Open-water marathon swimmer Pat Gallant-Charette has been announced as a member of the 2019 class of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame: one of 11 inductees in the latest class. The class will be inducted on May 19th at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine.
The 67-year old Gallant-Charette has completed 6 of the Oceans Seven swims, 4 of the Still Water Eight, and in June finished a 28-mile swim around Manhattan Island to become the oldest person in history to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming (English Channel, Catalina Channel, Manhattan Island Marathon Swim). 204 swimmers in history have been recorded as completing this task, according to the Marathon Swimmers Federation.
Next up for Gallant-Charette is a planned 2019 swim of the Cook Strait between the north and south islands of New Zealand. If she completes the swim, it would complete her Oceans Seven feat, making her the oldest person to complete the series, and the oldest woman to swim the Cook Strait. The current record belongs to Canadian Marilyn Korzekwa, who is the current oldest in the former category at 59.
Earlier this year, she was also inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.
The last swimmer inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame was three-time US Olympian Ian Crocker, who won 5 Olympic medals across the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Olympic Games.
Full Class of 2018, Courtesy Maine Sports Hall of Fame
Head Football Coach at Colby College for 18 years beginning in 1986, Austin retired as the winningest football coach on Mayflower Hill with twelve CBB Championships and Maine’s only NESCAC Championship in 2000. Austin was Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Coach of the Year and NESCAC Coach of the Year in 2000. Austin’s Maine coaching career began at Lawrence High School and he went on to be the fourteen-year head coach at Bridgton Academy.
Arguably the best Maine High School and College basketball player of the past 50 years, Bedard won the State Championship at Mountain Valley High School in 1994, scoring 53 points in the final. Bedard played his senior season at MCI winning the New England Championship and went on to play at Boston College for 2 seasons before returning to play at the University of Maine. At UMaine, Bedard was All Conference, All New England, and broke all records for assists. He was inducted into the University of Maine Hall of Fame in 2007 and into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Eric Fenton & Wes McCauley:
Brothers-in-law who both reached the pinnacle of success in the hockey world, Fenton was an outstanding player for the University of Maine and McCauley is the NHL’s top-rated official.
Fenton, drafted by the New York Rangers in 1988, attended high school at NYA where he was All-State and a 4-year varsity letter player in 3 sports (hockey, soccer, and baseball). At the University of Maine Fenton was a 4-year varsity player, and in 1993, the Black Bears, arguably the greatest college team in NCAA history, captured the NCAA Division I championship with an overall 42-1-2 record. After graduation, Fenton played professional hockey from 1993-2001 and has the distinction of being the first player drafted by the Portland Pirates in their inaugural season.
Drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 1990, McCauley graduated from Michigan State and played professionally for several years in the AHL and Europe, meeting Eric’s sister Bethany while playing in Italy. McCauley ultimately decided to follow in his late father’s footsteps and become an NHL official achieving his dream in 2005. He will officiate his 1000th regular season game on December 23rd and has also officiated 128 playoff games and 6 Stanley Cup Finals. Currently in his 5th year as Vice-President of the NHLOA, McCauley moved to Bethany’s hometown of South Portland in 2003, becoming embedded in Southern Maine’s hockey community working with multiple teams as a coach, facilitating the creation of a Unified team at Cheverus, and running officiating clinics on a yearly basis.
One of the most decorated open water swimmers in the world, Gallant-Charette began swimming in her 40’s to honor her 2 younger brothers who died untimely deaths. When she first stepped into the waters of Casco Bay to swim across to Peaks Island she wasn’t sure if she would make it, but quickly realized open water swimming was her passion. Now she is a 67 year-old retired nurse who has set multiple records around the world in marathon swimming and has no intention of stopping in her quest to complete the world’s most difficult swims, already finishing 6 of the Oceans Seven Swim Challenge and 4 of the Still Water Eight. On June 30, 2018, Gallant-Charette completed a 28-mile swim around Manhattan Island to become the oldest person in history to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. She is also the founder of the Swim For Your Heart charitable foundation that raises awareness and funds for cardiac health and has multiple nominations as the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
Well known for his outstanding banking career in Maine, Ladd had a distinguished tennis career at Brunswick High School and Bowdoin College winning an unparalleled 4 Maine State singles titles and 4 doubles titles from 1956-1959, leading the Brunswick High team to State Championships for 3 of those years. Ladd played Junior tennis all over New England reaching the ranking of 8th in Singles and 2nd in doubles. As a Junior Ladd was selected to play in the Wright Memorial Cup, the New England Junior Davis Cup Team, and in the International Challenge Bowl. At Bowdoin, Ladd won the State doubles title twice in 1961 and 1962 and was also runner up in singles both of those years. Ladd has continued playing tennis throughout his adult life, first in the military where he excelled in tournament play in Europe and then at the Portland Country Club where he won multiple club championships. He enjoys teaching his granddaughters the game today.
LaFountain carved out a great career at Winslow High School coaching football, wrestling and baseball between 1959-1968. In wrestling, LaFountain coached thirteen State Champions, two New England Champions, one Northern New England Champion and one Maine wrestler of the year, two Eastern Maine Team Championships and one State Runner-up. In football, Winslow won two State Championships in 1958 & 1960. In baseball, LaFountain coached multiple KVAC champions. LaFountain also officiated wrestling and basketball for many years and is an Inductee into the Maine Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Leclerc has rapidly climbed the ranks of USA Ice Hockey officials culminating in her assignment to officiate the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Leclerc began officiating as a teenager during her high school years at Cony and continued through college at the University of Maine and Utica. Leclerc is currently the State Referee in Chief for Maine, 1 of only a handful of women to hold that position in the country. She is an IIHF Licensed Linesman and has officiated multiple international tournaments including the Olympics, the World Championships, and the Olympic Qualifiers. She is an NCAA official for both men and women and has officiated at the Frozen Four & National Championships for women in 2015 and 2016. Leclerc also officiates both boys and girls high school hockey games throughout Maine, including State championship games.
A nationally renowned broadcaster, Martin’s voice is synonymous with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. Martin began his storied career in Millinocket with WMKR and spent many years in Bangor with WABI Radio and TV as a sports anchor and announcer. He moved to Charlotte in 1982 to become sports director at WBT-AM. Five years later, with the Hornets airing their games on WBT, Martin took on the role of radio play-by-play announcer, and he called the action for Charlotte’s NBA team on either radio or television every season until his retirement in 2018. In addition to his work with the Hornets, Martin spent more than 20 years calling college football and basketball games for Jefferson-Pilot and Raycom Sports. He was the NSSA (now NSMA) Sportscaster of the Year for the State of North Carolina in 1989, 1994 and 1997. He also earned that honor in Maine in 1980 while working at Bangor’s WABI.
Named the Head Athletic Trainer for the Detroit Tigers in 2003, Rand served in that role until he was promoted in 2018 to Senior Director, Medical Services. Based in Lakeland, FL, Rand oversees the athletic training efforts of the entire Tigers organization. Prior to joining Detroit, Rand was an Assistant Athletic Trainer with the Montreal Expos in 2002 and the Florida Marlins from 1993 to 2001. He served as the Head Athletic Trainer for the American League at the 2005 All-Star Game. In 2006, Rand was named as part of the PBATS Major League Athletic Training Staff of the Year. He represented the American League as an Athletic Trainer for the MLB All-Star Series in Japan in 2014. Rand was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.
After excelling in 3 sports at Greely HS, Storey matriculated at the University of Maine in 1979 and played varsity basketball for 2 years. Storey began writing for the Daily Campus, UMaine’s student newspaper, and graduated with a BA in Journalism serving as editor of the paper her senior year. She embarked on a career as a sportswriter with the Journal Tribune covering virtually every amateur and professional sport in southern Maine. Storey moved into golf management at Val Halla Golf Center and Biddeford-Saco Country Club, and in 1997, was tapped to serve as the Executive Director of the Maine State Golf Association. Storey is one of only 3 women nationwide currently heading a statewide men’s golf association and she has been recognized by the USGA for that distinction. Storey plans to retire at the end of the year and at that time will be the longest tenured golf association ED in New England. Storey was inducted into the Maine Golf Hall of Fame in 2017.
Timothy (Tim) P. Wilson:
With more than 50 years of experience in education, public service, and coaching, Wilson currently serves as Special Advisor to Seeds of Peace, an organization that he has been with since its founding in 1993, and Director of the Maine Seeds Program. Wilson was appointed by three Maine Governors to multiple posts in State government including Chair of the Maine Human Rights Commission and the State Ombudsman. Wilson began his outstanding Maine coaching career in both football and wrestling at Dexter High School where he won consecutive Class C football titles in 1969-70. He was named Eastern Maine High School Football Coach of the Year in 1969 and Maine High School Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1971. Wilson also served as Head Coach for the University of Maine wrestling team and freshman football team in 1972-3, and after many years in Maine State Government, returned to Dexter in 2006 for another 5 years as Head Football Coach. Wilson was inducted into the Maine Chapter of the National Football Hall of Fame and the Maine High School Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Partner in Purpose Award: TD Bank
The 1st Annual MSHOF Partner in Purpose award recognizes a corporation or foundation that has paid it forward to make “A Better Maine Through Sport!” TD Bank has many corporate partnerships with sports programs in Maine and New England including TD Beach to Beacon, Portland Sea Dogs, USA Biathlon, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, and TD Garden. Yet TD’s impact has gone far beyond financial investments as proud corporate partners of blue chip events, sports teams, and venues. TD’s management team and associates have made measurable impact to many Maine charities through active volunteerism and mentoring. At the heart and soul of every one of these partnerships is TD Bank’s commitment to cause and philanthropic programs truly making “A Better Maine Through Sport!