Utah Athletics Corridor of Fame Class of 2022 Inducted Friday Night

September 10, 2022

Utah Athletics enshrined its newest class into the Corridor of Fame on Friday night on the Rice-Eccles Stadium & Tower. The 2022 Utah Athletics Corridor of Fame class is comprised of eight former athletes.

Honored on Friday night time had been Christl Hager (snowboarding), Heidi Hausknecht (ladies’s swimming), Chris Kemoeatu (soccer), Carla Pittelkow (cross nation/observe & subject), Mitch Smith (males’s basketball), Shona Thorburn (ladies’s basketball), Melissa Vituj (gymnastics), and Eric Weddle (soccer). The category may also be acknowledged in the course of the Utah-Southern Utah soccer recreation on Saturday afternoon.

“This night is all the time one of many highlights of the 12 months for us,” stated Utah Athletics Director Mark Harlan. “It’s a night time to attach with our previous and to have a good time the beginning of a brand new 12 months. To all of our inductees, congratulations. You’re among the many finest there ever was and the perfect there ever might be within the historical past of Utah Athletics. A particular salute to all of our ladies inductees. That is the 50 anniversary of Title IX. I feel we perceive that it was a bit of completely different again then however you saved on combating. So many wonderful ladies have come right here and thrived, and we’re proud to have a few of them going into the Corridor of Fame tonight.”


Christl Hager – Snowboarding

One of the vital dominant down-hillers in NCAA historical past, Christl Hager turned Utah’s solely three-time nationwide champion skier within the mid-Nineteen Nineties and led the Utes to a pair of nationwide titles.

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Hager joined the U.S. Staff at age 14, however after a collection of accidents she was pressured to surrender on her dream of competing within the Olympics and turned her focus to snowboarding collegiately.

Hager joined the Utes in 1994, profitable the primary of her three large slalom titles as a rookie. The next 12 months, Hager gained one other gold medal within the large slalom and captured the primary of her three second-place finishes within the slalom on the NCAA Championships. She additionally positioned third within the GS on the 1995 U.S. Nationwide Championships. Hager capped off her profession by profitable one other NCAA large slalom title in 1997. She gained or shared Utah’s Toril Forland Ladies’s Excellent Skier Award all 4 years of her profession.


Heidi Hausknecht – Ladies’s Swimming

A two-time Mountain West Convention champion and Utah’s first All-American in ladies’s swimming, Heidi Hausknecht left an indelible mark throughout her profession with the Utes.

She started her school profession at Hawaii and competed in three occasions on the NCAA Championships as a freshman. Hausknecht then determined to come back again dwelling and took second within the 100 fly, fourth within the 50 free and ninth within the 100 free on the 1999 WAC Championships. She positioned eighth within the 100 fly on the NCAA Championships to change into an All-American.

Hausknecht gained a pair of Mountain West Convention titles within the 50 free and 100 butterfly. She superior to NCAAs for the second straight 12 months, inserting twenty second within the 100 butterfly. Throughout her Utah profession, Hausknecht set seven college information, together with particular person marks within the 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly, in addition to the 200 and 400 free relays and the 200 and 400 medley relays.


Chris Kemoeatu – Soccer

A primary crew All-American in 2004, lineman Chris Kemoeatu paved the best way for a record-setting Ute offense in the course of the undefeated Fiesta Bowl season earlier than enjoying in a pair of Tremendous Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He turned a starter at left guard in 2002, incomes honorable point out All-Mountain West Convention. Kemoeatu was having a primary crew all-conference caliber season in 2003 earlier than he missed 4 video games. However he got here again in 2004 to have a dominant senior 12 months.

As a starter at proper guard, Kemoeatu averaged 68 snaps a recreation and had a team-best 81 knockdowns. Kemoeatu was named First Staff All-Mountain West Convention and First Staff All-America by two retailers. The Pittsburgh Steelers chosen Kemoeatu within the sixth spherical of the 2005 NFL Draft. He was a starter on the Steelers’ 2008 crew that gained the Tremendous Bowl. He made one other Tremendous Bowl look with Pittsburgh two years later.


Carla Pittelkow – Cross Nation/Observe & Area

A four-time All-American distance runner in the course of the early days of ladies’s athletics, Carla Pittelkow helped lead the Utah cross nation crew to the 1981 AIAW Division II Nationwide Championship.

Pittelkow acquired her school profession off to a quick begin in 1980, taking third on the cross nation regionals and incomes All-America honors at nationals. The next 12 months, she took seventh on the nationwide meet, serving to Utah seize the 1981 AIAW Division II Championship.

She had an excellent observe & subject season in 1982. She positioned sixth on the indoor nationals and gained the outside regional title within the 800 meters. On the AIAW Nationwide Championships, she earned All-America honors in two occasions, inserting third within the 1,500 meters and second within the 3,000 meters. A collection of accidents restricted the previous couple of years of her school profession, however she nonetheless managed to put seventh on the 1984 NCAA Cross Nation Regionals.


Mitch Smith – Males’s Basketball

A 3-time All-Western Athletic Convention ahead for the Runnin’ Utes within the late Nineteen Eighties, Mitch Smith was Utah’s prime rebounder and prime shot blocker all 4 years of his school profession, and led the crew in scoring the final three years.

Smith averaged 7.6 rebounds a recreation his freshman season as Utah tied for the 1986 WAC title and superior to the NCAA Event. As a sophomore, he had his finest offensive 12 months whereas averaging 16.8 factors per recreation. As a senior in 1988-89, Smith recorded 55 blocked pictures, the seventh-most in a season in class historical past.

On the profession charts, Smith stays tenth with 1,628 factors, fourth with 1,026 rebounds, third with 157 blocked pictures, seventh with 134 steals, and eighth with 418 free throws made. He’s one in all simply 4 Ute gamers all-time to achieve 1,000 factors and 1,000 rebounds. As soon as his school profession got here to an in depth, Smith launched into a decade-long skilled profession in Spain, Turkey and Belgium.


Shona Thorburn – Ladies’s Basketball

A two-time All-American and first-team all-conference level guard, Shona Thorburn was the ground common for Utah’s run to the NCAA Elite Eight in 2006.

Thorburn earned second-team All-Mountain West Convention honors as a redshirt freshman and sophomore. As a junior. She averaged 14.9 factors and ranked sixth within the nation with 6.5 assists per recreation that season. Full Courtroom Press positioned her on its All-America Third Staff, and he or she shared Mountain West Convention Participant of the 12 months honors. Her senior 12 months in 2006, Thorburn ranked second within the nation with 7.1 assists per recreation, earned honorable point out All-America honors and made the All-Mountain West first crew for the second straight 12 months.

She completed her profession ranked sixth in Utah historical past with 1,735 factors, first with 689 assists, and fourth with 203 steals. She was the No. 7 general decide within the 2006 WNBA Draft, spending two years within the league. She went on to play professionally abroad and was a member of the Canadian Nationwide Staff.


Melissa Vituj – Gymnastics

An 11-time All-American gymnast, Melissa Vituj achieved 4 top-10 finishes on the NCAA Championships and led the Pink Rocks to the Tremendous Six all 4 years of her profession.

Vituj had an excellent debut season in 2001, inserting third on beam and eighth on ground on the NCAA Championships. She was additionally a second crew All-American on vault. After ending 14th on ground and incomes second crew All-American on beam and vault as a sophomore, she positioned ninth on ground as a junior and was named the North Central Gymnast of the 12 months.

As a senior, she gained the South Area all-around and beam titles. On the NCAA Championships, she positioned third on ground, seventh within the all-around, and captured second crew All-America honors on beam on the NCAA Championships. She was additionally one in all 4 nominees for the Honda Broderick Award, honoring the nation’s prime feminine gymnast, and earned third crew Educational All-America honors.


Eric Weddle – Soccer

One of the vital versatile school soccer gamers of all time, Eric Weddle was honored as a Consensus All-American in 2006 earlier than changing into an All-Professional security and a Tremendous Bowl champion within the NFL.

Weddle earned first-team Freshman All-America honors in 2003 and performed a key function on Utah’s undefeated Fiesta Bowl crew in 2004. In every of the following two seasons, Weddle was voted the Mountain West Convention Defensive Participant of the 12 months. He led the league with seven interceptions as a senior, returning two of these picks for touchdowns. Weddle scored eight touchdowns in the course of the 2006 season with 5 of these coming as a ball provider. He additionally handed for a rating. Weddle was named a First Staff All-America defensive again by the AFCA and The Sporting Information, and was a Second Staff All-American by to different retailers. He completed his profession with 18 interceptions, rating second in class historical past.

Weddle was chosen within the second spherical of the 2007 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, going because the No. 37 general decide. In his 14-year NFL profession, Weddle was a six-time Professional Bowl choice. After initially retiring following the 2019 season, Weddle got here again to affix a short-handed Los Angeles Rams crew for his or her playoff run in January of 2022 and led them to a Tremendous Bowl victory.