The 2002-03 men's cross country team was the first in Rend Lake College history to repeat as national champions. The team was, FROM LEFT; Justin Crain (McLeansboro), Travis Redden (Benton), Kyle Jahns (Arnold, Mo.), Ian Hornabrook (Queensland, Australia), Rob Duncan (Seipio, Ind.), Chris Herren (Harrisburg), Thomas McQuade (Barrie, Ontario, Can.) and Coach Brent McLain. CLICK HERE for a larger image.
"KING IAN" - IAN HORNABROOK of Australia was Rend Lake College's first student-athlete to become an individual national champion. He will be inducted into the RLC Sports Hall of Fame, along with three other individual athletes and three teams, Nov. 7, 2009, in Waugh Gym.
INA, Ill. – Tomorrow night during the 11th Rend Lake College Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, college officials will finally welcome in their first national champion, Ian Hornabrook, and the team he led to RLC’s second national championship.
Hornabrook, a native of Queensland, Australia who lived in Mt. Vernon while a student at RLC, was a two-time NJCAA DII cross country national champion in 2001 and 2002, leading the team to the national title in both years. He was an All-American in track and was a member of the national champion distance medley relay team.
In the Fall of his freshman year (2001), Hornabrook accomplished what no other athlete could in nearly 35 years of sports at RLC. He returned home with his team, wearing a national crown and hoisting the NJCAA DII Men’s Cross Country Championship trophy. The next year, Hornabrook would become the first RLC student-athlete to repeat as in individual medalist. The 2001-02 men’s cross country team, which won RLC its first U.S. title, was inducted into the RLC Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
The 2002-03 team was RLC’s first team to repeat as a national championship team and consisted of Hornabrook, Rob Duncan (Seipio, Ind.), Chris Herren (Harrisburg), Thomas McQuade (Barrie, Ontario, Can.), Travis Redden (Benton), Kyle Jahns (Arnold, Mo.) and Justin Crain (McLeansboro). Hornabrook and Duncan were the only two who were members of the 2001-02 team as well.
After winning for the first time the year before, their coach, Brent McLain, said his Warriors stepped up to the starting line, knowing what it would take to win it.
“It’s always an honor to win your first one,” the five-time NJCAA Coach of the Year explained. “But winning the first one was an overall feeling of joy where the second one brought an overall feeling of accomplishment and knowing how hard you have to work, how everything has to fall in order as far as not getting sick, and how everything has to go right in a year to win a championship.”
Hornabrook claimed his first cross country title by five seconds (26:09) in East Lansing, Mich., and his second in 26:16 in Levelland, Texas. He was also a six-time All-American track athlete as a member of the national champion indoor distance medley relay team in 2002 with Duncan, Rusty Millenbine and Santos Gonzalez; a member of the runner-up outdoor 4x800M relay with Duncan, Millenbine and Darrell Fickas in 2003; as the runner-up in the 2003 indoor 5000M run and 2003 outdoor 3000M Steeplechase; and twice as a third-place finisher in the indoor mile run.
“King Ian” – so named for his RLC Homecoming Crown as a sophomore – will be the first to enter the RLC Sports Hall of Fame as an individual and member of two teams. After RLC, Hornabrook competed in his last two years for Florida State University.
McLain said it was a little difficult as a Hall of Fame Committee Member to be voting on teams and an individual he coached. But overall, he knew they deserved his vote and support.
“Being an athletic director and coach, and being on the committee, yes it is always, in my opinion, hard to sing the praises of your own while I’m still a coach here. But, on the other hand, we realized as a group that those are very special teams which are 100 percent deserving of the nomination.”
The current Hall of Fame Committee, charged with accepting nominations and voting in new members to the Hall, consists of Wayne Arnold, Mark S. Kern, James “Hummer” Waugh, RLC Vice President of Finance and Administration Larry West and McLain. For more information about the RLC Sports Hall of Fame, go online to www.rlc.edu/warriors/hof.
McLain received the national Coach of the Year honor for the men’s cross country titles in 2001-2003 and 2006, and in 2005 when his track and field team won the indoor title.
He said for the 2002 cross country team – and all of his athletes – there are important lessons on and off the cross country course.
“I wanted them to take with them that, not only did they run for a national championship, but hopefully they learned to take into their future lives the importance of an education and the rules we had put in place to teach them to take care of their teammates, develop a good work ethic and have a good attitude ... to create success.”
The largest class in RLC Sports Hall of Fame history also includes both the Fall 2003 NJCAA Division II National Championship Men’s Cross-Country team, All-American Champion High-Jumper Todd Green (2001-03), the 1995-96 Region XXIV Champion Softball Team, which advanced to the NJCAA Women’s Fast-Pitch finals, Softball’s Third-Team All-American Meredith Ramsey (1999-2001), and baseball’s All-American slugger Mike Breyman (2000-02).
The 11th Induction Ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, in Waugh Gymnasium on the Ina campus.
Previous inductees include Doug Creel, Mike McClure, Susan Woodward and Lee Yearwood in 2000, April Long and Waugh in 2001, Bryant Lowe in 2002, the 1995 men’s golf team, Matt Armstrong, Jace Bugg, Jaymie Cowell and Cheryl Weis in 2003, Curtis Smith in 2004, the 1985-86 baseball team, Randy Lemay and Rick Gaebe in 2006, Jennifer Calandrilla and Cliff McIntosh in 2007, Kern, Arnold, Elizabeth Kasey and the 2001 men’s cross country team in 2008, and Dan DeMent and Angela Robinson in Spring 2009.
For all things athletic at RLC, visit online at www.rlc.edu/warriors.