CEDARVILLE — Erin Nehus Vergara, Eddie Nehus, Amy Gregory Smith, Jon Waldo, and Jay Fry were inducted to the Cedarville University Athletic Hall of Fame on Feb. 10.
Erin Nehus Vergara (Class of 2003) established herself as one of the top distance runners to ever compete for the Yellow Jackets. Vergara was the No. 1 runner for the 2001 NAIA Women’s Cross Country National Championship team, which was the only NAIA title in any sport the Yellow Jackets ever won. She guided her team to two NCCAA Championship banners, as well as three American Mideast Conference trophies.
Individually, Vergara was a three-time NAIA All-American in cross country and a three-time NCCAA All-American. She was the 2001 NCCAA champion and the American Mideast Conference champion. Vergara was a six-time NAIA All-American on the track — four times outdoors and twice indoors. She was the 2003 NCCAA Outdoor Outstanding Performer of the Meet, was a seven-time NCCAA All-American, and a six-time AMC champion.
Eddie Nehus (Class of 2001) is regarded as the best 800-meter performer in men’s track & field the Yellow Jackets have ever had. He was a three-time NAIA All-American in the event — twice outdoors and once on the indoor circuit. Entering the 2017-‘18 academic year, he owns the top seven marks in school history in the outdoor 800 with his best of time of 1:49.86 set at the 1999 NAIA Championship.
Indoors, Nehus possesses the top four as well as eight of the top 10 800-meter efforts at CU. He set the record of 1:51.55 in 2001 at Kent State. Nehus was a five-time NCCAA Outdoor champion — three times in the 800 meters and twice in the 1,600 relay. He was also a four-year member of the cross country team and a four-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete.
Amy Gregory Smith (Class of 2002) played near the top of the lineup for the Yellow Jackets women’s tennis team from 1999 through 2002. She helped Cedarville to a 55-19 record during her career. Cedarville won a pair of NAIA Region IX Championships which carried with them to automatic berths in the NAIA National Tournament. Smith was a three-time All-American Mideast Conference performer and was part of two AMC Championship squads. Smith ranks fifth all-time at Cedarville with 51 singles victories with more than half of those coming in the No.-1 or No.-2 positions. She also accumulated 50 doubles wins, including 38 in the top spot.
Jon Waldo (Class of 2004) graduated as one of the most prolific scorers in Cedarville University men’s soccer history during his career from 2000-‘03. He still owns Yellow Jacket all-time records for games started (83) and assists (33). His 57 goals scored is tied for second on CU’s career list and his 147 points stands alone in second place. Waldo established the school single-season record for assists with 14 as a sophomore in 2001.
That same year, he netted 21 goals becoming just the fourth Cedarville men’s soccer player ever to score at least 20 in one season. Waldo was voted to the 2000 NCCAA All-America Team. He was a four-time All-NCCAA Midwest Region performer, a three-time All-American Midwest Conference honoree, and a two-time All-NAIA Region IX selection. The Yellow Jackets posted a 54-28-6 record during Waldo’s tenure, with a pair of third-place finishes at the NCCAA National Tournament. He was named to the 2001 NCCAA All-Tournament Team as well as the 2000 All-Ohio Team.
Jay Fry (Class of 1951) will be inducted as a Heritage alum. The Hamilton native attended Cedarville College from 1947-‘48 as a member of the football and basketball teams. Fry played for the late Mendell Beattie, a CU Athletic Hall of Famer who served as athletic director and head coach of multiple teams for the Yellow Jackets from 1946-‘51. At Beattie’s urging, Fry transferred to Miami University midway through his sophomore year. He played for the school’s 1950 Mid-American Conference Championship football team under Woody Hayes and was an All-MAC player in 1951.
Fry has coached at nearly every level of organized football including high school, college, and professional in both Canada and the United States. Highlights feature him being an assistant coach for Miami’s 1962 MAC Championship squad, the offensive coordinator for Indiana’s 1968 Rose Bowl team, assistant coach for the 1973 Ottawa Rough Riders CFL Grey Cup championship team, assistant coach for the 1974-‘75 Memphis Grizzlies in the World Football League, and an assistant coach for the New York Giants from 1975-‘78.
Fry, who continues to coach club football at Miami University, is already a member of four Halls of Fame. He has been a key founder and contributor to the Cedarville University Mendell Beattie Memorial Scholarship.
The quintet was honored at the Hall of Fame Brunch in the Stevens Student Center. This brings the total membership of the Hall of Fame to 83 people.
Story provided by Cedarville University. yellowjackets.cedarville.edu.