ARLINGTON, Va. – The Marymount (Va.) University athletics department and the Hall of Fame committee is proud to announce the 12th induction class into the Marymount Athletics Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2017 will join 52 other individuals that were inducted since the creation of the Hall of Fame back in 2006. This year's class consists of four former student athletes and the eighth addition to the Hall of Friends.
This year's class includes: Annetta Benjamin (Women's Basketball, Class of 2004), Omar Canty (Men's Soccer, Class of 2001), Julia Ralston (Women's Volleyball, Class of 2007), Andre Coles (Men's Basketball, Class of 2002), and Father Jack Peterson.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will kick off Homecoming Weekend this Fall, taking place on Friday, October 13.
Women's Basketball, Class of 2004
"I'm honored to be selected to join such an amazing elite group of athletes!" – Annetta Benjamin
Transferring into Marymount midway through her sophomore year in 2001-02, she joined up with the women's basketball program in what would turn out to be the most successful season to this point, advancing to the NCAA Final Four. Through two and a half years with the team, she helped the program to two Capital Athletic Conference titles, and three appearances in the NCAA tournament. Following the Final Four season in 2002, the Saints went onto the Sweet 16 the next year before advancing to the Elite Eight Benjamin's senior season.
In her final season with Marymount in 2003-04, she led the team in points, rebounds and steals. A 363-point season (11.7 ppg) led to her second-appearance on the All-CAC team, a D3hoops.com Second-Team All-American, and a WBCA/Kodak All-American Finalist.
In just two and half seasons, she totaled 724 points, 534 rebounds, 119 assists, 54 blocks, and 184 steals. Beyond her success on the court, she was a CAC Scholar Athlete and Dean's List member. Her senior year, she was named the CAC Female Scholar Athlete of the Year and was placed on the CoSIDA Academic First-Team All-District. She graduated from Marymount with a degree in Psychology, and later returned for a Master's degree in Pastoral Counseling.
Men's Soccer, Class of 2001
"When I heard that I was going into the Hall of Fame this year, I believe I said, 'stop playing, that's unbelievable, this is so cool.' I was super excited and I'm honored to join such a great group of individuals." – Omar Canty
Canty was a four-year starter for the men's soccer program, helping the Saints to their two most-successful seasons of nine wins in 1996 and 1999. A two-time CAC Player of the Week and member of the All-CAC squad in his junior season, he capped off his career with a higher honor of making the NSCAA All-South Atlantic team in 2000.
He started his first two seasons with the Saints totaling nine goals and four assists for 22 points before turning his focus to the men's basketball program, where he played three seasons. Through 60 games, he dropped in 31 points to go along with 38 rebounds, 42 assists and 19 steals. He returned to soccer for his junior season in 1999 where he found the back of the net six times and sent out four helpers for 16 points.
In his four seasons with the soccer program, he helped MU to three CAC semifinal appearances. As for his individual accolades, he left the team at graduation as the third in program history in goals (18), assists (11), and points (47). A part of those statistics were some crucial game-winning goals against Catholic, Goucher and Shenandoah, as well as the game winner against No. 9 Hampden-Sydney, which helped set up the Saints for their first-ever regional ranking.
Women's Volleyball, Class of 2007
"I am humbled to be included with these great athletes. I have to thank my parents for encouraging integrity, my coaches for believing in me and my teammates for keeping me grounded, thank you for this honor." – Julia Ralston
Also a transfer into Marymount, Ralston joined up with the women's volleyball program her sophomore season in 2004 and was an immediate impact. A three-starter and two-year captain, she helped the Saints to two CAC title matches in her three seasons while being named a three-time All-CAC member.
Her senior season in 2006 proved to be the best, not just for her, but the team as well. The squad went an impressive 24-9 for the season; the first time the program had single-digit losses and just the second time ever. The Saints went a perfect 7-0 in league play to be crowned CAC Regular-Season champions, a feat that program has accomplished once.
A libero for Marymount, she totaled a program-best 782 digs her senior season, averaging 6.06 per game, good enough to finish the year ranked 39th in the nation. Her success on the court earned her a spot on First-Team All-CAC, AVCA All-Region, and AVCA All-American Honorable Mention.
For her three-year career, she totaled 100 kills, 131 assists, 136 aces, and still a program-best 1,943 digs.
Men's Basketball, Class of 2002
"First and foremost, I'd like to thank the committee for electing me into the Marymount Athletics Hall of Fame. It is with great appreciation, honor, and a pleasure to receive such a prestigious award. I'd like to think my teammates, coaching staff, my family, and most importantly, God. It's an incredible feeling to achieve such an accomplishment and even crazier to know that I will forever be tied to the history of the basketball program and university, in a way that I never imagined. I will never forget the great experience and journey along the way and will forever be a SAINT! Thank you again!" – Andre Coles
Coles played all four years with the men's basketball program at Marymount, averaging over 10 points per game through his career. A two-time All-CAC member, he helped the Saints to their second CAC title his junior season, defeating Goucher at home, 70-46. The only other time in program history Marymount won the league championship was in 1992.
Through his career, he crossed several feats including scoring a triple-double. In his sophomore season, he and his teammates posted an NCAA record as well that still holds today, scoring 31 points in overtime against Catholic in January of 1999.
His senior season, he eclipsed a milestone for a basketball player, joining the 1,000-point club, as he finished his career with 1,060 points. He added 569 rebounds, 160 assists, 79 blocks, and 123 steals.
Father Jack Peterson
Assistant Chaplain, 2002-2017
"I am deeply honored to be invited into Marymount's Hall of Friends. My connections with Marymount's student athletes and coaches was a highlight of my 15 years as a Marymount Saint." – Father Jack Peterson
Father Jack had a great love for the athletic programs at Marymount since coming to campus in June of 2002 to begin his tenure as Assistant Chaplain. From the start, he was running formal and informal bible studies for student athletes. In his final four years with the Saints, he helped students lead "Time Out For Christ," an outreach to student athletes that alternated each week between bible studies and presentations by guest speakers, all college or professional-level athletes, who gave personal testimonies about their love for sports and for God.
He attended athletic events daily over the years and regularly sat at the lunch table with athletes. Father Jack was very much in tune with all things Marymount, including attending campus-wide events, Homecoming festivities, Special Olympics, and of course, the Marymount Athletic Hall of Fame in which he will be attending in a different manner this October.
Father Jack concluded his tenure at Marymount this past Spring semester and continued his role as the Director of Mission and Development for Youth Apostles, a position he has been a part of since April of 2016. Youth Apostles is a community of men and women who are committed to journeying with young people and bringing them closer to Christ. He also serves as the Youth Apostle Consultant to a brand new high school youth ministry program at St. Bernadette parish in Springfield, Virginia.
Over the next five weeks, feature writer David Driver will be giving more detail on each inductee and their times at Marymount. Each week a new story on one of the five inductees will be placed on the Marymount athletic website.