Friday night was a special evening in the Allen Family Student Center Great Room as we inducted two new members to LeTourneau University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Golfer Leslie Lee ('11) and the late cross country runner Nicole Leman ('13) were the first new Hall of Fame inductees since 2005.
These excellent former student-athletes were the first LeTourneau YellowJackets to compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III championship levels in their respective sports and were the first to represent LETU at the national level.
Qualifications for a Hall of Fame inductee including having significant athletic recognition at LETU in at least one sport and must be out of LETU athletics for at least five years. The character and integrity of these young women made them both excellent choices for this honor. Their names have been placed on the new Hall of Fame wall in the Solheim Recreation Center Leslie and Nicole's parents were presented with a replica plaque to keep.
Leslie Lee was the first LETU athlete in any sport to reach NCAA DIII Championship.
She also is the only back-to back ASC individual medalist in conference history. She won in 2009 and 2010 and finished only one stroke off the leader in 2011.
She competed at the national level and finished 8th place among the nation's top golfers. She played 76 rounds in 38 tournaments and, in her four-year college career, earned five tournament wins and marked the four best season scoring averages in school history.
Leslie was named to the Division III All-West Region Team by the National Golf Coaches Association in 2010-11 and was also named a National Golf Coaches Association All-America Honorable Mention in that same season. She earned the LETU Athletics Female Student-Athlete of the Year award in both the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.
She also earned Academic All-Southwest Conference honors with a minimum 3.0 GPA in 2009, 2010 and 2011. She graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and earned her Master of Science in Quantitative Finance in 2013 and Master of Business Administration in December 2013 from the University of Texas at Arlington. Today she is an accountant associate at P2 Energy Solutions in Fort Worth. She and her husband, Nick, have a son, Elder.
Her former golf coaches Lauren Gentry and Andy Woodring shared about Leslie's coachability, consistency and persistence that helped her be a champion.
Our other 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Nicole Leman was the best female runner in LETU cross country program history.
By her senior year, she was the first YellowJacket to win the individual title at the ASC Championships. Leman, who originally planned to play volleyball before joining the cross-country team before the 2010 season, finished 10th at the NCAA South/Southeast Regional Championship, which secured her a spot at the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships--making her the first cross country runner in program history to represent LETU nationally, and only the second YellowJacket athlete to represent LETU nationally after Leslie Lee.
Leman had five first-place finishes and three awards for "Runner of the Week." She was named to the Academic All-ASC Team in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and earned the ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Award in 2012. She received Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year for cross country in 2012 and following the 2012-13 season, was named LETU Athletic's Scholar-Athlete and Student-Athlete of the Year.
After graduating in 2013, Leman worked as a personal trainer at the Alaska Club, where she worked with and coached people with disabilities. On December 9, 2015, she died in a tragic hiking accident in a mountainous region of New Zealand.
Her head coach Markeith Brown spoke about her kind and competitive spirit. Her father, former Lieutenant Governor of Alaska Loren Leman, and her mother, Carolyn, accepted her award on her behalf.
To watch a video of the entire 2017 LeTourneau University Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony , click here.
LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford welcomed the guests to honor 2017 Hall of Fame inductees Leslie Lee and Nicole Leman.
2017 Hall of Fame inductee Leslie Lee received her plaque from LETU Athletics Director Terri Deike.
Carolyn and Loren Leman received the plaque honoring their late daughter, Nicole Leman, from LETU Athletic Director Terri Deike.