WATCH THE HALL OF FAME CEREMONY LIVE – 7 p.m. Friday
A skier, runner, wrestler, pitcher and basketball team will highlight the Western Colorado Athletic Department’s 2021 Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame class which is scheduled to be inducted at 7 p.m. Friday at the University Center on the campus of the ‘Western Colorado University. A pre-social event starts at 5:30 p.m.
The 2021 class includes skier Amy Crawford (now Amy Purevsuren), distance runner Josh Eberly, wrestler Donovan McMahill, pitcher Ashley Stephens and the 1986-87 men’s basketball team.
Amy Crawford (now Amy Purevsuren) was a seven-time All-American from 1994 to 1997 for western Colorado, winning a national 15km freestyle championship in 1997 – becoming the first female mountaineer in history to win a national individual ski title and Western’s first national ski champion – male or female – in 31 years. She graduated in geology with a brilliant GPA of 3.82.
Josh Eberly was a nine-time All-American for the Mountaineers from 1998 to 2003, including winning the National 10,000-meter Championship in 2003 to cap his illustrious college career. Eberly was a three-time All-American in cross country from 2000-2002 – playing a key role in Western dominance as the program won four consecutive national tag team championships from 1999-2002. Eberly was a two-time All- American on the indoor track – finishing third in the 5,000 in 2002 and second in 2003. Outdoors he was four All-American – winning honors in the 5,000 and 10,000 in 2002 and 2003.
Donovan McMahill is considered one of the most dominant student-athletes in Mountaineer wrestling history, as he was a three-time All-American, three-time National Finalist, two-time National Champion and ended his career on a the game’s 51-game winning streak in a college career that spanned from 2007 to 2011. McMahill went 32-0 his senior season en route to his second straight national championship at 197 pounds – joining Gene Williams (who made it three times from 1955 to 1957) and Dale Stryker (1965) to end a season unbeaten. He was also named the National Championships Most Valuable Wrestler in 2011. McMahill ended his career with a 137-20 record.
Only one person in the spectacular history of western Colorado athletic history has ever won a national championship in a throwing event (indoor or outdoor) – Ashley Stephens. And she did it twice. Stephens – a six-time All-American who is the most decorated pitcher in mountaineering history – won the national record title in 2007 and 2009 while finishing second in 2008. She was also an All-American in hammer throw. in 2009 and in the indoor shot put in 2008 and 2009. Stephens still holds the Western Colorado record in discus (176-10), hammer (185-05) and shot put (62-10) , 75).
The 1986-1987 men’s basketball team led by coach Terry Gibbons set a record for most wins in a season, earned the program its first District 7 championship and became the first team in Mountaineer’s men’s basketball to qualify for the national tournament. The team won 19 games – a school record at the time which is still tied for the second most wins in program history. After starting the season 5-7, the Mountaineers went 14-6 the rest of the way – which included winning six of their last seven games to make it to the NAIA National Tournament. The team started five seniors and were arguably the most diverse team to ever put on a Western uniform up to this point.
“They had the wisdom and the class to properly handle all the situations they faced on and off the court,” Gibbons said. “This team was a working class team and one of the toughest physically and mentally teams I have ever had the pleasure of coaching.”