Texas inducts 11th Longhorn Women's Hall of Honor class
Nov. 19, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- On Friday afternoon, UT Athletics honored its 11th class of Women's Athletics Hall of Honor inductees with a ceremony in the Lone Star Room at the Frank Erwin Center.
The 2010 class includes: Erin Aldrich, the Big 12 Conference Female Athlete of the Year in 1999-2000; Kathleen Cummings, 1984 Southwest Conference Tennis Player of the Year; Jo Beth Palmer, the first female dual-sport All-American in program history; Carol (Borgmann) Robertson, one of UT's top individual medley swimmers; Eileen Vanisi, three-time NCAA shot put champion and Tina Bonci, Co-Director of Athletic Training/Sports Medicine for Intercollegiate Athletics.
Enshrinement into the Hall of Honor is considered the highest honor bestowed by the 37-year-old UT Women's Athletics department.
Aldrich (1998-2000) was a four-time NCAA champion, six-time All-American and a six-time Big 12 champion in the high jump. To this date, she holds five of the top eight jumps in school history, and Aldrich shares the top outdoor mark (6-4.75) with Destinee Hooker.
The Big 12 Volleyball Newcomer of the Year in 1998, Aldrich led the nation in triple-doubles as a senior and also holds the UT single-match record for kills with 32 against Baylor.
"I'm truly humbled by this. This class represents such a broad spectrum of our history, and it's really special to be represented here," Aldrich said.
Cummings (1983-84) was a three-time All-American at Colorado, then transferred to The University. Competing as a senior, Cummings posted a 29-7 singles record in dual match play and was the 1984 Southwest Conference Player of the Year. She led the Longhorns to the SWC team title and the NCAA quarterfinals.
"When I got to Texas everyone welcomed me with open arms," Cummings said. "I've always felt part of the Longhorns tradition. I feel honored to be among all these women, who have done such tremendous things for their sports."
Palmer (1980-84) was recruited in track and field, then walked on to the volleyball team. She was a four-year volleyball letterwinner and also earned All-SWC First Team honors as a junior and senior. Palmer qualified for the national championships in all four years in the discus, and twice in the shot put, and her fifth-place discus finish in 1982 helped UT to the national team title.
"For the six months since I found out about this, I've just been floating," Palmer said. "It's something that I will cherish the rest of my life. I have such great memories from my time at Texas."
Robertson (1979-82) is a three-time AIAW individual national champion and 18-time All-American. At the 1981 AIAW national championship meet, Robertson was the third-highest individual point scorer as the Longhorns went on to win the team title -- the first women's national championship in UT history. Robertson won national titles in the 100 and 200 individual medleys in 1982, when the Longhorns repeated as champions.
"It is really great to see The University acknowledge the history," Robertson said. "It's neat to see the variety of different sports, and how we all are represented."
Vanisi (1990-94) is a three-time NCAA shot put champion, and one of the most decorated throwers to wear burnt orange. Her shot put of 60-0.5 still stands as the top throw in UT outdoor history, and she holds seven of the top eight outdoor shot put marks in school history. Vanisi won the NCAA Outdoor title as a freshman, and swept the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor titles as a senior.
"I'm still very much a part of this institution, even though I'm no longer here," Vanisi said. "This has allowed me to reflect on my time here, and hopefully the accomplishments and contributions I made will last a long time."
Since being hired as the head women's athletic trainer at The University of Texas in the fall of 1985, Bonci has spent the last 26 years working daily with student-athletes at UT. Bonci currently holds the title of Co-Director of Athletic Training/Sports Medicine for Intercollegiate Athletics.
During her tenure in Austin, Bonci and her staff have been instrumental in maintaining and promoting the health of student-athletes who have claimed 20 NCAA Championship team titles in seven different sports. In 2006, she received the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer of the Year award from the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA), a prestigious honor that recognizes unique and exceptional contributions to the profession through personal sacrifice and dedication.
"It's a real privilege for me to be inducted in this class. I'm overwhelmed," Bonci said. "Of all the previous hall of honor classes, I probably worked with 98 percent of those women. To be among them now is just very special. It brings back so many memories of what these athletes have taught me along the way. I derive all my inspiration from them."