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Alumni named to athletic Hall of Fame

October 12, 2007

Anever say quit attitude, along with a strong will to win and determination are just some characteristics that current and former UW-River Falls athletes encompass. Every fall, the UWRF athletic department announces inductees into the hall of fame.

On Saturday, during halftime of the Homecoming football game, eight former athletes will be inducted into the UWRF Athletic Hall of Fame.

These athletes include: Aaron Arf (men’s hockey), Jennifer Pontius Alwin (track and field), Gary Eloranta (trainer), Amy Holm ( v o l l e y b a l l ) , Korey Knott (tennis), Adam Kowles (football), Cara Gustafson Rubis (volleyball) and Amy Stenson (softball).

Arf played hockey for the Falcons from 1993-96. He was a NCAA All- American in 1994 and 1996, and his team won the national championship in 1994, the UWRF Athletics Web site said.

“He was a tall and lanky offensive defenseman,” head hockey coach Steve Freeman said regarding Arf.

Arf is also the 17th all-time leading scorer on the men’s hockey team with 115 points.

Alwin, who graduated from Prescott High School in 1991, didn’t begin formal competitions in track and field until her sophomore year of college in 1992 and won the national championship in the discuss in 1996.

“I knew it was a possibility that I would be inducted into the hall of fame,” Alwin said. “But I was still pretty happy and shocked.”

Alwin credits her placement in the hall of fame to her national championship.

Eloranta has been the University’s athletic trainer since 1973, when he graduated. He has also spent time volunteering in the community as a volunteer fire fighter, the UWRF Athletics Web site said.

Holm played four years of volleyball for the Falcons, from 1993-1996. She also holds four different records including: all-time leading season games played (153), second all-time career games played (517), second all-time career assists (5,240) and fifth all-time career solo blocks (128), said the Athletics Web site.

Knott, a four-year tennis player at the University, still lives in town and owns M e l g a r d Monument in River Falls.

“I’m just happy, because playing tennis was a very important part of my time at UWRF,” Knott said. “I’m just happy to have contributed to the program.”

Kowles, a football player, played for the University from 1992-1996. “It’s really about the guys you played with,” Kowles said. “When it comes down to it, its all about the people.”

A majority of the people getting inducted S a t u r d a y played at River Falls around the same time and are being inducted in the first year that they’re eligible. Athletes must wait 10 years from their final season before being able to be even considered for the honor.

“It makes me wish I would have watched more stuff around here with all the talent we had around here,” Kowles said.

Kowles now teaches math at Hudson High School and is the head coach of the varsity football team there.

Rubis now works in the UWRF Student Affairs office and played volleyball the same time as fellow inductee, Holm.

“It’s definitely exciting,” Rubis said. “It’s exciting and nice to be part of. I was really surprised being inducted right after my 10- year waiting period.”

Rubis is tied with Holm in all-time games played, but first in solo blocks in a season with 43, according to the Web site.

Stenson was a Falcon pitcher for the women’s softball team from 1994-1997.

She was named to the allconference team for all four of her seasons in a Falcon uniform.

Those being inducted into the hall were informed via a letter from athletic Rick Bowen back in July.

Following the induction ceremony and the football game, there will be a reception in honor of the eight new inductees.

Arf, Eloranta, Holm and Stenson could not be reached for comment.

The Falcons play UW-Eau Claire on Saturday at Ramer Field at 1 p.m.