Vermont Sports Hall of Fame inductees include CVU alumna

By LAUREN READ

A former standout athlete at Champlain Valley Union High School and Middlebury College joins a dozen others headed to the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame this spring.

Freestyle skier Ann Battelle of Williston will be inducted into the Hall’s seventh class, it was announced last week at St. Michael’s College.

Another Vermont sports legend with Williston roots, longtime sportswriter Mal Boright, is also on the list of inductees.

After strong careers in both soccer and alpine skiing at Middlebury, Battelle went on to success as a mogul skier. She won two World Cup  championships, two U.S. national titles, and was a four-time Olympian.

Growing up at Williston Central School, Battelle learned to ski at Cochran Ski Area and Bolton Valley before going on to represent the Redhawks in soccer, gymnastics and softball. Battelle was named to the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2017.

Boright, who passed away in 2016, was a founding member of the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame and is this year’s David Hakins Inductee for exceptional promotion and development of sports in Vermont. The longtime sports scribe covered Vermont athletics for over 50 years.

“Mal was a delight as a person and professional as a journalist. In whatever capacity, as a sportswriter, as a play-by-play announcer, or as talk show host, Mal was incredibly knowledgeable,” said Ted Ryan, a member of the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors. “He took his roles seriously but never took himself too seriously. He could inform and entertain with a touch of whimsy and fun.”

Ryan said Boright will be remembered for his dedication to telling Vermont sports stories throughout his career.

“He delighted in telling the stories of athletes and coaches to his audience of the day and he was passionate about sports, most particularly high school athletics,” Ryan said. “As one of the founders of the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame, Mal was an incredible resource on Vermont sports going back to the 1950s. He was invaluable in helping the Hall establish its criteria for induction and in helping to guide the nomination and selection process.

“Mal is greatly missed in all his roles but especially as an exceptional fine person.”

In addition to Battelle and Boright, 11 other standout Vermont athletes are being inducted: State and NCAA hockey championship coach Bill Beaney; softball standout and pro baseball player Elizabeth Burnham; four-time Olympic Nordic skier Larry Damon; stock car driver Harmon “Beaver” Dragon; field hockey star Jenny Everett; football and track star Jeff Hughes; basketball legends Layne Higgs and Rich Tarrant; Olympic gold medalist snowboarder Ross Powers; record-setting state amateur golfer Holly Reynolds; and Olympic alpine skier Tiger Shaw.

The seventh Hall of Fame class will be officially inducted on April 13 at the 2019 Vermont Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Celebration at Trader Duke’s Hotel in South Burlington. For more information, go to vermontsportshall.com.

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