CVU grad, ski legend makes Vermont Sports Hall of Fame

Hillary Engisch-Klein, a Champlain Valley Union High School graduate, was among 11 Vermont athletes named as inductees to the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame during an announcement on Tuesday at Saint Michael’s College.

Engisch-Klein, a native of Williston, was “the dominant force in emerging sport of women’s mogul skiing” according to press release from the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame.

Engisch-Klein was a four-time overall World Cup champion and won 35 events over her skiing career. Prior to skiing, she played soccer at the University of Vermont, where she set scoring records, and at CVU.

As a college student, Engisch-Klein won her first World Cup event in British Columbia, launching a career in which she dominated the World Cup mogul series in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

By the time she retired, she had 35 World Cup victories in a five-year span. Ski magazine called her “the greatest female mogul skier alive.” Engisch-Klein’s career ended before the sport became an Olympic Winter Games event.

The 1980 UVM graduate is in both the UVM and Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum’s halls of fame.

Other inductees named Tuesday are: four-time Olympic cross-country skier Tim Caldwell; stock car driver Robbie Crouch; legendary St. Johnsbury Academy track and field coach Ray Frey; collegiate and high school basketball standouts Matt Johnson, Larry Killick and Jen Niebling; longtime Essex High coach/athletic director Melba Masse, a pioneer in girls sports in Vermont; UVM football great Bobby Mitchell; sportswriter David Morse; and UVM/NHL hockey great Martin St. Louis.

They will be honored April 21 at a celebration in South Burlington.

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