Sports

Menlo College announces its 2019 Hall of Fame class

 

Menlo College Athletics announced its 2019 Hall of Fame Class, which is set to be inducted on Friday, October 18th in conjunction with the weekend's OAKtoberFest Families and Alumni Weekend. The class includes seven Menlo Athletics greats: Barbara Pavlick (Finger) (Women's Tennis), Sara Bahoura (Fulp-Allen) (Women's Wrestling), Tom Utman (Baseball), James Guizar (Men's Wrestling), Ki'ilani Spencer- Vasconcellos (Women's Basketball), Howard Dallmar (Men's Basketball), and Ja'Net Lawrence (Women's Soccer).

A number of firsts and family lineage fill this year's class. Sara Bahoura (Fulp-Allen) enters as the first women's wrestler ever inducted into the Hall of Fame. James Guizar was Menlo's first ever men's wrestling National Champion and Ja'Net Lawrence was the first women's soccer player to ever earn All-American status and is the first women's soccer player to be inducted. Additionally, two members of the class are the second in their family to achieve this honor as Howard Dallmar joins his father, who was played Basketball and Baseball and graduated in 1941 and Barbara Pavlick (Finger), who joins her father Bud Finger, who played Football and Golf and graduated in 1939.

Barbara Pavlick (Finger)

Barbara Pavlick (Finger) put together two of the most successful seasons in women's tennis history in 1979 and 1980. In 1979, she helped Menlo win the Coast Conference team title with an undefeated record – the only team at Menlo to win the conference that season. They would go on to win the California State Division II State Championship that same year and Pavlick took home two titles – the California State Division II Singles Championship and the Division II Doubles Championship with her partner Jill Matson. In 1980, she was the California State Singles runner-up.

"I was totally shocked. It was an unexpected gift," said Pavlick upon receiving the Hall of Fame news. "I had just visited the Menlo campus and walked out to both sets of tennis courts. I toured the newer courts looking at the signs depicting the years and titles won. I remember thinking 'well, they don't go back as far as when I was here – darn it!' Then the next week, Keith [Spataro contacted me!"

In addition to her on-court successes at Menlo, she was a member of the Phi Sigma Scholastic Honorary Society, volunteered with the Special Olympics, was the winner of the F. Philler Curtis Award, won the English Department Outstanding Performance Award and graduated with a 3.89 GPA.

"Menlo was perfect for me at the time," said Pavlick. "Our family had just suffered a tragedy with my sister passing and in my heart of hearts, I knew I needed to be close to home. Menlo was always tradition – both my father and brother attended Menlo. I was offered a scholarship and the opportunity to play tennis and I was able to experience college and live in the dorms while staying close to home. It was truly a perfect fit."

Barbara is the daughter of Bud and Bobby Finger. Bud is a Menlo College Hall of Fame athlete, who went on to Stanford where he was a member of two national championship golf teams. He eventually became the head professional and coach at Stanford and is a member of the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame and the Stanford Hall of Fame.

Sara Bahoura (Fulp-Allen)

Sara Bahoura (Fulp-Allen) ('07) has cemented her legacy in the wrestling world as both a competitor and an ambassador for the sport. In four seasons on the mats at Menlo, Sara put together one of the most successful careers of any women's wrestler in team history. She came to Menlo as a freshman under legendary head coach and her father, Lee Allen, in just the third season of existence for the program. She brought with her a trio of California Girls' State Championships and she carried that winning pedigree to the collegiate level. Her time on the mats at Menlo from 2003-04 to 2006-07 saw her win the first WCWA Individual National Championships in school history. She would go on to win three WCWA National Championships during her time as an Oak and was a three-year team captain and the 2007 co-Female Athlete of the Year at Menlo. She was the first three-time collegiate national champion in U.S. history.

"My time at Menlo College were some of the best years of my life," said Bahoura. "I loved being a part of a women's team; traveling and training together. Women's college wrestling was still in the early growth stages at that point, but despite low numbers and less college based events, the camaraderie and friendship has lasted well beyond my collegiate years."

In addition to her successes at Menlo College, Sara also made a name for herself on the national scene, both during and after her time as an Oak. She was one spot away from representing the United State in the Olympics twice in her career, placing third at the Olympic Team Trials in 2004 and 2008. She also was a 2005 US National Champion, placed silver at the 2005 Junior Worlds and Bronze at the 2005 University Games. In 2008 she was the Dave Schultz Champion and won Silver at the University Worlds. From 2007-12 she was a resident at the Olympic Training Center and was a seven-time member of the US National Team.

"I was very surprised and honored when Keith [Spataro called me about the nomination into the Menlo College Hall of Fame," said Sara. "I did not expect this, and I am very excited to become the first inductee for women's wrestling."

Off the mats, she continues to serve as an ambassador for the sport, following the framework set by her father Lee and mother Joan Fulp. Currently, she is the State Women's Director for the Virginia Wrestling Association (VAWA) – a branch of USA Wrestling – where she has created a women's club for the state.

In 2013 she was inducted into the Half Moon Bay High School Hall of Fame and in 2015 she was inducted into the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame.

Tom Utman

Tom Utman ('68) joins a stellar cast of players from the 1967 & 1968 Oaks in the Menlo College Athletics Hall of Fame. As a slick fielding shortstop with a rocket arm, Utman was the captain of the 1968 squad where he hit .340 and was named 2nd team All-Coast Conference for his efforts. He played every inning of every game in his two seasons as an Oak

"I couldn't believe I received a call from Keith [Spataro telling me I was voted into the Menlo Athletics Hall of Fame," said Utman. "The honor of being recognized for a sport I played over 50 years ago is amazing; I certainly did not expect this recognition."

Prior to Menlo, Utman attended nearby Burlingame High School where he was the captain of his baseball team. He cited having a bit too much fun, being a great athlete, the President of the Senior Class and "looking cool in my 1966 TR-4 Triumph" as the precursors to his time at Menlo. Menlo proved to be just what he needed.

"Menlo was the perfect fit for me. It guided me and taught me how to be more responsible, better interact with my friends and instructors while having to make decisions on my own. Menlo came into my life at the perfect time," he said.

Utman was a member of the '67 and '68 teams which included Hall of Fame members Bill Ochs (Class of 2017), Mike Bettega (Class of 2014) and Bill LeBlanc (Class of 2014). Following his time as an Oak, Utman was drafted in the 34th round of the 1968 Major League Baseball draft by the California Angels. At the same time, he was being heavily recruited by legendary USC Head Coach Rod Dedeaux. Utman elected to take his talents to Southern California where he was to be the shortstop for the Trojans. He played his junior season for Coach Dedeaux but, in the fall of his senior year, he tore ligaments in his knee, effectively ending his baseball career. His teammates at USC were a who's-who of professional players including the likes of: Jim Barr, Steve Busby, Dave Kingman and Bill Lee.

Utman and his wife, Susan, met at USC and have been married for 48 years. They have two children, Jennifer and Mark, and two grandchildren, Talia and Elle.

Tom was quick to thank his parents for their help in discovering Menlo and four classmates who were a part of this honor: Howard Erenberg, Larry Baugh, Mike Bettega and Bill Le Blanc.

"Without these four teammates, I would not have been considered," said Utman. "These four encouraged me to come back to an alumni baseball game, to attend a fundraiser for the team, and they researched and submitted my information to the Menlo Athletics Hall of Fame Committee. Thank you to all of them!"

James Guizar

James Guizar is one of the most decorated wrestlers in Menlo College Wrestling history and he was a cornerstone on which the program was built upon. Guizar joined the Oaks as a transfer from Palomar College for the program's inaugural season in 2001-02 and promptly became the first National Champion in program history. In total Guizar won a pair of 141 pound titles (2002, 2004) and helped the team to a second place finish in 2004 which still stands as the best team finish in program history. Guizar who was recruited by then head coach Keith Spataro was excited to receive the call from his former coach.

"I'm very honored and happy, although my friends can say otherwise being that they have never seen me get excited for much," said a humble Guizar. "While I don't like the idea of being recognized for things I've done, I'm still very honored."

Success has always followed Guizar. In high school, he was the 1998 California State Champion at Imperial High School. From there, he moved on to Palomar College where he was twice a Junior College State Champion. He was recruited to Menlo by Coach Spataro and won the aforementioned NAIA National Titles in 2002 and 2004.

"Keith Spataro spoke to me after my state tournament in junior college. I found from all of the coaches that reached out to me, Keith was very genuine. He understood how crazy I was and I felt that I could be myself around him. To this day, I don't think I could ever thank him enough for taking a chance on me."

That chance led to a Hall of Fame worthy wrestling career, a successful professional career, and even to his wife, whom he met in his first year at Menlo in 2001.

As it stands, Guizar still holds a place in a number of categories in the Menlo Wrestling record book including: tied for seventh in wins with 50, sixth in takedowns with 186 and tied for fifth in tournament wins with 37.

"Thanks to my father, Joe, for always pushing me in every sport – I always wanted to make him proud. To my brother David, Joe, John and Adam for being tough on me at a young age. To everyone who believed in him and to all of his coaches over the years who gave him different styles in the sport of wrestling."

Ki'ilani Spencer-Vasconcellos

Ki'ilani Spencer-Vasconcellos' put together a pair of remarkable, record-breaking seasons for Menlo College Women's Basketball from 2002-04. Her path to Menlo College Women's Basketball and then Head Coach Caitlin Collier's squad was non-traditional. A Honolulu, Hawaii native, Spencer-Vasconcellos was the High School Player of the Year for state champion Punahou in 1997, leading her to University of Hawaii to play basketball. Leg injuries derailed her career and she eventually left the Hawaii campus in 1999. After taking some time away from basketball, then freshman on the team and fellow Honolulu native, Shannon Riley, brought Ki'ilani's name up to Coach Collier. Spencer-Vasconcellos' phone rang (and rang) and in the spring semester of the 2002-03 season, she was officially enrolled at Menlo College and joined the team. The team went 10-7 with her on the floor, after going 1-8 to begin the year without her.

Her senior season in 2003-04 was one of the best single-seasons in Menlo Women's Basketball history. She helped Menlo to a 14-13 overall record and 9-7 mark in Cal Pac play. Ki'ilani averaged a then Menlo record 16.3 points per game shooting 44% from the field and knocked down a team-leading 59 threes. When the season ended she scored a team-best 407 points and added 42 steals and 77 assists.

"I thought Coach Spataro might be having a mild stroke for a second," joked Spencer-Vasconcellos about the phone call she received telling her she was set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. "To find specific words I could say: disbelief, shock, and much appreciation choke mahalo, me ka ha'aha'a (with humility)," she finished.

For her efforts during the 2003-04 seasons, she eared honors as the Cal Pac's MVP and a third-team All-American – the first women's basketball All-American in program history.

To this day, she still holds a number of women's basketball records including: 3rd in career points per game (15.5), 10th in career three pointers made (78), tied for 7th in single season points per game (16.3 – 2003-04), and 7th in three pointers made in a season (59 – 2003-04)

Howard Dallmar

The Dallmar name is synonymous with Bay Area Basketball and now will be featured for the second time in the Menlo College Athletics Hall of Fame. Howard Dallmar Jr. ('74) joins his father Howard Dallmar Sr. ('41) in the Hall of Fame thanks to a remarkable two-year stint on the hardwood under legendary Head Coach Bud Presley in 1972-73 and 1973-74. Dallmar helped the Oaks to back-to-back Coast Conference Championships in 1973 and 1974 and led them to a State Junior College title in 1974.

"I was genuinely surprised and very proud to be selected to be a member of the Menlo College Athletics Hall of Fame," said Dallmar. "It is especially gratifying because my father was also inducted into the Hall of Fame years ago and I get to join him in this prestigious group."

The elder Dallmar graduated from Menlo in 1941 and went on to help Stanford win its last NCAA Men's Basketball Championship in 1942. Dallmar Jr. also continued his playing career post-Menlo, playing a pair of seasons at Pepperdine University where he helped the team to a league title in 1976 and an NCAA tournament berth.

The two seasons he played at Menlo were record-breaking and impressive. The Oaks went 22-5 and 9-1 in the Coast Conference in 1972-73. They followed that up with an historic season in 1973-74. One that featured a 26-2 overall record, a Coast Conference title, a State Junior College Championship and an unparalleled 27-game winning streak – a record which still stands to this day.

The Oaks won their 24th consecutive game with a big win over North Peralta thanks to a career-best 29-point, 16 rebound effort from Dallmar. The next game, the Oaks made it 25-straight over Ohlone College and he added 16 points to lead all Menlo scorers. He was named All-Conference and All-State following his Sophomore season.

Following his time at Pepperdine, he continued to play basketball professionally from 1976-79 with stops in Geneva, Switzerland and Melbourne, Australia.

Menlo College was a great fit for Dallmar. One he cites as "the best experience of his college life" and the student-athlete experience was the reason.

"I choose Menlo College for two reasons. First, I was interested in playing basketball in College and Menlo had just hired legendary coach Bud Presley. I wanted to play for him and his aggressive style of basketball. Second, Menlo had an excellent business curriculum with small class sizes and engaging professors. Menlo was the perfect choice for me," said Dallmar.

Dallmar is currently a member of the Menlo College Board of Trustees, a role he has been in since October, 2010.

Ja'Net Lawrence

Ja'Net Lawrence brought a host of firsts to the Menlo College Women's Soccer program and continues to do so. Lawrence played a trio of seasons for the Oaks from 2003-05 and left her mark by becoming the first All-American in program history. That's not all, in 2005, she helped Menlo to a 13-5-1 overall record and 6-0 mark in conference play, good for the first conference title in program history. Now, she can boast that she is the first women's soccer play ever to be inducted into the Menlo College Athletics Hall of Fame.

"All the glory belongs to God who made me with the ability to play soccer," said Lawrence. "I am very humbled to know other thought of inducting me this year."

In 2004, under third-year head coach Owen Flannery, the Oaks went 13-7-1 – then good for the most wins in a season. In 2005, the Oaks matched that mark but increased the winning percentage with a 13-5-1 overall record and a conference title, outscoring opponents 62-20. Lawrence won Cal-Pac, Regional and NAIA Honorable Mention All-American honors that season.

Lawrence, an East Palo Alto native, cites three reasons for choosing Menlo College.

"One my family could watch me play the rest of my college soccer career instead of moving out of state again. Two, I was open to helping coach Owen Flannery build a legacy at Menlo college for women's soccer. I love the story of becoming a fighting underdog and raising to the top. Last but not least I didn't feel like I was just a number, Menlo college was small enough to hold me accountable for everything in my life. We were a family and we looked out for each other."

Over the course of her three seasons on the field, Lawrence helped the Oaks to 32 wins in three season. Making it more remarkable is the fact that the two seasons prior to her joining the team, they had gone 0-28.

"My fondest memories include being on an improving soccer team each season," she said. "I had the privilege of watching my teammates develop as individual players and we got better as a team because of the hard work. Off the field, I made lifelong friendships with teammates and have lifelong relationships with teachers and staff at Menlo."

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Menlo Athletics

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