Purchase tickets to the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet Recently, LFSN reporter Nick Pierce had a chance to catch up with 2019 Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Johnnie Engelhardt, a former standout on Liberty's men's track & field and cross country teams.
The five-member class, the 11th to be inducted into the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame, will be honored during special ceremonies surrounding Liberty's football matchup with Buffalo on Sept. 14 at Williams Stadium.
The five-member class includes Renard Brown (baseball), Johnnie Engelhardt (men's cross country/track & field), Steve Isaacs (men's basketball), Mickey Paige (football) and Sharon [Wilkerson] Emory (women's basketball).
The Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Sept. 13 on the Club Pavilion level of the Carter Tower. Additionally, the five-member class will receive special recognition during the Buffalo contest the evening following the ceremony.
The Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame celebrates the best of the best, honoring those who helped shape the face of Liberty Athletics. The Hall of Fame's now 57 members have each played a key role in helping Liberty grow from an NCCAA program in 1972 to its current status as a thriving NCAA Division I program.
Johnnie Engelhardt Men's Cross Country/Track & Field: 1982-84
Following a six-year stint serving our country in the United States Army, Johnnie Engelhardt came to Liberty where he became the Flames' first NCAA Division II men's cross country All-American.
Engelhardt individually placed 12th at the 1983 NCAA Division II Men's Cross Country National Championship, which earned him All-America status. His 12th-place showing helped Liberty finish in 10th place as a team after the Flames captured the Division II South Regional title. En route to success at nationals, he also helped Liberty claim the program's first-ever Mason-Dixon Conference title in 1983 with his third-place showing at the championship event.
The native of Willingboro, N.J., also found success in the distance events for the Flames' track & field programs. He earned NAIA All-America honors in the indoor two-mile run in 1983 and was named the MVP of the 1983 NAIA Indoor District 29 Championship.
Engelhardt still holds the program record in the marathon when he clocked a second-place time of 2:25.19 in the Carolina Marathon in 1983. He also ranks among the Flames' all-time top 10 performers in the indoor 1,500 (third place), outdoor distance medley relay (sixth place) and 10K (10th place).