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Joining The Greats

Nine Inductees Added To The Chautauqua Sports Hall Of Fame

Above are the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2024 inductees who were enshrined Monday night at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club. Seated, from the left, are Judy Young, Cheryl Burns, Karen Bakewell, Carlene Sluberski and Karen Tellinghuisen. Standing are Tim D’Angelo, son of the late Tom D’Angelo; Rod Maloy; Doug Kaltenbach; and Michael and Jim Bryner, brothers of the late Daniel Bryner. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

LAKEWOOD — Helen and Charles Bryner listened to the doctors after their son, Daniel, was born with Down Syndrome in 1959.

Their response was essentially, “We’ve got this.”

“The medical recommendation at the time was that such a child would have extreme difficulty functioning and should be institutionalized,” said Michael Bryner, one of Daniel’s siblings, Monday night. “Our parents chose a different path.”

All the way, it turns out, to the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.

Daniel, who made a name for himself as a decorated Special Olympian, joined Karen Bakewell, Cheryl Burns, Tom D’Angelo, Doug Kaltenbach, Rod Maloy, Carlene Sluberski, Karen Tellinghuisen and Judy Young, as enshrinees of the CSHOF during its 42nd induction banquet last night at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club.

Inductee Judy Young accepts congratulations from Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame president Randy Anderson, left, and banquet chairman Chip Johnson, in background. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

“Mom and Dad sought ways of helping Dan develop his capabilities,” Michael said. “An early program they found involved a set of physical exercises to help develop motor function, coordination and strength. He learned to challenge himself and to be coachable.”

In fact, when Daniel, who passed away in 2016, was asked if he was willing to try new things, his typical response, according to his brother, was, “Always!”

In an incredible Special Olympics career, Daniel participated in 14 different sports and won more than 200 gold, silver and bronze medals, including a gold and two silvers at the 1995 World Special Olympic Games in roller skating.

“Sports, for Dan, meant connecting with people,” Michael said. “Dan thrived when he connected with people. He thrived when people made room for him in their lives. He thrived when people supported him. He thrived when people loved him, and he returned that love a hundred-fold.”

By thriving in all aspects of his life, Bryner has found a home in the CSHOF.

“Dan’s induction is a tribute to the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame for its broad perspective in acknowledging outstanding achievements of all types, and at all levels of sports involvement,” Michael said.

Speaking of outstanding achievements, the remaining inductees had special stories to tell, too.

KAREN BAKEWELL

With her enshrinement, Bakewell is the first inductee — male or female — to have an NCAA Division I individual championship to their credit, having captured the 800-meter title in 1986 in Indianapolis while representing Miami of Ohio.

The Jamestown native’s running career took her from the Chautauqua Striders as a youngster to the highest levels of collegiate competition and points in between.

How accomplished was Bakewell?

Well, the time she posted in Indianapolis (2:00.85) was a meet record, which made her the first U.S. female collegiate runner to break 2:01, and an All-American. That time also ranked her 10th in the world.

“It is clear to me that playing sports affords all of us opportunities, despite the different journeys that each of us takes to get to this stage,” Bakewell said. “Despite these different journeys, we all have in common a love for the game we were fortunate to be a part of because of those who supported our journey.

“But just as sport helps us build character, your award has helped me be a more grateful person.”

CHERYL BURNS

From an early age, Burns’ competitiveness was obvious, whether it was in Monopoly, chess or even tiddlywinks.

“I couldn’t lose any game,” she said.

And she rarely did, which has led her to an incredible and still-thriving career as a triathlete.

“Every visible scar is a story to be told, a ‘trophy,'” said Burns, who graduated from Forestville Central School in 1979.

Burns added: “It means living life. Scars that are on the heart are stories hidden and hard to tell. Those stories may not reveal themselves, but shape us and allow us to drive strength and determination toward a better life with successful outcomes. To everyone that I have been fortunate enough to train with, compete with, and build friendships with, this finds me more grateful than ever about life. Their stories — everyone here today, and those that could not make it — are filled with trophies, and ever so inspiring.”

Burns’ story is equally inspiring.

Her highlights include: six-time qualifier for the USA National Triathlon and four-time qualifier for the World Triathlon; third-place finisher in the women’s 60-64 sprint triathlon at the USA Age-Group National Championships in Milwaukee in 2021; fourth-place finisher in the 2018 World Triathlon Championships in Australia; sixth-place finisher in the 2022 World Triathlon Championships in Montreal; and silver medalist in the triathlon relay at the 2023 National Senior Olympic Games.

Burns closed with a quote that she said she has “lived by, say when teaching, coaching competing, and throughout many other aspects of life: Grab adventures! Live life! Use your God-given talents to be your best and help others.”

TOM D’ANGELO

Already an inductee of the Jamestown Area Bowling Association Hall of Fame and the Chautauqua County Umpires Hall of Fame, D’Angelo adds induction into the CSHOF for his years of service to both organizations. In addition to umpiring softball for 32 years, the Jamestown native also umpired baseball for 27 years and football for 13 years.

Son Tim D’Angelo said his late father, “Would be humbled to be inducted tonight.”

Tim also suggested that he would appreciate if student-athletes remember his dad in another way:

“Say thank you to officials after games. … It’s a great way to show what’s important.”

DOUG KALTENBACH

Former Westfield Academy baseball coach Doug Kaltenbach has always tried to remain positive.

Never more so than in February 2011.

“I had a life-threatening accident,” he said. “I cut my left arm severely with a miter saw at my home. With uncontrollable bleeding, my wife made a tourniquet that ultimately saved my life.”

Kaltenbach was rushed to Erie County Medical Center, where doctors cautioned that they might not be able to save his hand. An 11-hour surgery followed to reattach it. He then had five other surgeries and did almost two years of daily occupational therapy to regain its function.

“I’m convinced that being positive allowed me to gain my hand back and move forward in my life,” said Kaltenbach, who finished his 30-year career with a 476-154 record, 14 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association titles and 13 CCAA Coach-of-the-Year honors . “At the time of the accident, I was told by the doctors that I probably wouldn’t teach or coach that year, since the season started in three weeks. Well, I did teach and coach that year. With the support of the entire team, we finished as the undefeated (CCAA) champions and went to the Section VI finals for the fourth year in a row.

“I tried to use my personal situation and attitude as a learning experience with my players and students. I found that the power of a positive mindset became a great tool for my teams to really lean on. It became contagious among the players and, ultimately, led Westfield to many victories.”

ROD MALOY

Maloy started attending races at Stateline Speedway as a boy, and he was immediately smitten by the sport.

“It always infatuated me watching the drivers and their cars race around that track,” he said. “I put it in my head that I wanted to try this, I wanted to build and drive a car. Shortly thereafter is when my 36 fun-filled years of racing started.”

What a career it was.

Maloy’s highlights include: 2001 and 2007 Stateline Super-Late Model champion; 2001 and 2002 Stateline-Eriez Speedways Circuit Super-Late Model champion; and 2001 and 2007 Stateline Speedway Driver of the Year.

CARLENE SLUBERSKI

Sluberski, a 2009 Fredonia High School graduate, finished second at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association BOYS wrestling championships in 2009, the first female in state history to place at the tournament.

From there, her accomplishments on the mat are many.

They include: three-time First-team All-Canadian and Brock (Ontario, Canada) University Female Athlete of the Year (2014-15); gold medalist at Ontario University Athletics and Canadian Inter-University Sport Tournaments; and Cascade Conference Coach of the Year (2020) during her tenure as the head women’s wrestling coach at Eastern Oregon University.

Currently the women’s wrestling coach at D’Youville University, Sluberski acknowledged that she “fell into the right thing at the right time” and she took full advantage, both on and off the mat.

“Sometimes we get caught up in the wins and losses of sport and forget the real impact sport has beyond the game,” she said. “I am thankful for all those coaches in my life that saw wrestling as a way of life, not just a sport. I’m thankful for those along the way that felt the impact of wrestling should not only be reserved for young men, but for young women, too. This sport changed my life and took me down a path otherwise unimaginable. I’m forever thankful for the sport of wrestling and the powerful impact it has had, and continues to have, on my life.”

KAREN TELLINGHUISEN

A gold and bronze medalist in the javelin at the 1977 and 1981 World Games for the Deaf, Tellinghuisen thanked a host of people who helped her reach such milestones, admitting that, “I definitely could not have fulfilled my Olympic dream without the community financial support that enabled me to go try my best.”

The Falconer native, who even has a street named after her in the village (Karen Lane), paid special tribute to her late parents, Ed and Rachel, “for giving me life,” along with the staff at WCA Hospital in 1958, who “helped me defy the odds of survival being a 2-pound, 14-ounce premie.”

She added: “There was even a big article in The Post-Journal in 1958 announcing my survival and my hospital release 67 days after being born. They all knew God had plans for me.”

In addition to her accomplishments in the javelin, Tellinghuisen was a Deaf Girls All-American in 1977 while playing high school basketball at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf.

JUDY YOUNG

Young grew up with a love for the water.

“We lived on a bay and I went to day camp and learned to swim there, as part of the program was ‘time at the bay’ each day,” she said.

To suggest that that early experience has paid dividends would be a huge understatement.

Now 97, the Jamestown resident has set numerous national YMCA Masters swimming records and won many medals as a result.

“Thanks to the coaches and team members of the Jamestown YMCA Masters swim team who have encouraged and supported me through this venture,” Young said. “Having grown up in the era when team sports and competition were not available to me, I had a lot to learn starting at age 61.

Young shows no signs of slowing down.

Consider the following accomplishments:

— 15-time age-group champion at YMCA Masters Nationals.

— Captured eight gold medals at the 2016 YMCA Masters Nationals, including three in record-setting fashion in the 90-94 age group.

— Claimed seven gold medals at the 2022 YMCA Masters Nationals where she set six new records in the 95-99 age group.

— Holds age-group YMCA national records in the 50-, 100-, 200- and 500-yard freestyle, and the 50-, 100- and 200-yard backstroke.

— Captured six gold medals at the 2023 National Senior Games (95-99 division) where she set new records in all events, and was the 2023 Humana Game Changer Award recipient.

NOTES: Also recognized last night were Tate Catanese, Bryce Hinsdale and Grant Lictus from the Clymer/Sherman/Panama football team, who were chosen as First Team All-New York State Class D by the New York State Sportswriters Association; Joanne Meadows, coach of the New York State Class D volleyball champions from Chautauqua Lake Central, and two of her players, Brynn Engdahl and Ava Olson, who were chosen as First Team All-New York State Class D performers; Lauren Cotter, from the Southwestern Trojans volleyball team, who was a First Team All-New York State Class B player; and Elizabeth Pucci-Schaefer from Fredonia Central, who was as an AAU All-American diver. … Banquet chairman Chip Johnson provided the welcome; Kirstie Lind Hanson sang the national anthem; the Rev. Steven M. Taylor, pastor of the Panama United Methodist Church, gave the invocation and benediction; and Chautauqua County executive PJ Wendel, Jamestown Tarp Skunks general manager and director of business sales and operations Christian Dolce and CSHOF president Randy Anderson provided remarks. … Janelle Krueger was the American Sign Language interpreter.

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