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Central alum Haga inducted into E&H Sports Hall of Fame

From staff reports • Oct 6, 2019 at 6:45 PM

EMORY, Va. — Sullivan Central graduate Gary Haga was inducted into the Emory & Henry Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Haga, an all-conference and all-region selection in cross country and track before graduating from Central in 1975, went on to become one of the most decorated athletes in the history of E&H track and field.

Haga was one of the 23 members of the revived E&H track team under coach David Robbins in 1976. In that first season, the team went undefeated, broke two state records and toppled 14 school records.

In the 1980 season, Haga was an All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference first-team selection after winning the individual championship in the 1-mile run in an ODAC-record time of 4 minutes, 25 seconds.

During his time at Emory & Henry, Haga established nine school records — and he’s still running today.

Now 62, Haga was the 2018 regional champion in the Road Runners Club of America Midwest Regional 10-Mile Championship, winning the Grand Masters Division with a time of 1:10:37. Haga has won the Road Runners of America 15-miler, 10-miler, 5K and 1 mile for masters and grandmasters.

In April, he won the Road Runners Club of America National Championship 10 mile in the Grand Master Division (50 and over) with his time of 1:08.42. Haga began running marathons in 1980, finishing his first — the Smoky Mountain Marathon — in 2:32.09 and qualifying for his first Boston Marathon.

In 2017, he ran a BQ qualifying time and in 2018, he placed second in his age group at the Detroit Marathon by running a 3:25.22.

Haga also continues to coach at all levels, including with his online business, Elite Level Training. He currently resides in South Haven, Michigan, with his family, though he returns frequently to East Tennessee to visit relatives here.

OTHER E&H INDUCTEES

Joining Haga as the newest members of the Emory & Henry College Sports Hall of Fame were Casey Burcham, Jackie Greene-Dalton, Aaron Fuller and Tracy Ross.

Burcham was a standout player for the baseball team and is near the top of the Wasps’ record book in several offensive categories, including home runs, RBIs and walks.

Dalton dominated the E&H basketball court from 1992-96. She is one of only a handful of players in the 1,000-point club, collecting 1,232 in her four years.

Fuller, who played football for the Wasps from 1994-98, led the ODAC in scoring in 1994 and finished his career as the Wasps’ all-time leader with 2,594 receiving yards, ranked second all-time in the conference.

Ross was the E&H women’s tennis team’s top player throughout her college career in the mid-1990s.

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