Rockland’s Bob Hillgrove to be inducted to Maine Sports Hall of Fame
CUMBERLAND — The Maine Sports Hall of Fame will induct 10 individuals in a ceremony at the Merrill Auditorium on October 29.
“I am very proud of our diversity in terms of geography and the variety of sports represented,” said board chairman Brian Corcoran. “It’s intriguing to learn the stories of those who are the best of the best in Maine athletics.”
The inductees include:
Bicyclist Susan Elias, a Readfield native. Elias was ranked number one in America, third in the world and finished fourth in the Tour de France, an event in which she competed three times. She won or was top American in many prestigious races and named VeloNews’ U. S. Woman Athlete of the Year. She was also a great track athlete at UMaine setting school records in the 880, 800-meter, 1500-meter and mile runs while contributing to records in three relays.
Runner Bob Hillgrove of Rockland dominated Maine’s roads in the 60’s and early 70’s winning a total of 503 events, including a remarkable 49 straight. He won every major race in Maine, including the Portland Boys Club eight times and the Bangor Labor-Day 5-Miler, including the inaugural, seven times. He won the Masters’ Division of the Bolder Boulder in front of a full stadium of 45,000 people.
Biz Houghton starred at Cape Elizabeth, dominated the Triple-C and was named all state. At Boston College, the 6’ 2” center became the Eagles’ leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker as a junior. She played professionally in Ireland leading Castledermot to the Irish National Cup. She has been central to the Maine Senior Women’s Basketball League for 20 years which includes a silver-medal performance at the National Senior Games.
David Hughes graduated from Yarmouth and the University of Southern Maine where he was captain of the sailing team twice at both schools. He is a two-time Olympian and a one-time Olympic coach. He is a four-time World Champion and multi-time winner of World Cup, North American and US National Sailing Championships. He is Vice President of the US Olympians & Paralympians Association.
Wrestler Ben McCrillis of Westbrook was a high school state champion. He went on to win 123 victories at American International where he was a four-time all-conference wrestler. He finished fourth, third, second and fourth at the NCAA East Regional Championships and qualified for the NCAA Championships three times. He won three national championships and was the AAU World Champion. He qualified for the 2008 Olympic Trials reaching the semi-finals.
Kim Moody of Gorham was a top road racer during the 1970’s and 1980’s and most accomplished as an ultra-runner. In 1983, she won the Chicago National Championship 50-miler, running the second fastest time ever by an American and third fastest in the world. She won the Casco Bay and Maine Coast Marathons multiple times and several Rowdy-50 Milers. She qualified for the Olympic Trials in the Marathon in 1984 and 1988.
Ninety-year-old Howard Paradis of Madawaska is known as much for building the sport of skiing as he is for his competitive teams. He led the effort to build Mt. Carmel near his home in Frenchville as well as the cross-country trails which became Four Seasons. In 35 years of coaching, Madawaska won 15 girls and 9 boys championships and produced 15 Maine Skimeisters.
Gabby Price was a great athlete and coach. A three-sport star at Bangor, he went on to play football at Maine. He was offensive coordinator at Bangor as they won two titles and then became head coaching winning two more. He would compile a record of 129-52 at Bangor. He then rebooted the Husson football program compiling a 72-45 record. The Eagles had four prefect ECFC seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances.
Will Sanborn of Standish is synonymous with St. Joesph’s Baseball. He played at Bonny Eagle and St. Joe’s where he still holds three records as a player. He became head coach in 1993 and enters his 31st season with 799 victories and 21 championships. He has been named Coach of the Year six times.
Mike Siviski has won 287 games at his alma mater Winslow High School. He was a three-sport athlete before heading to UMaine where he played football. He became an assistant coach at Thornton Academy for sixteen years before succeeding Tank Violette as the head coach at Winslow in 1985. Over the next 35 seasons, he would lead his teams to eleven regional and seven state titles. Three times the Raiders won titles back-to-back championships.
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