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1970s LHS Boys Cross Country Teams to be Honored

Sept. 30, 2021

Lindbergh High School’s legendary 1970s boys cross country teams ran well enough to make it into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2021. The 1972-79 boys cross country teams were one of five high school programs and teams, in addition to 13 individuals, that will be enshrined into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Sunday, Nov. 14.

CEO and Executive Director of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Jerald Andrews made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday, Sept. 29 at the Chase Park Plaza. LHS was well represented with former head coach Tom McCracken, who coached those 1970s teams, along with current boys cross country head coach Jim Petersen and Athletic Director Scott Luczak in attendance.

“In the early days of cross county, Lindbergh was the team that everybody chased,” Andrews said.  “In the 1970s, they won six state titles.”

LHS dominated the era, winning the state title for boys cross country four years running from 1974-1978. They won their first state title in 1972, and were runners up in 1973 and 1979. Brian Blackford won the individual state title in 1978, the only year in which a Flyer took the top place on the podium.

“It is an honor and privilege to represent Lindbergh and be with you great people here,” Luczak said. “I was fortunate to have Tom [McCracken] as an assistant coach until a couple of years ago, helping our current coach with the cross country team. We are excited to be here and are looking forward to the November event.”

Lindbergh High School is being inducted into the Hall of Fame with other notable St. Louis athletes, teams and media personalities. The following is the full list of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021:

    • Larry Hughes – Basketball player
    • Andy Van Slyke – St. Louis Cardinals
    • Charlie Brown – University of Missouri football standout
    • Steve Savard – Sports Broadcasting
    • Jack R. Watkins, Jr. – Missouri Valley Conference
    • John Vianney High School Boys Soccer Program
    • Frank Viverito – Director, St. Louis Sports Commission
    • Barbara Berkmeyer – Golf
    • Mike Russell – Lutheran North Football and Baseball Coach
    • MICDS Football Program
    • Celeste Knierim – Softball Coach
    • Mike Claiborne – Sports Broadcasting
    • Lafayette Wildwood High School Girls Swimming and Diving Program
    • Jim Bidewell – Portageville High School Basketball Coach
    • William Greenblatt – Sports Photographer
    • Lindbergh High School Boys Cross Country Teams, 1972-1979
    • Sandi Gildehaus – Francis Borgia Cheerleading Coach
    • Francis Borgia High School Cheerleading Program
    • Hannibal Regional Foundation – Founder’s Award