Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2022 announced, attend induction and brunch ceremony
The Salve Regina Department of Athletics, in conjunction with the Office of Alumni, Parent and Family Programs, has announced the Seahawk Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2022.
This year is especially auspicious, as Salve Regina is celebrating its 75th anniversary, and this particular Hall of Fame will happen during the 75th Anniversary Kickoff Celebration.
Comprising the Hall of Fame’s 14th induction class are six athletes: Kelly Burke ’13, Beth Gemma ’95, Sarah Jakiela ’10, Ryan Kelly ’16, Brian Walker ’09 and Steve Wilken ’15. Also included are two former coaches and administrators, Trish Cronin and Mick Klitzner.
“This group represents the best of Salve Regina athletics during the last five decades,” said Bill Villareal, acting director of athletics.
The 2022 Seahawk Athletic Hall of Fame Induction and Light Lunch will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25, in O’Hare Academic Building. Seats for this year’s lunch are $25 per person, but free for children under the age of five. Those interested in attending the ceremonies should register by Sept. 19 at the Eventbrite. Registration fee includes a $5 gift to Friends of Seahawk Athletics.
Presentation ceremonies follow in the Bazarsky Lecture Hall at 2:30 p.m., and they are free to anyone who wants to join.
“There is nothing more important to Salve Regina than the people who have built our strong foundation,” said Jody Mooradian, recently retired director of athletics. “The Hall of Fame is a time we recognize past, present and future. The whole Seahawk family comes together for this event, and we can’t wait to gather and recognize this year’s Hall of Fame Class.”
Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2022
Kelly Burke ’13
With just three healthy seasons in field hockey, Burke graduated as the program’s second-leading scorer. She remains the all-time leading scorer for Salve Regina women’s lacrosse and the program’s first inductee with 224 points and 166 goals. Burke has the second-most assists for a women’s lacrosse player (58) as she helped the team to its only double-digit victory total in 2011 (10-5; .667). Burke was at her best with free-position goal attempts, converting a single-game best five against Emerson (4/5/2012), back-to-back season-bests of 18 and 19 (2011-2012), and the career mark with 45 goals on the free-position.
Beth Gemma ’95
Gemma established a program record for shutouts in women’s soccer (11) after a four-year stint as goalkeeper. The only Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championships for Salve Regina had a common theme with Gemma between the posts (1991, 1993), while she posted back-to-back seasons with nine wins in each (1992-1993). She still holds program bests in saves per game (9.41; 44 games) and save percentage (.852; 72 GA, 414 saves). On the hardwood, Gemma capped her career with back-to-back appearances in the CCC Finals and added a berth in the ECAC postseason tournament before being named the school’s Athlete of the Year.
Sarah Jakiela ’10
Jakiela dominated in the circle for the Seahawks while leading softball to an 82-74-1 record (.525) in her four seasons as a pitcher, including the program’s first trip to an ECAC postseason tournament. Her 45 games started in 2009 still ranks second all-time in the NCAA Division III Record Book (CCC Pitcher of the Year). Jakiela graduated with more innings pitched (873.0) than all but two other divisional competitors. She struck out 1,042 batters in her career — twice as many as the next Salve Regina pitcher — and holds the school records for most strikeouts per seven-inning game (8.36), most wins (76), most appearances (149), most games started (137), most complete games (108), most shutouts (24), and most hit batters (51).
Ryan Kelly ’16
CCC Rookie of the Year (2013), Kelly was a four-time first-team All-CCC outfielder and served as captain his final two seasons which included championships (ECAC-2015; CCC-2016), the latter leading to an automatic berth in the NCAAs. Twice Kelly earned a selection to the All-New England squad (2014, 2016) and led the country in hit by pitch per game (2016). Kelly is the only Salve Regina baseball player ever with 200 hits and 200 runs scored. The 2015-2016 Salve Regina Athlete of the Year, he is the program’s all-time leader in runs scored (201), triples (19), hit-by-pitch (71) and stolen base percentage (.944).
Brian Walker ’09
A unanimous selection to the Salve Regina Top 25 Anniversary Team, Walker backboned the men’s lacrosse defense as goaltender for four seasons and made an immediate impact when the Seahawks reached double-digit victories (11) for the first time his freshman season (2006). With a school-best 810 career saves, each of Walker’s individual seasons rank in the program’s Top 10 save list. He is the only Salve Regina goalie to have a sub-9.00 goals against average with at least 1200 minutes in net. Walker’s senior season finished with nine consecutive games on the road and the Seahawks won six times including 7-6 at MIT. Walker earned the University’s Brother Michael Reynolds Award in back-to-back years (2008-2009).
Steve Wilken ’15
In a four-year career as quarterback on the gridiron, Wilken holds all-time records for pass attempts (1,018), completions (566), yards (7,121), passing touchdowns (74), passing yards per game (192.5/game), total offense yards (8,270), touchdowns responsible for (87), and total offense per game (223.5/game). His teams won 70 percent of their games (31 wins including a triumph in the ECAC Championship at Norwich, 48-21, in his final game). In his final season, Wilken set the program record for pass completions (211 in 2014). In a road game against MIT that season, he established the mark for completions (36) and total offensive plays (66; 12 rush, 54 pass).
Cronin, currently the director of athletics at Clark University, spent 16 years at Salve Regina where she served as head athletic trainer in addition to serving as the head softball coach for six seasons in 1992-97. During her time in the dugout, Cronin went an impressive 108-56 (.659 winning percentage) and led the Seahawks/Newporters to a pair of 20-win seasons and three consecutive CCC championships. She was the University’s Senior Woman Administrator from 1995-97 and was an adjunct professor, teaching athletic training, First Aid and CPR classes, while volunteering for the American Red Cross.
Klitzner, who passed away in October 2018 at home, called Salve Regina “home” while coaching four different sports across 21 seasons. He started with cross country and track and field in 1989-90 where he helped lead several Hall of Fame Seahawks to national championship competition — Tracy Carter Angeramo ’94, Michelle Fobert Sarney ’95, and Karen Luchun McElroy ’92. He added winter to his repertoire while assisting Mike Raffa on the men’s basketball staff, before becoming the head coach for women’s basketball. Two CCC runner-up seasons on the hardwood featured Hall of Fame Seahawks – Kerry Cuervels Martin ’96, Beth Gemma, Nicole Johnson Fitzgerald ’97 – while later guiding Salve Regina softball to a runner-up finish in his one season on the diamond with Hall of Fame Seahawk Alyssa Ricci ’99.