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Athletic Alumni Banquet - April 29, 2009

Triton College held its inaugural Athletic Alumni Banquet April 29 at Elmcrest Banquets in Elmwood Park. Approximately 250 former Triton athletes, coaches and staff attended the dinner along with more than 100 current Trojan athletes and coaches.

Dean of Student Services Quincy Martin served as master of ceremonies and Triton President Dr. Patricia Granados thanked both the past alumni and current athletes in her welcoming remarks.

"I want to acknowledge our current athletes for the wonderful year they had," Granados said. To our alums, I know that many of you have told me tonight about some of the accomplishments you've had over the years and I have to say, you are what made Triton College."

One notable alum, Tom Erikson, a two-time wrestling national champion for Triton in 1984 and 1985 delivered the keynote address. Erikson is a four-time Olympic Greco-wrestling qualifier (1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000) and just concluded his 10th season as an assistant coach at Purdue University.

"It's a great honor and a great privilege to tell my story about what Triton meant to me," Erikson said. "Triton is a very special place. The people I met, the coaches I had and the environment of the college fit all my needs and I'll never forget the experience."

The night brought back many former athletes including members of the 1972 swimming team that finished second in the nation who were coached by former Triton President Dr. George Jorndt, who was thrilled to have the opportunity to reunite with several of his former swimmers.

"This is fabulous," Jorndt said. "I think this is one of the most fantastic events that I've ever been involved with at Triton because I've seen people I haven't seen for years. I'm so glad that the college put this evening together and will reap the benefits of it."

In addition to bringing back former alumni, the dinner honored the current athletes from all eight sports as each athlete was awarded with a certificate of recognition from Vice President of Student Affairs Doug Olson.

Women's basketball player Paige Wooten was named Female Athlete of the Year for her record-breaking season. Men's soccer goalie Ben Gomez took Male Athlete of the Year honors and his head coach, Tom Cholewa was named Coach of the Year for the soccer teams' second place finish at the NJCAA National Tournament.

Other awards were given to baseball coach Harry Torgerson, men's basketball coach Steve Christiansen, women's basketball coach Dan Hull, and softball coach Art Kasak in recognition of their 100th career wins at Triton.

The final award of the night was presented by Athletic Director Harry McGinnis to Tim McKinney from the Marketing Department for his contributions during Triton's successful two-year run hosting the Region IV Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments.

For more information on Triton’s Athletic Alumni event, contact Alumni Relations Coordinator Dora Vaccaro (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3734.

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