foundation. The department of athletics established an award given to the senior student-athlete who most embodies leadership, athleticism and a strong work ethic in his name, and the top assistant men’s lacrosse coaching position was endowed in his name. Even the Wall of Records in the Friedman Strength and Conditioning Center took his name. His legacy off the field stands at the center of the Cornell lacrosse program.

David C. Eckel ’58, Men’s Cross Country, Track & Field
Eckel is one of only three male cross country athletes to earn three All-Ivy cross country honors in their Cornell careers. In 1955, he captured the Heps championship in cross country (25:46.6), and placed among the top five in 1956 and 1957 for his second and third honors. As a senior, Eckel won the indoor two-mile run Heps crown (9:32.4). In 1958, he set a time of 25:00 for sixth place at the IC4A meet at Van Cortlandt Park, a school record that stood until 1970 and remained among Cornell’s top 10 times for more than 50 years. With Eckel as captain of the freshmen harriers, Cornell won the freshman IC4A Championship and was second at the AAU National Junior Championships. During his career, Cornell captured three Heps team championships in cross country. Eckel was the recipient of the first John Moakley award (1955), given to the senior who has done the most for Cornell cross country, and was a two-time team MVP award winner (’55, ’57). Coach Lou Montgomery called Eckel “the greatest combined cross country and track man ever to represent Cornell University.”

Clarence G. Fauntleroy ’54, Men’s Lacrosse, Football
Fauntleroy was a two-time All-America selection in lacrosse, receiving third-team honors in 1954, when Cornell compiled an overall record of 9-3, and he received honorable mention All-America honors in 1955, when the Big Red went 8-3-1. He missed the 1953 lacrosse season with an injury. Fauntleroy was selected to play in the North-South All-Star lacrosse game and lettered three seasons as a defenseman. He also won letters in football as a first string left tackle/left guard in 1951 and 1952. (He received his BME degree in 1955.)

Hannah Garrity ’04, Women’s Track and Field
Garrity was a key part of the women’s track and field program that captured six straight Heptagonal championships. A team co-captain as a senior, she was a five-time All-Ivy selection in her final season, winning an individual Heps title in the 100m hurdles outdoors and competing on two relay championship teams. The team’s most valuable performer as a sophomore, she graduated with three school records, was an 11-time All-Ivy and a five-time All-East selection. Garrity ranked among the top three all-time in nine events in the Cornell record book and was a two-time Academic All-Ivy selection. Garrity was honored with the Charles H. Moore Outstanding Senior Varsity Athlete Award in her final season.

Carrie Giancola ’02, Women’s Lacrosse
Giancola was a three-time All-Ivy League selection, a two-time first-team pick and a second-team IWLCA All-American as a senior. The three-year starter broke school record for saves in a career (471) and ranked in the top 10 in saves in a season, goals-against average in a season and career and for career save percentage. She was in net for an ECAC title as a sophomore, the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance as a junior and the school’s first women’s team to reach the NCAA Final Four as a senior. She posted a 41-12 record as a starter and her 7.47 career goals-against average ranked eighth in NCAA history when she graduated. One of her best efforts came in the Big Red’s NCAA tournament win over seven-time defending national champion Maryland in 2002 to send Cornell to the NCAA semifinals when she posted 12 saves against just four goals in a 14-4 win. Giancola was given the school’s Senior Spirit Award following her senior campaign for her leadership on and off the field.

Mike Kalfopoulos ’85, Baseball
Kalfopoulos was a two-time second-team All-EIBL selection in the outfield and graduated as the school’s all-time leader in batting average in a season (.413 in 1984) and career (.356), hits in a season (53 in 1985) and doubles in a season (16 in 1985) and a career (45). He also posted a career record of .584 slugging, while he walked 74 times with just 18 strikeouts in 464 career at bats. Kalfopoulos still ranks among the top five all-time in those categories. He was a four-year starter and helped the team to three 20-win seasons and a pair of second-place EIBL finishes.

Michael LaRocco ’96, Men’s Lacrosse
LaRocco was a third-team All-American in 1996 after earning his second consecutive All-Ivy first-team honor. He played every minute in the goal as a senior, setting a saves record for a season (278) that still stands. His 29 saves vs. Syracuse were the most ever by a senior goaltender in program history. He was the recipient of the ’96 Dr. Ray Van Orman Memorial Award as the team MVP, and earned a spot on the North squad in the USILA North-South Senior All-Star game. In his first season (1993), he set a freshman saves record (173), and was named the recipient of the John W. “Jay” Gallagher Memorial Award.

Debbie Quibell ’04, Volleyball
A three-time All-Ivy League selection and two-time first-team honoree, Quibell graduated as the school’s all-time leader in kills (1,212). She also was first in kills per set (3.52) and digs per set (3.25), second in digs (1,118) and points per set (4.12) and third in aces (127) and total points (1418.5). She was a first-team All-Ivy League pick as a sophomore and junior after capturing second-team All-Ivy accolades as a freshman. Quibell was a two-time Academic All-Ivy League selection and was a second-team CoSIDA Academic All-District pick as a senior. The four-year starter helped guide the team to a 72-34 record, including a 21-4 mark her senior year. During her junior year, the team finished as runner-up at the Ivy League Tournament and placed tied for second in the regular season in her final season in 2003 with an 11-3 record.

Ricky Rahne ’02, Football
A record-setting quarterback, Rahne was a three-year starter who set 33 Cornell passing and total offense records. His 7,718 passing yards ranked third all-time in Ivy League history. Rahne was a two-time honorable mention All-Ivy League selection and was named honorable mention All-America by Don Hansen’s Football Gazette in 2000. He also had a penchant for unbelievable comebacks, helping the 2000 team to the nickname “The Comeback Kids.” The three-time team MVP became the all-time leader in completions (678), yards (7,710), touchdown passes (54) and 200-yard games (25) among others. He also graduated in the top spot in total offense with 7,994 yards (7,710 passing, 284 rushing) during his Cornell career.

Kate Varde ’04, Softball
A four-time first-team All-Ivy League selection, Varde became the 10th conference player and first Cornellian to reach that milestone. The 2001 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Varde was an ECAC first-team all-star member and a Louisville Slugger/NFCA Mid-Atlantic region first team selection as a junior in 2003. Varde graduated with school records for slugging percentage (.622), on-base percentage (.429), games played (198), games started (196), runs scored (160), hits (207), walks (72), and total bases (370). She ended her career among the school’s career leaders in batting average (second, .348), at bats (second, 595), doubles (second, 40), home runs (second, 37), RBI (second, 122), stolen bases (third, 21) and triples (sixth, six). Nearly all those numbers ranked in the top 10 in Ivy history upon her graduation. She led the Ivy League in batting average as a freshman and junior. Varde was a two-time Academic All-Ivy pick who was part of two Ivy championship and NCAA teams and helped the Big Red to a 140-60 record overall and a 39-17 conference mark.

In 2009, Adam O’Neill, Harry Alford and Thomas Alford launched Lacrosse Playground as the preeminent site for lacrosse gearheads. For years Lacrosse Playground provided lacrosse fans with tutorials and tips on how to string a lacrosse head, up-close looks at the gear the top players used and sneak peeks at equipment and uniforms before they were released. More than 10 years and millions of visits later, Lacrosse Playground has relaunched with a focus on storytelling. Our mission is to provide comprehensive coverage of the latest lacrosse news, share insights into the sports betting and fantasy lacrosse world and showcase the lifestyles and personalities of the sport of lacrosse through articles, videos and podcasts.

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