Judson to Honor Athletic Alumni at Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
(Elgin, IL – January 4, 2013) The Judson University Athletic Department will honor five alumni and one team at its eleventh annual induction ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, February 1 in the Lindner Commons on Judson’s Elgin campus (1151 N. State St.).
Jodie (Baker) Sutton, Sheryl (Jedd) Biachin, Marcus Lauria, Cathy (Reardon) Liebenow and Michelle (Yubeta) Swidrak will bring to 56 the number of former Judson athletes who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception in 2003. Additionally, the 1993-94 women’s volleyball team will be recognized. This is the second year a team has been honored by the Hall of Fame.
Jodie (Baker) Sutton ’02, of Winfield, Ill., will be inducted for her softball and basketball careers. She was a four-time letterwinner in each sport.
In softball, Sutton was a four-time All-Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) player as well as a four-time All-National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA) Region standout. She is the program leader in career triples (12) and stolen bases (98) and is in the Top 10 in five other categories – batting average, hits, runs scored, at-bats and doubles. She was a career .376 hitter, only struck out 14 times in 431 at-bats and had a .918 fielding percentage. She was also recognized as a NCCAA and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Scholar Athlete her senior year.
Sutton was a member of Judson’s 1998-99 NAIA Elite Eight women’s basketball team that finished a program best 25-9 for the season. She also played on two NAIA Sweet 16 teams and three CCAC championship squads. She still ranks first in Judson’s softball program history in games played with 132.
Sheryl (Jedd) Bianchin ’02, of Lake in the Hills, Ill., will be inducted for her outstanding career in women’s basketball, where she helped lead the Eagles to one NAIA Elite Eight and two Sweet Sixteen finishes, including the 1998-99 team that finished a program best 25-9 for the season. She was a three-time All-CCAC first team performer who holds the program’s career record for field goal percentage (.592) and games played (132). She is also in the program Top 10 in free throw percentage, rebounding, free throws made, free throws attempted, rebounding average, field goals made and scoring.
Bianchin was a member of three CCAC championship teams, and her 67.5 percent field goal shooting her senior year still stands as the best single-season mark in program history.
Marcus Lauria ’01, of Aurora, Ill., is being inducted for his accomplishments with the men’s soccer team. A four-year letterwinner, Lauria helped the Eagles to two NCCAA Regional championships, which resulted in fifth and second-place finishes at the NCCAA National Tournament, a CCAC title and he was on Judson’s first NAIA National Qualifier in men’s soccer his senior year. He was named NCCAA All-America in 1999 and was a two-time All-CCAC First team selection. Lauria is in the Top 10 in program history for career assists, points and goals scored. His 25 assists his freshman year still rank as the third best in a single season in that category.
Cathy (Reardon) Liebenow ’94, of Wheaton, Ill., will be inducted for her dedicated participation in women’s tennis. Liebenow was a two-time National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Player of the Year and was Judson’s Female Athlete of the Year for 1992-93. She was the conference singles champion in 1991-92 and 1992-93 and the conference doubles champion in 1991-92. She compiled a record of 19-2 in singles play and 18-3 in doubles competition in her two years at Judson. Liebenow also led the Eagles to their only conference championship in women’s tennis in 1992-93.
Michelle (Yubeta) Swidrak ’03, of Westlake, Ohio, is being inducted for her outstanding women’s volleyball career. A four-time all-CCAC player and four-time All-Region NCCAA performer, she also earned NAIA All-Region honors twice and was CCAC Player of the Year her freshman season. Swidrak ranks in the Top 10 in seven career categories including assists, service aces, digs, assists per game average, digs per game average, games played and hitting percentage. Her 91 service aces her junior season and her 543 digs her senior year still rank as the best single-season efforts in program history.
The 1993-94 women’s volleyball team had the highest finish of any team in program history, finishing in fourth place at the NCCAA National Tournament. The NAIA Great Lakes Sectional Championship team recorded 24 wins and was coached by Karen Swanson. Team members will be recognized at the Hall of Fame ceremony in celebration of the team’s twentieth anniversary and its long-held record.
Those interested in attending the Hall of Fame ceremony can purchase tickets at JudsonEagles.com/f/Hall_of_Fame/Hall_of_Fame.php.
Judson University is a fully accredited, private Christian university of the liberal arts, sciences and professions. Judson offers degrees in more than 60 different majors/minors for traditional, graduate, and adult students. Judson University ranks consistently among the Top-Tier of Regional Colleges in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report. In 2013, Judson is celebrating its Golden Centennial to celebrate 50 years at its location in Elgin, Ill. With an academically challenging environment and encouraging spiritual community, Judson shapes lives that will shape the world.