Four Individuals, One Team Set for Induction into Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame on April 20, 2013
The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is proud to announce the sixth class to be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame. This year’s class, which will be inducted on April 20 at the Pitt-Johnstown Living-Learning Center, will include: Tony Albertelli '97 (Wrestling), Jill Halapin '88 (Women’s Basketball), Bruce Haselrig 1973-75 (Wrestling Coach), Justin Walther '00 (Men’s Basketball), and the 1986-87 Women’s Basketball NCAA Division II Final Four Team... (Full PDF Release) ... (Banquet Registration Form) ... (Class of 2013)
This special event was created in 2007 to honor prestigious groups of athletes, coaches, and university supporters and their champion spirits. These individuals merit distinction for their accomplishments and leadership in athletic endeavors for Pitt-Johnstown.
Speaking at this year’s event will be Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar, Athletic Director and National Hall of Fame Wrestling Coach Pat Pecora, as well as student-athlete and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President Kevin McDonald.
Longtime Johnstown Tribune-Democrat sports writer and Pitt-Johnstown alumnus Mike Mastovich will serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies.
2013 Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame — Tony Albertelli
Wrestling – 1992-1997
On a list of true student-athletes, Tony Albertelli’s name would be right at the top of the list. Not only was Dr. Albertelli a three-time All-American wrestler on the mat who helped lead Pitt-Johnstown to a NCAA Division II National Championship in 1996, but he was also a four-time National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) First-Team All-Academic Wrestling Team selection.
After red-shirting as a true freshman during the 1992-93 season, Dr. Albertelli made his Pitt-Johnstown debut the following season, before joining the ranks of the Mountain Cat All-Americans with a fifth-place finish at the national tournament in 1995.
A year later, Dr. Albertelli was the national runner-up at 149 lbs. helping the Pitt-Johnstown wrestling program make history. That season, the Mountain Cats completed their second consecutive undefeated dual meet season, dominated the East Regional Tournament, and claimed the school’s first ever NCAA team championship.
Dr. Albertelli, a native of Gallitzin, Pa. and a graduate of Penn Cambria High School, wrapped-up his college career in 1997 by being named the East Regional Tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler after claiming his second individual regional title. He continued the momentum to nationals where he placed third and guided Pitt-Johnstown to its third straight Top-Five national finish.
Dr. Albertelli still ranks among the all-time greats in Mountain Cat wrestling history. His 138 career wins are second only to Carlton Hasrelig, while his .826 winning percentage is 12th on the Pitt-Johnstown list. Dr. Albertelli also holds the Mountain Cat records for wins in a regular season at 149 lbs. with 34 and wins in a season with 42.
After graduating from Pitt-Johnstown in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, the four-time NWCA Academic Wrestling Team choice and the 1996 Pitt Golden Panthers Student-Athlete Award recipient, earned an NCAA Student-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship. He attended the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine where he graduated summa cum laude in 2001.
From 2001 to 2004, Dr. Albertelli completed his residency with Heritage Valley Health Systems. In 2004, he opened a private practice with two offices in the Pittsburgh area. In addition, Dr. Albertelli also serves as a faculty member with the Foot and Ankle Surgical Residency Program at Pittsburgh’s West Penn Hospital.
Dr. Albertelli and his wife Christina reside in Mars, Pa. with their daughter Anna.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected for induction to the athletics hall of fame, Dr. Albertelli said. “To be joining such an elite group of inductees who have defined the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is truly amazing. I would not be the person I am today without the support of my family, Coach Pecora, and all of my teammates. I feel very blessed and will certainly cherish this award forever.”
2013 Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame — Jill Halapin
Women’s Basketball – 1984-1988
Being selected an All-American for two straight years and being ranked in the Top-10 all-time on both the Lady Cat basketball scoring and rebounding lists are Hall of Fame accomplishments…leading your team to the NCAA Division II Final Four and earning a spot on the Final Four’s All-Tournament Team takes it to another level. That’s exactly what Jill Halapin accomplished from 1984-1988 as a member of Jodi Gault’s Lady Cat basketball team.
After graduating from Franklin Regional High School, Ms. Halapin brought her talents to Pitt-Johnstown where she scored in double figures in every game from 1986 through 1988 on her way to being named a Kodak All-American in both 1987 and 1988. Her 1,560 points still rank fifth on the Lady Cat All-Time Scoring List, while her 747 rebounds put her in 10th-place on the rebounding list. Ms. Halapin’s 25 rebounds against Slippery Rock University in 1988 remain a school record.
Ms. Halapin’s dominance was evident, as she was selected to the all-tournament team in every tournament in which Pitt-Johnstown played for three consecutive seasons, including her Most Valuable Player performance at the 1988 Shippensburg University Snowflake Classic.
However, it was the 1986-87 season that stands out the most. Ms. Halapin guided the Lady Cats to a 23-3 regular season record and the top-spot in the East Region on her way to being named Most Valuable Player of the Mason-Dixon Athletic Conference after leading the league in scoring (20.3 ppg.) and field goal percentage (60.3%).
From there, Ms. Halapin led Pitt-Johnstown to an East Regional Championship, before the Lady Cats upset No. 1-ranked Delta State (MS) University, 68-63, in the Sports Center to advance to the school’s only berth in an NCAA Final Four. Despite a tough, 72-70, loss to defending National Champion Cal Poly Pomona in the National Semifinals that saw Ms. Halapin score 16 points, her efforts landed her a place on the all-tournament team.
Ms. Halapin graduated from Pitt-Johnstown in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science beginning a career as a law clerk, and later a paralegal, at the law firm Kirkpatrick and Lockhart in Pittsburgh. In 1998, Ms. Halapin earned her certification in elementary education at Saint Vincent College, and began teaching at Shaler High School, a position she still holds today.
While working at the law firm, Ms. Halapin started her coaching career at her alma mater, Franklin Regional High School, as the assistant girls’ varsity basketball coach. A year later, she was named head coach at Norwin High School and was assisted by former Lady Cat teammate Sally Mosay. Ms. Halapin continued her coaching career as the head coach at Franklin Regional, then at Shaler until 2000.
Ms. Halapin, a native of Murrysville, Pa., and Vanessa Capozzi reside in Cranberry Township, Pa. They have two children, Madelyn and Elliot.
“During my four years at Pitt-Johnstown, it was both an honor and a privilege to be part of such a successful team,” Ms. Halapin said. “The reputation that Coach Gault had built for the program made me proud to be a Lady Cat, and having had the opportunity to contribute to its winning tradition was an experience of a lifetime. Being inducted just adds another layer to the memories of having played for an extremely passionate coach with extremely talented players.”
2013 Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame — Bruce Haselrig
Wrestling Coach – 1973-1975
With a pair of NCAA Division II National Championships and 20 regional titles, the tradition of the Pitt-Johnstown wrestling program is pretty well known. However, that tradition had to begin somewhere, and that somewhere was with Bruce Haselrig, Sr., who, along with assistance of the Pitt-Johnstown administration, started the program in 1973 and served as its first head coach.
As summer turned to fall in 1973, the Mountain Cat wrestling program was embarking on its first year of competition. Following a successful junior varsity season, the young program took its next step and became a varsity sport as a member of the NAIA, where Mr. Haselrig guided his team to an impressive 9-6-1 dual meet record. That same year, Steve Ragland became the Mountain Cats’ first All-American.
Following that historic season, Mr. Haselrig passed the torch to Curt Davis for one year, then to Pat Pecora, who continued to build the program into what it is today.
Although he gave up his coaching career, Mr. Haselrig remained active in the sport, becoming one of the most-respected and highly decorated referees in the country. Haselrig, who has been a referee for more than four decades, was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Pennsylvania Chapter in 2007. He has officiated six NCAA Division II National Championships, three NAIA National Championships, and 20 PIAA High School Championships. Mr. Haselrig also serves as the President of the NCAA Eastern Wrestling League Officials Association. In 2012, he was inducted into the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame.
Not only did Mr. Haselrig start the Mountain Cat wrestling program, he also spent 34 years as a member of Pitt-Johnstown staff, starting in 1972 when he was named Assistant Dean of Student Life. Mr. Haselrig received numerous honors and awards throughout his career, including Pitt-Johnstown’s President’s Award for Excellence in Service, the Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence in Service to Community, and the Regis A. Cox Award for outstanding service to diversity.
After his retirement from Pitt-Johnstown in 2006, he served as Assistant City Manager of Johnstown and briefly held the title of Acting City Manager. Mr. Haselrig, the founder and president of The Bruce Haselrig Group, is active in the Greater Johnstown community, having served on boards of numerous community and civic organizations.
Mr. Haselrig was a successful wrestler at Greater Johnstown High School and the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in social sciences, secondary education in 1967. Four years later, he received his Master of Arts in History from IUP, before he getting into coaching and finally, officiating. His Mat Sense Officials Clinics have been devoted to the training of wrestling officials.
Mr Haselrig and his wife, Ednita, have three children, Bruce Jr. and wife Fely, Brett and wife Ashley, and Jamie and husband Brandon. The Haselrigs, who reside in Johnstown, also have four grandchildren, Jaelan, Shaela, Haven, and Kobe.
“I am really honored and humbled to be inducted by the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and most importantly, by the people who cared and helped to mold my career,” Mr. Haselrig said. “I was fortunate to be in a position that had great institutional support and hard-working student-athletes. When we began the wrestling program, I received many gifts from a lot people. Gifts in the way of support, expertise, advice, know- how, and patience. I thank them. I believe what we have gotten from wrestling is more than I have given, and I continue to be grateful to serve in any capacity to the university and the wrestling community.”
2013 Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame — Justin Walther
Men’s Basketball - 1996-2000
When it comes to scoring points and pulling down rebounds on the basketball court, Justin Walther proved to be one of the very best in Pitt-Johnstown history. Mr. Walther is the only Mountain Cat to eclipse 2,000 career points. In addition, his 875 career rebounds put him in second-place on the Pitt-Johnstown All-Time Rebounding List for more than a decade.
Mr. Walther, who graduated from Pitt-Johnstown in 2000 with bachelor degrees in both business finance and marketing management, made an impact from the very beginning of his career. Mr. Walther helped lead the Mountain Cats to back-to-back NCAA Division II Tournament berths as a freshman and a sophomore, before wrapping-up his stellar career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,073 points. He also guided Pitt-Johnstown to an 87-23 overall record in his four seasons, including a 23-4 mark in 1999-00 to help the Mountain Cats climb as high as fourth in the national polls.
A two-time First-Team Daktronics All-East Region selection, Mr. Walther, a graduate of Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh where he is still the school’s second all-time leading scorer, led the region in scoring in both his junior and senior seasons, and led the country in free-throws made and attempted in those seasons. He also holds the Mountain Cat record for career field goals (735), career free-throws made (517), and free-throws made in a season (164).
Entering the 1999-00 season, Mr. Walther, a preseason Blue Ribbon Yearbook First-Team All-American, needed just 10 points to tie fellow Pitt-Johnstown Hall of Famer Quinn Harris atop the Mountain Cat scoring list. It wouldn’t take him long to claim the top spot for himself. In the 1999-00 opener, Mr. Walther poured in 25 points against Virginia State University in the First Round of the Laurel Bank Classic in the Sports Center. He finished his senior year ranked 16th in the country in scoring (22.0 ppg.), 11th in three-point field goal percentage (49.2%), and 19th in three-point field goals per game (3.3)…and above all, first on the scoring list with 2.073 points.
Mr. Walther, the Division II Bulletin National Player of the Month in February 1999 and a two-time Most Valuable Player Award recipient at the Gannon University Gary Miller Classic, also ended his career in second-place behind Pitt-Johnstown Hall of Fame inductee Don Elzer on the Pitt-Johnstown rebounding list with 875 rebounds, a spot he held until Patrick Grubbs eclipsed everyone with 996 rebounds two seasons ago. He averaged nearly 19 points and eight rebounds per game for his career.
After graduating in 2000, Mr. Walther, who spent one season at Division I Robert Morris College before transferring to Pitt-Johnstown, has had success in several career fields. Since high school, he has been involved with Expert Lawn Care/Landscaping, a family-run business in the Pittsburgh area. He has also spent time as a loan officer with Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corporation and worked for the United States Postal Service. In 2008-09, Mr. Walther served as Executive Vice President of Sales and Director of Media Relations for the American Basketball Association’s Pennsylvania Pit Bulls.
A native of Munhall, Pa., Mr. Walther and his girlfriend, Lisa Graziano, still reside in Munhall.
“I am very fortunate to cap-off a wonderful playing career in this manner,” Mr. Walther. I was blessed to play with some awesome teammates!”
2013 Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame —
1986-87 Women’s Basketball NCAA Final Four Team
To say the 1986-87 basketball season was a good one for Head Coach Jodi Gault and the Lady Cats would be a major understatement. Not only did the team post a 25-5 record, but the Lady Cats did something no other Pitt-Johnstown basketball team has ever done…reach the NCAA Division II Final Four (and that was accomplished just one season after moving from Division III).
With just two players missing from the previous season and led by seniors Karen Sayers and Janet Kartovicky and juniors Jill Halapin and Sally Mosay, Coach Gault knew the 1986-87 season could be special.
Coach Gault, flanked by assistant coaches Rob Eckenrod and Terry Solema, started the year with eight straight wins that included Coach Gault’s 100th career victory and Sayers’ 1,000th-career-point, before closing out the regular season ranked 15th in the country and atop the East Region rankings with an impressive 23-3 overall record. The Lady Cats also stood in second-place behind 20-1 Mount Saint Mary’s (MD) College, a team Pitt-Johnstown defeated earlier in the season when the Lady Mountaineers were ranked fourth in the nation, in the Mason-Dixon Athletic Conference entering the annual post-season conference tournament.
In the first round, Mosay scored 30 points in an 88-77 win over Longwood (VA) College, but top-seeded Mount Saint Mary’s claimed the title with a 90-62 victory in the championship game. Despite the loss, Coach Gault was named the Mason Dixon Conference Coach of the Year. Halapin, who led the Mason-Dixon Conference in scoring (20.3 ppg.) and field goal percentage (60.3%) and was fourth in rebounding (8.6 rpg.), garnered Player of the Year honors and First-Team Kodak All-District honors. Mosay, the conference leader in assists at eight per game, was a First-Team All- Conference selection, while Sayers, who was second in field goal percentage at 60.2%, earned a spot on the second-team.
As a team, the Lady Cats led the Mason-Dixon Conference in scoring (84 ppg.), field goal percentage (50.4%), and free-throw percentage (68.1%).
After a bye in the opening round of the East Regional Tournament, the Lady Cats played host to Millersville University in the championship game in the Sports Center. Mosay’s basket with 31 seconds left lifted Pitt-Johnstown to a 59-58 win and a spot in the Division II Elite Eight against Delta State (MS) University, the Region Champion and the No. 1-ranked team in the nation.
The Lady Cats, ranked ninth in the country at that point, were up to the task in the Sports Center and upset Delta State, 68-63. Halapin and Sayers, a Second-Team Kodak All-District choice, each scored 13 points, and Mosay, the Most Valuable Player of the Regional Tournament and NCAA Quarterfinals, added a dozen to set up a Final Four match-up in Springfield, Mass. with defending NCAA Division II National Champion Cal Poly Pomona.
Coach Gault got 16 points apiece from Halapin, who was named to the Final Four’s All-Tournament Team, and Sayers and 13 points from Kartovicky, but Cal Poly Pomona battled back from a 10-point second half deficit to earn a 72-70 victory and end the Lady Cats’ season in the National Semifinals.
Despite the loss, the Lady Cats reached the Final Four…a feat that was never done before and has never been done since!
Members of the 1986-87 Lady Cat basketball Final Four team included: Rita Anderson (SO, G, Altoona), Lynne Ashbridge (FR, Forward, Johnstown), Bobbi Byrne (SO, Guard, Ebensburg), Margaret Gioia (SR, forward, Elizabeth), Jill Halapin (JR, Forward/Center, Murraysville), Bridget Hale (FR, Guard, Oil City), Janet Kartovicky (SR, Guard/Forward, Cheswick), Sally Mosay (JR, Guard, Elizabeth), Michelle Pflueger (SO, Center, Pittsburgh), Kim Rairie (SO, Guard, Reynoldsville), Karen Sayers (SR, Center, Bellefonte), and Dee Slater (JR, Guard/Forward, Karns City).
The class of 2013 will be inducted Saturday, April 20 in Pitt-Johnstown’s Living-Learning Center. The reception will begin at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Cost is $400 per table of eight, $200 for a half table or $50 per seat. A corporate sponsorship is available for $800. Each corporate sponsor will receive a table of eight seats, a full page in the program, sponsorship banner at the banquet, and eight season passes for 2013-14 Pitt-Johnstown winter sporting events in the Sports Center.
This enjoyable and memorable evening has been planned for honorees and families, alumni, sports fans, Pitt-Johnstown friends, and the community. For more information, contact the Pitt Johnstown Athletic Department at (814) 269-2000. Checks should be made payable to Pitt-Johnstown and sent to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown; Sports Center; 450 Schoolhouse Road; Johnstown, Pa., 15904.
Pitt-Johnstown’s inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame class was inducted on September 30, 2007 and included: Lisa Britt (Women’s Basketball), Sean Isgan (Wrestling), Carl Sax (Men’s Basketball), C. Edward Sherlock (Men’s Basketball and Athletic Director), and James Wilkes (Men’s Basketball)
Class of 2009: Carlton Haselrig (Wrestling), Clyde Horner (Head Coach), Joachim Knispel (Men’s Soccer), Paul Leonard (Baseball), Dave Roman, Sr. (Men’s Basketball), and Mindy Young-Gagliardi (Women’s Basketball)
Class of 2010: Jodi Gault (Head Women’s Basketball Coach), Dr. Robert Hartnett (Men’s Basketball/Meritorious Service), Dave Hoff (Baseball), Rich Ragan (Men’s Basketball), Patty Ritter-Sharbaugh (Women’s Gymnastics), and Lee Schickel (Wrestling), 1996 National Championship Wrestling Team
Class of 2011: Bob Bulas (Men’s Basketball), Don Elzer (Men’s Basketball), Steve Parker (Men’s Track and Field/Cross Country), Jody Strittmatter (Wrestling), and Trish Wajers-Carr (Women’s Basketball)
Class of 2012: Mike Gresik (Baseball/Men’s Basketball), Quinn Harris (Men’s Basketball), Maureen Latterner-Brown (Women’s Basketball), Teri Menett-Cruse (Women’s Basketball/Volleyball), John Strittmatter (Wrestling), 1999 National Championship Wrestling Team
Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college,” by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and Pennsylvania Business Central as a “Top 100 Organization.” Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past three years.