AHS Hall to induct six new members

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 29, 2003

The annual Austin High School Hall of Fame induction ceremony and luncheon will be held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24-25, with the boys' basketball team hosting Rochester John Marshall tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Ove Berven Gym.

This year's inductees -- five former athletes and one coach -- will be recognized at halftime of the game and also during the luncheon Saturday at the Austin Eagles Club. Tickets to the luncheon are available at Black Bart's/Nemitz's for $6.

Lisa (Davis) Lindquist

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Lisa Davis won a combined nine letters in two sports during her high school sporting career at Austin before graduating in 1987. Davis started diving on the varsity squad for coach Lynn Gulbrandson as an eighth-grader, and as a sophomore she was the Section 1 diving champion.

Two more section championships would follow, along with numerous accolades and school records that still stand today. As a junior at AHS, Davis won the Big Nine Conference diving title, the Section 1 crown, and finished runner-up at the Minnesota State Diving Meet. She earned honorable mention status as an All-American.

In 1986, her senior campaign, Davis won conference and sections again and placed third at state, but this time she was named a high school All-American in diving. Her six- and 11-dive school and Ellis Middle School pool records still hold up today.

Davis also was a four-year letterwinner in Packer girls' gymnastics.

Lisa followed diving and academics to the University of Minnesota, where she was a four-year letterwinner and All-American diver on the women's swimming and diving team.

She and her husband Jamie Lindquist currently reside in Inver Grove Heights, and Lisa is a seventh-grade science teacher at Roseville Area Middle School.

Mari Ingram

Mari Ingram spent just four full academic years at Austin High School, but her impact in the arena of women's sports was a legendary one.

Ingram helped bring girls' basketball and other female sports to AHS. She coached the Packer girls' basketball team in her five seasons here, leading the team to the Class AA state tournament in 1976, just four years after the inception of the sport at Austin High. The Packers finished fourth at state after winning their second consecutive Big Nine Conference title amidst a 16-game winning streak that ran all the way through Faribault and the Region 1AA championship.

Ingram compiled a career winning percentage of .867 (52-8) in her four seasons at the helm of the Austin girls' basketball team, including the school's first trip to the state tournament. She taught elementary and middle school physical education in her time here.

Ingram had participated in five sports at St. Cloud State University. She played four seasons each of softball, volleyball and basketball and two of bowling and tennis, and was a graduate assistant coach for the women's basketball team from 1976-78.

South Dakota State hired her away from AHS to coach the women's basketball team and teach physical education. At SDSU, Ingram coached for six seasons and won four state titles and got her team into the Regional Tournament five times.

She has stayed active in sports as a high school and college volleyball official since 1986 in Weston, Mass., where she coached for three years. Ingram is on the executive Board of Officials for high school volleyball, basketball and soccer in Boston.

Bryan Hill

Boys' high school gymnastics may not be around today, but for five years Bryan Hill made Austin High School a well-known spot for the sport.

Hill started gymnastics as an eighth-grader in the 1963-64 school year -- the inaugural year for the sport. He took to it as a natural and was winning tournaments by his freshman year. For his last four years at Austin High, Hill was the gymnastics team's top competitor and point-scorer. He was the top all-around performer in every meet, leading the Packers to a 28-12 record during his stint.

As a freshman, Hill won the B Class all-around championship at the Mankato State Invitational and eventually the silver medal for second place on the trampoline at the State Meet.

In his junior campaign Hill was fourth in floor exercise at state, and his senior year yielded a third-place finish on the parallel bars.

Hill led Austin High School to its first-ever Region 1 championship as a senior in 1967-68, scoring four first places and three second places in the eight events. He netted 53 of the team's winning total of 166. He was considered by then-coach Dean Bishop "the best all-around gymnast in Austin's 21-year history."

Gary Muchow

Gary Muchow's name can still be found in the Austin boys' swimming record books, stemming from four accomplished seasons from 1973-1977.

Muchow was a four-year letterwinner and three-time state tournament qualifier, including a state championship swim in the 200-yard freestyle as a senior. He established school records in the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay, and his two individual efforts still stand. He was the team's Most Valuable Swimmer as a junior and senior and won the Nat Gaudy Award in 1977.

Muchow followed swimming to the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, where he was a four-time All-American for the Pointers. His collegiate career was highlighted by a third-place finish in Division III as a member of the 400 freestyle relay team. He was a two-time conference champion in the 500 freestyle and one-time leader in the 200 butterfly.

UW-Stevens Point named Muchow the Male Athlete of the Year in his senior season in 1981, and he was later elected to that school's Hall of Fame in 1989.

Muchow coached the University of Iowa Swim Club squad for two seasons while studying to earn his masters and doctorate degrees.

Muchow, his wife Patty and their three sons reside in Owatonna, where Muchow is a licensed family therapist.

Dan Ruzek

Only a handfull of former Austin High School football players have gone on to play Division I football, and 1967 graduate Dan Ruzek is one of them.

The three-year starter at Colorado State University helped propel the Austin Packers to a Big Nine Conference title and the No. 1 statewide ranking according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Ruzek played running back and defensive back in his years at Austin High, starting from his sophomore season on.

In his senior season, Ruzek scored two touchdowns in a pivotal game against Rochester John Marshall that led to an undefeated season. He was named first-team all-conference and honorable mention all-state. He was also honorable mention Pepsi Co. All-American.

His football career was cut short by a congenital defect in his lower back. The Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys showed interest in Ruzek during his senior season at Colorado State as a cornerback and safety, but he went undrafted.

Not overshadowed was Ruzek's high school track and field career. He earned four of his eight letters (two in football and basketball) running for AHS. He was a member of the mile relay team that placed second at state in his sophomore season, and as a junior the Packers placed fourth at state with a new school record.

Ruzek was on the 440-relay team that took third at state in his senior season, when he was voted the team's most outstanding track athlete.

Ruzek currently works for Ambassador Book Co. and resides in Denver, Iowa.

Chris Harder

Chris Harder won a combined 10 letters at Austin High, highlighted by track and cross country careers that included four school records and one state championship.

Harder was the Class AA state champion in the 3,200-meter run in his senior season, 1986. That same year he also qualified for the state cross country meet -- the first male runner to do so since 1973. He went on to earn All-American status with a ninth-place finish in Orlando, Fla., and was a honorable mention All-American in the 3,200.

Running carried Harder to the University of Minnesota, where he was a four-year letterwinner in track and cross country. His top finishes for the Gophers included a third-place national finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time that still ranks him 10th all-time in school history. Harder also holds the freshman indoor record for the 3,000.

Harder was also an accomplished student, earning the Paul Giel Williams Fund Scholarship Award in 1990, was a Williams Scholar and the Bernie Bierman Award Winner. He still is involved in all areas as the head cross country coach at Rosemount High School, and he assists for the track and field team. Harder is a history teacher and also the sophomore boys' basketball coach.