Five alumni or former coaches will be inducted into the Stony Brook Athletics Rita and Kurt Eppenstein Hall of Fame, Stony Brook Athletics announced on Thursday. Travis Jankowski of the San Diego Padres and former Olympian Lucy Oliver (Van Dalen) highlight the Hall of Fame class of 2017.
Jankowski, the 2012 America East Player of the Year, is currently in his second season with the San Diego Padres. He helped lead Stony Brook to its first and only College World Series. Against all odds, the team defeated LSU in a three game series on its way to its 2012 College World Series appearance. He set seven different single season program records in 2012. His 110 hits, .414 batting average, 11 triples, 79 runs and 36 stolen bases were all record shattering.
The season allowed him to be drafted in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Padres. In 474 career at-bats, Jankowski has 34 stolen bases. However, he is currently on the 10-day disabled list with a bone bruise in his right foot. But right now, he is just happy to hear his name will be enshrined in his alma matter’s hall of fame.
“You kind of take time and realize on a personal level what you did there,” Jankowski said. “To be inducted into such an elite class of hall of famers is an honor. As far as baseball players go… I think it’s just Joe Nathan and Tom Koehler, who are great pitchers in the Major Leagues.”
Lucy Van Dalen, who graduated from Stony Brook in 2012, has 13 indoor and outdoor track program records. Some of these records include the women’s 800, 1,500, 3,000 and 5,000-meter races. She was also a member of several record-holding relay teams such as the 4 x 800-meter relay and the distance medley relay.
Following her success at Stony Brook, Van Dalen participated in the 2012 London Summer Olympics. She represented both the Seawolves and New Zealand in the 1,500-meter race. Van Dalen advanced to the semifinal round, but she did not advance to the final. She also attended the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics, competing in the 5,000 meter race and finishing fourteenth in her heat.
Dave Alexander was the head coach of Stony Brook’s swimming and diving program from 1979 until 2012. He not only coached the program for 23 years, but he also founded the women’s program. More than 100 of Alexander’s female swimmers earned All-Metropolitan Conference honors, four All-Americans and over 20 NCAA Championship Qualifiers.
Alexander led the men’s team to the Metropolitan Conference Championship title in 1998. He received the Metropolitan Conference Coach of the Year award in 1991, 1996 and 1998, and had recorded over 300 wins in dual meets. He coached until his death in 2012, after a prolonged battle with cancer.
Alyssa Breres (Struzenberg) also joins the year’s list of Hall of Fame inductees. The Stony Brook Softball alumna graduated in 2010 as one of the best players in program history. Her 76 wins and 853 strikeouts are both program records. Breres won the 2008 America East Pitcher of the Year and was a three-time America East first-team athlete. Her play helped lead the Seawolves to their first NCAA Division 1 Tournament berth in 2008.
Aside from numerous athletic accolades, Breres was also an equally impressive and accomplished student. She was selected twice to the CoSIDA Academic all-District team and also received an NFCA Scholar Athlete award twice. She graduated summa cum laude in 2010 and is currently working as an account executive at Broadridge Financial Solutions.
The university also recognized its older athletes, inducting former Stony Brook Men’s Basketball player Earl Keith. The 1979 graduate was the leading scorer in the 1977-78 team that made it to the NCAA Division III Final Four. The team was known as the Stony Brook Patriots at the time.
Keith ranks third in program history with 1,793 career points and has the second-most field goals made, behind Jameel Warney, in program history with 778. He averaged 21.7 points per game in each of his first two seasons with the team. Keith went on to play professionally in Italy and Germany.
An induction ceremony will take place on Oct. 13 during Homecoming weekend to celebrate the careers of each athlete in the class of 2017.