Cullowhee, N.C. – Three former student-athletes representing four different sports comprise the 2012 Western Carolina University Athletic Hall of Fame class announced this week. The 23rd induction class in school history will be placed into the Athletics Hall of Fame on the weekend of November 2-3 with special on-field recognition during the Catamounts’ home football game against Southern Conference foe, Chattanooga.
Bill Stanley (Football, 1964-69), Eric Johnson (Football & Baseball, 1995-99) and Laura Tieszen Kamarainen (Women’s Track & Field, 2002-05) make up the 2012 induction class.
Laura Tieszen Kamarainen captured 13 All-Southern Conference accolades during her outstanding four-year Western Carolina track & field career between the pole vault, javelin and the pentathlon/heptathlon events. She was a six-time SoCon champion in the women’s pole vault including three individual crowns split equally between both the indoor and outdoor seasons, while also claiming individual championships in the outdoor heptathlon and the indoor pentathlon in 2005.
Tieszen, who continues to hold both the league and school pole vault record of four meters (13’1.48″) set in the 2004 SoCon outdoor championship, was a three-time SoCon Most Valuable Field Performer, earning the recognition in both the 2004 indoor and outdoor championships and again in the `05 outdoor championships. She was also tabbed as WCU’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year at the year-ending awards banquet in ’04.
A native of Rapid City, South Dakota, Tieszen also dominated the SoCon’s indoor pole vault competition from 2003-05, winning the event three consecutive seasons. She additionally competed in the pole vault at the junior national level as a true freshman in 2002. Also, Tieszen held WCU’s record in the indoor pentathlon from 2004 until 2010, collecting 3,102 points.
Combined, Tieszen was a three-time SoCon Athlete of the Week selection between both the indoor and outdoor seasons, while also garnering numerous Student-Athlete of the Week honors recognizing both performance athletically and in the classroom. She was also tabbed the league’s track & field athlete of the month in February of 2005.