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The 50 Greatest Vermont Sports Figures

Sports Illustrated This list of the top 50 greatest 20th-century athletes originally appeared in the Dec. 27, 1999 issue of Sports Illustrated. Have someone to add to SI's list? Click here to submit your choices.

20th Century Top 50
Rank Profile
1 Andrea Mead Lawrence, Rutland
Won gold in slalom and giant slalom at 1952 Olympics, the only American to win two skiing golds at one Games.
2
Billy Kidd, Stowe
First U.S. man to win Olympic skiing medal, silver in slalom in 1964; won Alpine-combined gold in '70 world championships.
3
Bill Koch, Guilford
First American to win Olympic medal in cross-country skiing (silver in 30-km in 1976); won Nordic World Cup in '82.
4
John LeClair, St. Albans
All-ECAC at Vermont; Flyers wing became first U.S.-born player to score 50 goals in three straight NHL seasons.
5
Albert Gutterson, Springfield
In 1911 Vermont meet versus Maine, won three track and three field events, dashes to discus; won long jump at '12 Olympics.
6
Patty Sheehan, Middlebury
Clinched spot in LPGA Hall of Fame with 30th win in 1993; won three LPGA titles ('83, '84, '93), two U.S. Opens ('92, '94).
7
Larry Gardner, Enosburg Falls
Drove in winning run in Red Sox' 1912 World Series clincher over Giants; batted .289 with 1,931 hits from 1908 to '24.
8
Clarence DeMar, South Hero
Won Boston Marathon seven times between 1911 and '30; completed race 33 times.
9
Barbara Ann Cochran, Richmond
Two-time U.S. champ (slalom, giant slalom) won gold in 1972 Olympics; only American woman to win an Olympic Alpine gold from 1952 to '84.
10
Charles Adams, Newport
Millionaire merchant founded one of NHL's original six teams, the Bruins, in 1924; Adams Division named for him.
11
Ray Collins, Colchester
Pitched for Red Sox from 1909 to '15, going 84-62 with 2.51 ERA; 52-29 from 1912 to '14.
12
Ray Fisher, Middlebury
Ten-year career in the majors with Yanks and Reds; had 110-94 record, 2.82 ERA; was 18-11 with New York in 1915.
13
Marilyn Cochran, Richmond
Oldest sibling of U.S. Alpine skiing's first family; first American to win a World Cup title (1969 giant slalom).
14
Larry Damon, Burlington
First skier at Vermont to win an NCAA championship (1955 cross-country); four-time Olympian from '56 to '68.
15
Robert Cochran, Richmond
Brother of Cochran sisters; eighth in 1972 Olympic downhill; in '73 finished eighth in overall World Cup standings.
16
Hilary Engisch, Williston
Four-time world freestyle moguls champ in early to mid-1980s; at Vermont, set career mark for soccer goals scored.
17
Nicole Levesque, Shaftsbury
Sting guard, only Vermonter to play in WNBA; scored 1,663 points in four years at Wake Forest; two-time All-ACC.
18
Laura Wilson, Montpelier
Won a record four individual NCAA Nordic titles at Vermont (two in 1990, two in '91); three-time Olympian.
19
Jeff Hughes, Burlington
Punter for 1970 and '71 Nebraska national champions; holds state high school 100-yard dash mark (9.8).
20
Bob Mitchell, Bridport
Little All-America halfback at Vermont in 1966, rushed for 1,207 yards; set NCAA record with 31.1 carries per game.
21
Jade Huntington, Bradford
Set state high school basketball record with 2,114 career points; standout guard at Vanderbilt from 1988 to '92.
22
Jean Dubuc, St. Johnsbury
Pitched in majors for four teams from 1908 to '19; went 84-76 with 3.04 ERA.
23
Lindy Cochran, Richmond
Fourth sibling in Cochran family; U.S. ski team member from 1971 to '78; sixth in the slalom at '76 Olympics.
24
Jeff Hastings, Norwich
Finished fourth in Olympic 90-meter ski jump in 1984; won World Cup meet in '84 and four U.S. jumping titles.
25
Larry Killick, Burlington
Scored 309 points for Vermont's 1946-47 basketball team, which finished 19-3; drafted by Baltimore Bullets.
26
John Teague, Norwich
In 1980 Vermont All-America became first skier in NCAA history to go unbeaten for a season, in the giant slalom.
27
Suzy Chaffee, Rutland
U.S. Alpine team member from 1965 to '68; raced in downhill and slalom at '68 Olympics.
28
Carl Christensen, Essex Junction
Soccer All-America at Vermont in 1976; played with Dallas Tornado and San Jose Earthquakes of NASL.
29
Felix McGrath, Norwich
U.S. ski team member from 1982 to '91; four-time national slalom champ; third in '88 World Cup slalom.
30
Gale (Tiger) Shaw, Stowe
Competed in giant slalom and Super G at 1988 Olympics; won three straight slaloms in North American Championship Series.
31
Dave Jareckie, Bennington
U.S. biathlon champion in 1993; competed in 1992 and '94 Olympics.
32
Ernie Johnson, Brattleboro
Went 40-23 in nine years on mound for Braves and Orioles; was 7-3 for 1957 world champion Milwaukee; longtime sportscaster.
33
Rick Chaffee, Rutland
Brother of Suzy; member of U.S. Alpine team from 1965 to '72; competed in slalom in '68 and '72 Olympics.
34
Ann Battelle, Williston
Middlebury College Alpine skier won 1999 World Cup gold medal in moguls skiing; competed in '98 Olympics.
35
Judi St. Hilaire, Lyndonville
Won 1980 AAU 3,000-meter title; set U.S. 5K road-race mark; seventh in '91 world championships 3,000.
36
Ralph LaPointe, Winooski
Two-time All-New England halfback in football at Vermont; hit .308 in 56 games with Phillies in 1947.
37
Jim McCaffrey, Rutland
Two-time All-MAAC guard at Holy Cross; 1986 MAAC Tournament MVP; scored 1,178 points for Crusaders.
38
Mike Evelti, Burlington
Honorable mention Division l All-America basketball forward; scored 1,697 points for Vermont from 1978 to '82.
39
Sean Keenan, Rutland
Quarterback set Williams College career records for completions, attempts, yards and touchdowns in 1999.
40
Jennifer Niebling, Randolph
Led Vermont women's basketball team that won NCAA-record 53 straight from 1991 to '93; scored 1,435 points.
41
Erin Sullivan, Jericho
Won back-to-back national girls' high school cross-country titles at Mount Mansfield Union High in 1997 and '98.
42
Scott Oliaro, Williston
Played running back for Cornell from 1989 to '91; ran for Big Red-record 288 yards versus Yale in '90.
43
Todd Rundle, Essex Junction
Three-time All-Yankee Conference linebacker at UMass, in 1985, '86 and '87.
44
Bart Farley, Hinesburg
Vermont soccer goalie was All-America in 1978; set Catamounts marks for shutouts and goals-against average.
45
Steve Shirreffs, Norwich
Two-time All-ECAC defenseman led Princeton hockey team to first NCAA tournament berth, in 1998.
46
Kevin Lepage, Shelburne
First Vermonter to compete on the Winston Cup circuit; qualified for 27 of 33 races as rookie in 1998.
47
Deb Blumen, Shelburne
Defensive back for New Hampshire field hockey team from 1988 to '90; won gold medal at '90 Olympic Festival.
48
Keith Cieplicki, Burlington
Rice Memorial High guard one of six Vermonters to score more than 2,000 points in basketball; became William & Mary's second alltime leading scorer in 1985.
49
John Burchard, Burlington
Division III honorable mention All-America in football in 1980 and lacrosse in '81 at Middlebury College.
50
Jake Burton, Burlington
Godfather of snowboarding; perfected the modern snowboard and is credited with launching the sport.

Photograph by SI Picture Collection


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