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Nov. 7, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Former Nittany Lion standout and Olympic gold medalist Horace Ashenfelter III will be inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Thursday, Nov. 8 during an induction ceremony at Philadelphia's Sheraton Society Hill Hotel. Ashenfelter's decorated career included a victory in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 1952 Olympic Summer Games in Helsinki, Finland.
"We are very proud of the extremely impressive achievements of Mr. Ashenfelter and his brothers in truly the heyday of our sport," said Beth Alford-Sullivan, Penn State's director and head coach of track and field/cross country. "Horace and his lovely wife, Lillian, have continued to support our program throughout the years, and it's been a true honor to get to know him and his family. I'm very happy that he is being honored as an inductee into the Philadelphia Hall of Fame."
As a collegiate, Ashenfelter claimed a bevy of individual national and ICAAAA titles, highlighted by a winning effort in the two-mile run at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 1949. Ashenfelter, a resident of Glen Ridge, N.J., won a combined total of eight Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) championships across three different events, winning titles in the 10,000-meters, steeplechase and cross country. He was also the recipient of the prestigious "Sullivan Award" - awarded to the nation's most outstanding amateur athlete - in 1952.
Ashenfelter, who served in World War II before attending Penn State and also worked for many years as an FBI agent, remains the only American to hold the world record in the steeplechase, which he set at 8:45.40 at the 1952 Games. He has been inducted into a number of Hall of Fames over the years, including the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1975 and the New Jersey Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
Ashenfelter, the namesake of the Ashenfelter Indoor Track facility, stands among a stellar class of inductees, including former Philadelphia Flyers superstar Eric Lindros, as well as decorated Major League Baseball player and Phoenixville, Pa., native, Mike Piazza.
For more on the event, log on to PhillyHall.org..