Five Greats to Be Inducted Into Athletics Hall of Fame
Vilma Charlton, Paul Faries, Angela Lawrence, Jesse Smith and Michael Zapolski will be honored on October 15.
MALIBU, Calif. – Olympians, All-Americans and a long-time administrator will be inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame this fall, as the department announced the five honorees that will make up the class of 2017 today.
The inductees will include Vilma Charlton (women’s track), Paul Faries (baseball), Angela Lawrence (women’s tennis), Jesse Smith (men’s water polo) and Michael Zapolski (administration).
The ceremony will be held on Sunday, October 15, in Firestone Fieldhouse. Check-in and a reception will begin at 5 p.m., with dinner and the awards presentation at 6 p.m. Tickets are $60 per plate and can be purchased online at peppathleticshof.eventbrite.com.
“The annual Hall of Fame ceremony is always one of my favorite events of the year,” said Pepperdine Director of Athletics Dr. Steve Potts. “We are very pleased to be able to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of these five outstanding alums, who contributed so much to the success and legacy of their programs and the department.”
The Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 1980. This year’s group will join 120 individuals, 14 teams and eight special achievement recipients that have already been enshrined.
To be eligible for induction, nominees must have competed, coached for or rendered an extraordinary service to Pepperdine University Athletics. After a list of nominations was gathered, Pepperdine’s Hall of Fame Committee made the decision on this year’s inductees.
Here is more information on the newest Pepperdine Hall of Famers:
Vilma Charlton, Women’s Track
Attended Pepperdine in the 1960s and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees ... Attended Pepperdine prior to women’s intercollegiate sports being added ... Ran at the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympics for her native Jamaica ... Won medals at the Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games ... Currently a fourth vice president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), the national governing board for track and field in the country ... A lecturer at the University of West Indies ... An International Amateur Athletic Foundation (IAAF) instructor ... President of the Olympians Association of Jamaica ... Has helped Jamaican athletes earn athletic scholarships in the U.S. ... Co-author of the book “Jamaican Gold: Jamaican Sprinters”.
Paul Faries, Baseball
Played four seasons (1984-87) ... An outfielder from Moraga, Calif. ... A 1987 All-American third team selection by the ABCA ... 1987 WCC co-Player of the Year ... Two-time All-WCC first team and once on the second team ... Batted better than .300 all four years as a Wave, including .350 as a sophomore, .356 as a junior and .348 as a senior ... Had career totals of a .341 batting average, 11 home runs and 165 RBI ... On Pepperdine’s career lists, still ranks #1 in games played (249), #2 in at-bats (921) and hits (314), tied for #3 in runs (187) and #6 in RBI (165) and total bases (400) ... The Waves went 179-69-6, won three WCC titles and advanced to three NCAA Regionals during his four years ... Taken in the 23rd round of the 1987 MLB Draft by San Diego ... Played four years in MLB with San Diego and San Francisco.
Angela Lawrence, Women’s Tennis
Played four seasons (1995-96 through 1998-99) ... From Kingsgrove, Australia ... Pepperdine’s second four-time All-American in the sport of women’s tennis ... Made All-WCC singles twice and doubles three times ... Final national doubles rankings in top 10 all four years (#5 in 1996) ... Made quarterfinals of 1996 and 1999 NCAA doubles tournaments ... Was #25 in final 1999 singles rankings and #30 in 1998 ... Won doubles titles at the 1997 Riviera event and 1996 Rolex Regional ... Team won four WCC titles and made the NCAA Round of 16 three times ... A four-time WCC All-Academic selection.
Jesse Smith, Men’s Water Polo
Played for four seasons (2001-03, 05) … From Coronado, Calif. … Four-time All-American (2002, 2003 and 2005 first team, 2001 second team) … Four-time All-MPSF first team … Scored 213 career goals (#8 all-time when he finished, now #9) … Led the team in goals in 2005 (51), 2003 (55) and 2002 (65) … Team went 67-35 in his four years and was ranked fifth, third, fifth and sixth nationally … Four-time U.S. Olympian in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 (silver medal in 2008) … Has played professionally in Greece, Croatia, Italy, Turkey and Brazil.
Michael Zapolski, Administration
Spent 20 years as an administrator in the athletic department ... Graduated from Pepperdine in 1985, but started as the Sports Information Director in 1983 while he was still a student ... Promoted to Assistant Athletics Director in 1999 and to Associate Athletics Director in 2001 ... Had oversight of several teams and the athletic training, facilities, marketing and sports information offices, and also served as webmaster, supervised game management operations and scheduling for all sports ... Has gone on to become the Athletic Director at Anderson (Ind.) and Augustana (Ill.).