Four new members are entering the Newfoundland and Labrador Athletics Hall of Fame today.
Athlete George Crane and builder Murray Fudge, along with a brother and sister — athlete Mark Stender and builder-athlete Jennifer Stender — will be inducted into the Hall during a reception at the Mount Pearl Track and Field Complex.
Fudge is from Gambo-Gander and the others are from St. John’s.
Crane was a top performer in races ranging in distance from one to 26 miles from the 1950’s until the early 1970’s.
In 1950, he won his first major event with a first place finish in the Daily News marathon.
He also participated in 16 Tely 10 road races, winning the event in 1960.
In addition to his exceptional career in distance races, Crane had numerous victories in one, two and three-mile events, especially those held at weekly indoor track meets held at the C.L.B. Armoury.
Fudge has been instrumental in the development and maintenance of athletic programs in central Newfoundland
From 1976 to 1995, he provided coaching to many athletes specially those at Smallwood Academy in Gambo. Despite a relatively small base of students, athletics thrived under his guidance and for many years, Gambo was a force in provincial school athletics.
Renowned as a coach in throwing disciplines (discus, hammer throw, shot put), he was part of provincial teams at the 1985 and 1993 Canada Games.
Fudge was a founding member of the annual Gambo track meet, was meet director for provincial Special Olympics track meets and winter games hosted by Gambo, and is a member of the Smallwood Academy coaching staff that won 16 consecutive district track meets.
As a competitive athlete from 12 to 18 years of age, Jennifer Stender was known as a tremendous sprinter, holding provincial records in 100-, 220- and 400-metre races over a seven-year period. She represented Newfoundland and Labrador in two Canada Games (198, 1985) and in five national Legion championships.
In 1984, at the junior national championships, she established a provincial 400-metre record with a time of 56.69 seconds, one that stood for more than 20 years.
As a builder, she founded both the Mary Queen of Peace and St. Paul’s Track Clubs and coaches at both.
Mark Stender had a running career that spanned 15 years after beginning as a 12-year-old.
He berths on seven Newfoundland and Labrador teams at the national Legion championships and also represented the province at the 1985 Canada Summer Games in Saint John, N.B. and the 1989 Canada Summer Games in Saskatoon, Sask.
His running succes continued during his university years at Memorial University and University of Waterloo. He held a number of provincial records over the 200- and 400-metre distances, including hurdle events. The 1991 time (48.36 seconds) he set for the 400 metres stood as a record for 22 years.