COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nine former Ohio State student-athletes will be inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame the weekend of Sept. 24-25 the Men’s Varsity O Alumni Association and the Women’s Varsity O Alumnae Society announced Monday. The class will be officially inducted Sept. 24 during a ceremonial dinner and introduced to the public at halftime of the Ohio State home football game against Eastern Michigan Sept. 25. Ticket information for the ceremony will be released at a later date.
The 2010 class includes: Men – Angel Aja (volleyball), Mark Balen (golf), Jamie Natalie (gymnastics), Fred Norton (baseball, basketball, football and track), Fred “Curly” Morrison (football) and David Camaione (wrestling); Women – Regina Oliver (lacrosse), Shandelier Boyd (track & field) and Stacey Gordon (volleyball).
Mark Balen (1976-79) is one of just three Buckeyes to earn four All-America honors, while also collecting three first team All-Big Ten selections. He helped lead the Buckeyes to four-consecutive Big Ten championships and three Top 10 NCAA championship finishes, capped off with a national championship his senior season. In 1979, Balen was selected to the prestigious Walker Cup team. He ranks sixth on the Ohio State individual tournament wins list with five in his career. He was the Big Ten individual champion in 1977 and won the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate his freshman season of 1976. In that freshman campaign, Balen won the Les Bolstad Award for the Big Ten’s lowest stroke average. Balen joins coach Jim Brown (91), John Cook (1986) and Joey Sindelar (1992) from the 1979 NCAA championship squad as inductees into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame. Balen pursued a professional career after his time at Ohio State and has continued to play on the Champions Tour.
“Obviously, this is a great honor,” Balen said. “I feel like it has come full circle. Entering the Hall of Fame with my other teammates, it is a culmination of my Ohio State experience. I had a good career at Ohio State and the team played well, but mostly I appreciate all the friends I met there. The Columbus community really supports the (Ohio State) athletics program, so to know I am going to be in the Hall of Fame is a humbling experience. “
“It was a good group of players and a great experience,” Balen said about his time as a Buckeye. “In four years, we grew close to each other and our families. To look back at the success we had, how well each of us played at Ohio State and in the summer tournaments, seeing how much we won in a row and by wide margins – it is that much more impressive. It makes it more special – being part of something unique.”