May 30, 2013

Four from Haverford voted onto MAC 100 all-century track teams

ANNVILLE, Pa. – The Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC), celebrating its 100th birthday, announced on Thursday afternoon another of its All-Century teams with four alumni from Haverford College earning inclusion on the all-century men's track & field teams.

The all-century teams, broken into eras, honor the Fords' J. Howard Morris '30 on the 1912-1938 team, James Grosholz '49 on the 1939-1961 team, and Seamus McElligott '91 and Matt Leighninger '92 on the 1974-1993 team.

A weight thrower, Morris helped a Fords team, coached by the legendary A.W. "Pop" Haddleton, dominate the MAC over Morris' era at Haverford.

Haddleton's specialty of finding talent in unlikely athletes resulted in Grosholz turning into one of the coach's greatest finds. At the end of his senior season Grosholz raced against Ohio State star and U.S. Olympian Mal Whitfield in a showdown in the 880-yard run at the 1949 NCAA outdoor national meet in the Los Angeles Coliseum. Whitfield won the race with a then-stadium record time of 1 minute, 50.3 seconds while Grosholz finished at stride behind in fifth with a clocking of 1:51.2, which converted to modern standards (1:50.5c) for the 800-meter run remains tied for third fastest in program history.

McElligott was inducted on May 22 into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's (USTFCCCA) Division III Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame.

A six-time national champion, McElligott holds the distinction of being the last D-III student-athlete to also earn D-I All-America status (cross country 1990, outdoor track 1991). He captured the D-III cross country title in 1990 then went on to win both the 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs in consecutive years, 1990 and 1991, at the outdoor D-III meet. McElligott also won the indoor 5,000 at the 1990 indoor championship.

McElligott earned 14 all-America certificates while running for Haverford and set school records that continue to stand in the indoor 3,000 (8 minutes, 10.6 seconds) and 5,000 (14:07.69) and the outdoor 10,000 (29:14.34).

In his post-collegiate career McElligott qualified for the finals in the 10,000 at the 1992 Olympic Trials and represented the U.S. at the 1996 World Cross Country Championship in Capetown, South Africa.

Leighninger, a 1992 NCAA Postgraduate Scholar, captured a pair of individual NCAA titles and raced to a total of six all-American finishes.

At the indoor NCAA championship meet in 1991 Leighninger won the 1,500 with a time of 3:54.99 then captured the steeplechase title at the outdoor meet that spring with a winning time of 8:59.34. With Leighninger's help those Haverford squads finished fourth in the 1991 indoor team standings and sixth in the 1991 outdoor rankings.

In addition to his first-place all-American certificates Leighninger added another at the 1991 indoor meet (800m), a second at the 1991 outdoor championship (1,500), then two more in the 1,500 -- 1992 indoor championship and 1992 outdoor meet -- during his senior year.

MAC 100 Track & Field All-Century Teams