Sobansky-Blackhurst, Cecconi, Hunter elected to WPIALHall of Fame
Elaine Sobansky-Blackhurst set the PIAA Class AAA record in the girls shot put, a 50-1 1/4 effort in 1980. Sobansky-Blackhurst went on to a college career at Penn State and walked away from the sport after refusing to use performance-enhancing drugs. Photographed July 7, 2005. Published July 21, 2005.
Former McGuffey High School wrestler Jeremy Hunter, left, is inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame by former head coach Mark Caffrey at the Giant Arena in Hershey March 12, 2005. Hunter was a four-time PIAA champion and an NCAA champion at Penn State.
Louis (Bimbo) Cecconi played on WPIAL football and basketball championship teams at Donora High School and played both sports at Pitt, where he was an eight-time letterman.
Elaine Sobansky-Blackhurst has had many amazing athletic accomplishments in her life, but one still stands out.
It came during her senior season at Trinity High School and on her final trip to Shippensburg University to compete in the PIAA Track & Field Championships in 1980.
“I still remember standing on the (awards stand) to receive my gold medal,” she said. “I can still remember that.”
The gold medal was for her 50-1 1/2 effort in the shot put, a feat that has not been matched by any female athlete in PIAA track history.
On Wednesday, Sobansky-Blackhurst saw her efforts recognized again with her inclusion in this year’s WPIAL Hall of Fame class.
She will join Lou “Bimbo” Cecconi (Donora) and Jeremy Hunter (McGuffey) as part of the 17 athletes who will be recognized at the induction banquet, Friday June 7 at the Green Tree DoubleTree.
Cecconi is being honored in football, baseball and basketball; and Hunter in wrestling.
“This is the last hall of fame I can get into,” said Sobansky-Blackhurst, who teaches at Trinity Middle School.
“I’ve been inducted into every one I (was elgible for). I didn’t believe throwing the shot could get me me the type of education or this type of publicity.”
Sobansky-Blackhurst won three WPIAL and PIAA championships in the shot put and added one more state crown in the discus. She went on to become an eight-time All-America athlete at Penn State, where she set outdoor records in the shot put and discus.
Sobansky-Blackhurst was also the first female to score more than 1,000 points in basketball at Trinity and is a member of the Pittsburgh Women’s Hall of Fame.
Cecconi (Class of 1946) played for three WPIAL championship-winning football teams and led the basketball team to state runner-up honors. He played four years at Pitt, starting at quarterback and halfback, and was inducted to the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
Hunter (Class of 1996) had a dual meet record of 171-2 and led his team to a WPIAL Team Championship his senior season. He won four state titles, three WPIAL championships and won NCAA gold in 2000 at Penn State.