Tigers celebrate 2024 inductees into Dalhousie Sport Hall of Fame

- May 9, 2024

The 1996 Baseball team were inducted on Wednesday night.
The 1996 Baseball team were inducted on Wednesday night.

The Tigers celebrated the latest additions to the Dalhousie Sport Hall of Fame Wednesday night at a re-imagined event in the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

This year’s group of inductees includes Robert Book, Paula Peters James, Tara MacIntyre Olesen, the 1996 baseball team and the 1972 and 1973 golf teams.

This year’s event began with a cocktail reception in the Sculpture Garden of the Arts Centre followed by the official ceremony in the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. Guests then kicked their heels up at the Grawood in the Student Union Building at the after-party.

“Tonight is all about honouring and celebrating excellence of those who have significantly contributed to our institution and beyond through sport,” said Tim Maloney, Dal's executive director of athletics and recreation. “Our history of excellence both athletically and academically at Dalhousie goes back decades and tonight’s event is an important one on our calendar to properly recognize and celebrate those who have contributed to that excellence.”

Hosted by Bruce Rainne, the evening kicked off with the presentation of this year’s A.J. Sandy Young Award to Diane MacKenzie and Adam Sarty, two pillars in the local swimming community.

A.J. Sandy Young Award recipients 

The Dalhousie A.J. “Sandy” Young Award for great contribution to Nova Scotia sports was conceived by Dr. Sandy Young, professor of sport history in the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie.

Diane MacKenzie and Adam Sarty

Diane MacKenzie and Adam Sarty are pillars of the Halifax swimming scene, continuing to give back and volunteer their time at meets at a range of levels.

Sarty and MacKenzie's volunteer careers started with the Bedford Beavers swim team and their daughters, Julia and Isabel, kicking off their swim careers. They started their officiating careers with the Bedford Beavers and moved on to support the Halifax Trojans and the Dalhousie Tigers as Julia and Isabel progressed in their swimming careers. In 2014 Diane started to advance beyond the local area to the national level in officiating. She has been on the deck for Canadian trials for the Commonwealth, World Championship and Olympic games selection meets. In January 2024, Diane was one of three referees from Canada nominated to the Pan Am Aquatics List #5.

Although Julia and Isabel have closed their illustrious careers in the Dalplex pool, you can still find Diane and Adam at Swim Nova Scotia and Atlantic University Sport meets — Adam in the “perch” running the electronic timing system and Diane on the deck as a referee. The enjoyment of watching swimmers reach their goals of best times, compete in their first events, and hitting standards are highlights that keep them coming back

2024 Dalhousie Sport Hall of Fame Class

You can find the full list of members of the Dalhousie Sport Hall of Fame on the Dalhousie Tigers website. 

Paula Peters James

Paula Peters James is as accomplished of a runner you can find in the history of Canadian university sport.

The Lower Sackville, N.S. native impressed everyone in the nation in her first season at Dal. In the 1992-93 season, James won three AUAA (now AUS) gold medals, a CIAU (now U SPORTS) bronze medal in the 600m race and a CIAU silver medal in the 4x800m relay. She was the AUAA Rookie of the Year for her accomplishments and made second-team all-Canadian.

In her second season with the Tigers, James successfully defended her gold medal in the 600m at the AUAA championship along with her fellow Tigers, retained the 4x400m and the 4x800m gold medals. At the national level that year she repeated as the bronze medallist in the 600m and was a member of the team that repeated as silver medallists in the 4x800m.

In the 1994-95 season, James built on the previous year’s success, winning three AUAA gold medals and a silver medal in the 4x400m relay at nationals. James won her first national gold medal in the 600m this year.

In her final year, James won two gold medals at the 1995-96 nationals in the 4x400m relay and 600m. Once again, a first team all-Canadian, James was named the AUAA Athlete of the Year and was a finalist for the Canadian University Athlete of the Year to cap off her career at Dal. James graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1996.

Tara MacIntyre Olesen

Women’s volleyball legend Tara MacIntyre Olesen, in her three years at Dal was a two-time AUAA (now AUS) MVP and a three-time AUAA champion and was initially recruited for Dal’s women’s basketball team.

Dal women’s basketball head coach Carolyn Savoy connected MacIntyre with volleyball head coach Karen Moore. MacIntyre was encouraged to attend Dal by her older brother, who had just finished playing for the men’s hockey team.

The Saint John, N.B. native burst onto the scene in her rookie season. She was the Dal Rookie of the Year, AUAA Rookie of the Year and an AUAA first team all-star. Dal’s first-ever AUAA women’s volleyball Rookie of the Year helped the Tigers win the AUAA title.

The next season, after competing with the junior national team at the World University Games, MacIntyre continued to improve and become more dominant. She won the AUAA MVP and was a second team CIAU (U SPORTS) all-Canadian. Once again, she helped Dal win the title, winning Dal’s 12th AUAA women’s volleyball championship.

MacIntyre one-upped her incredible 1991-1992 season by winning the AUAA MVP and CIAU first team all-Canadian. She capped her Dal career off with an AUAA three-peat and went on to compete at her second World University Games in 1993.

"To be back with my friends, especially my girls that are here, my family and friends that have come is incredibly special for me," said MacIntyre Olesen about the event on Wednesday.

MacIntyre’s athletic career did not stop at Dalhousie. She won a bronze medal with Team Canada at the 1995 Pan Am Games and was a Team Canada alternate in the 1996 Olympics. A Team Canada senior national team member until 1996, MacIntyre would be inducted into the Volleyball Canada Hall of Fame (team) in 2004, the Volleyball New Brunswick Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Saint John Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

After Team Canada, MacIntyre returned to Dal to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree. She was an assistant coach at Dal in the 1996-97 and 2002-03 seasons. In the latter season, MacIntyre helped coach Dal to another AUAA championship.

Robert Book

Robert (Bob) Book is a two-time AUAA (now AUS) cross-country champion and a two-time all-Canadian as a runner. Book was named the male athlete of the year at Dalhousie in the 1973-74 season. As a coach, he took the cross country team to back-to-back AUAA titles in 1977 and 1978. The 1978 season was his most successful season coaching the Tigers, bringing the cross country team to a CIAU (now U SPORTS) bronze medal. In addiition in the the 1976-77 and 1977-78 seasons, Book coached the track & field team to two AUS titles.

Outside of Dal, Book was a silver medalist in the Eastern Canadian 10-mile road race with a time of 48:56. He broke a 35-year-old Nova Scotia record and was a Nova Scotia distance running champion. From 1971 to 1973, Book went undefeated in two of the three years.

Book then moved to the world of sport administration. In 1979, he was hired as the full-time executive director for the Nova Scotia Track and Field Association (now Athletics Nova Scotia). The following year, Book established the first women-only road race in partnership with Bonnie Bell. The meet manager of three national cross country championships in Halifax, he was also a team manager for Nova Scotia in the 1981 Canada Summer Games for track & field. He returned to the Canada Games in 1985, this time as a track and field official. In 1991, Book was the assistant chef de mission for team Nova Scotia at the Canada Winter Games.

An active volunteer in his community, he was the Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association chairperson from 1991 to 1997, a Sport Nova Scotia board member  and a Dalhousie Alumni Association board member. One of his key highlights was serving as the Chef de Mission for Team Nova Scotia at the 1993 Canada Summer Games and at the 1995 Canada Winter Games.

1996 Baseball Team

The sophomore season of the Dalhousie Baseball team opened with promise. The 1996 team had a core of returning players supplemented with new talent which created depth at every position. A more well-rounded team then their first year, it featured greater pitching depth, all-around reliable team defence and a formidable offensive lineup.

The Tigers ended the 1996 regular season with an 8-4 record and in first place. They beat Saint Mary’s 6-5 on October 8 to clinch the Atlantic pennant. Up next was the 1996 Atlantic Championship at Memorial Park in Kentville, Nova Scotia. The Tigers went undefeated to earn a spot in the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association (CIBA) Championship. Shortstop Craig Higgins was named the tournament MVP for batting .600. First baseman Scott Sturgeon, second baseman Brian Clarke and outfielder Shawn Woodworth were named all-stars.

The team then travelled to St. Catherines, Ontario 10 days later for the national championship. The Tigers opened the tournament with a 4-3 win over the Laval Rouge et Or. Pitcher Trevor Wamback was dominant, striking out the first eight batters up, setting a new CIBA record. A 11-0 win on day two over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues locked in playoff spot for the Tigers. Their 2-1 record secured them a spot in the championship game versus Brock; the only team to beat them that weekend.

Fueled by strong offensive play to start the game and supported by strong pitching and defence, the Tigers beat the host Brock Badgers 8-3 to clinch the national title. Higgins was named the tournament MVP, while Wamback was named top pitcher and Sturgeon top hitter. Outfielder Jason Irvine and second baseman Clarke were named all-stars. This is the first, and so far, only, national title for the Tigers baseball team.

1972 and 1973 Golf Team

The 1972 Dalhousie golf team was a bit of an underdog heading into the Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament. With just two returning players, Gerry MacMillan and 1971’s individual title winner John Randles, and the event being hosted at the new and highly acclaimed Mactaquac Golf Club in Fredericton, the hill was steep to improve on their third place finish the previous year. Joining the returning Tigers was PEI’s junior star George Rogers and Sydney, Nova Scotia’s John McKay.

Round one saw MacMillan lead the field with a one under par 71 with Rogers recording a 75 and Randles and McKay shooting a 78. These scores gave the Tigers a nine-stroke lead over the defending champions, Acadia. MacMillan recorded a 73 on round two for a total of 144 and captured the individual title by four strokes. A tight battle until the final putt, the Tigers were able to close out the tournament with a total of 616 and a slim three stroke lead over Acadia to claim the title.

The following year the Tigers looked to defend their title with Randles, MacMillan and Rogers all returning. David MacLean from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia rounded out the team. Heading into the tournament as favourites, the Tigers again held a nine-stroke lead after round one, this time with UNB in second place. Led by MacMillan second round score of 73, as well as a 76 from Rogers, and a 77 from Randles, the Tigers finished the tournament with a 17-stroke lead over UNB with a final score of 622.

MacMillan would go on to successfully defend his individual title in 1974, winning five of the six AIAA tournaments he played in.


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