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Emory Sports Hall of Fame inducts four new members

The Emory Sports Hall of Fame welcomed (left to right) baseball player Ted Karniewicz, runner Sarah Byrd and tennis player Mark Odgers with a ceremony Sept. 24. Inductee Lindsey Hoffner-Baron, a swimmer, was unable to attend.

The Emory Sports Hall of Fame welcomed four new members in a ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 24. Sarah Byrd, Lindsey Hoffner Baron, Mark Odgers and Ted Karniewicz are the 2016 inductees.

Serving as the presenters were head cross country and track and field coach John Curtin for Byrd, head men’s tennis coach John Browning for Odgers and head baseball coach Mike Twardoski for Karniewicz. Jon Howell, Emory’s head coach of the swimming and diving program, presented for Hoffner-Baron, who was unable to attend due to a prior engagement. 

Sarah Byrd (Cross Country/Track & Field, 1998-2002)

Very few student-athletes ever had the impact on their teams that Sarah Byrd did while competing for the cross country and track programs.

During her four years, she distinguished herself on conference, region and national levels, with her crowning moment coming at the 2002 NCAA D-III Women’s Outdoor Championships when she finished first in the inaugural 3,000-meter steeplechase, to date the only Emory runner ever to win a national title. In addition, she was a 2001 NCAA participant in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs.

Between the indoor and outdoor seasons, she won a total of seven University Athletic Association Championships and was chosen as the league’s Most Outstanding Performer at the 2002 Outdoor and the 2001 Indoor Championships. Her efforts in track have withstood the test of time as she still holds the Emory records in the steeplechase, indoor 5,000 meters and the outdoor 3,000 meters.

In cross country, she is the only runner in program history to have earned All-America acclaim twice. She captured first place at the NCAA Regional Championships in 2000 and 2001, and was named Cross Country Regional Athlete of the Year as a senior. She was the UAA cross country champion as a senior, making her just one of two Emory runners to claim that distinction. By the time her career ended, she held four of the school’s top five 5K times.

Byrd was recognized by Emory Athletics with her selection to the school’s All-Time UAA Teams for cross country and track and field.

After earning her bachelor’s degree, she went on to graduate school at Emory in nursing and became a nurse practitioner, where she currently serves in that capacity in neurosurgery at the Duke University Medical Center. She maintains her interest in running as a coach with Girls on the Run. 

Lindsey Hoffner-Baron (Women’s Swimming and Diving, 1999-2003)

With her energy, leadership and commitment to excellence, Lindsey Hoffner-Baron helped redefine Emory women’s swimming and diving, playing a key role in laying the foundation for the future success that the program would enjoy.

One of the Eagles’ premiere distance swimmers during her four years, she earned a total of six All-America certificates, three each in the 500 and 1,650 freestyle. The highlight of her collegiate career came in her final race, when she touched the wall first in the 1,650 freestyle at the 2003 NCAA D-III Championships, becoming the first Emory performer to win that event. She helped the team to third-place national finishes in 2002 and 2003, which, at the time, tied the program’s best-ever showing.

During her career, she was Emory’s record holder in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650 freestyle events, and was named the team’s Most Valuable Performer her senior year. Chosen as the Eagles’ Rookie of the Year in 1999-2000, she was the team’s highest-scoring first-year student at the 2000 national championships.

In 2010, she was recognized by Emory Athletics with her selection to the school’s All-Time UAA Team.

After receiving her undergraduate degree, she worked for ExxonMobil in Connecticut before moving to Chicago in 2005, where she joined an industrial supply company for eight years. While living in Chicago, she earned her MBA from Kellogg and married a former Kenyon College swimmer, Lloyd Baron.  In 2013, they, along with their two sons, moved to Boston where she works for athenahealth.

She remains very active, having completed the “Trek Across Maine," a three-day, 180-mile bike ride across Maine with her husband this past summer. She also finished the Peaks to Portland swim, a 2.4 swim across the Portland, Maine, Harbor.

Ted Karniewicz (Baseball, 1997-2000)

During his four-year career as a member of the Emory baseball program, Ted Karniewicz left an indelible mark as one of the most productive offensive players in school history.

From 1997 through 2000, he played in a total of 149 games, helping the Eagles to a record of 128-61. He stands as the only two-time All-American in the history of the program, having garnered third-team honors in 1999 and 2000. Selected to the All-University Athletic Association First Team his junior and senior seasons, he also holds the distinction of being the first Emory player to earn all-region recognition three times.

His 34 home runs and 169 RBIs still ranked as school career records at the time of his induction, and he capped off his Emory tenure first in hits (241), third in hitting average (.416) and second in slugging percentage (.705). As a junior, he hit a school record 15 home runs, which tied for ninth in Division III, and his 63 RBIs as a senior established a school record. When he graduated, he held the top three school season marks in RBIs.

He was captain of the 2000 team that won the South Region title and that made the program’s first trip to the College World Series. Emory athletics recognized his accomplishments with his selection to the school’s All-Time UAA Team. 

After his graduation, Karniewicz earned his master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Florida, where he would also meet his future wife, Judy, while playing co-ed softball. After working for Capgemini Ernst & Young and Accenture, he has provided business consulting services for hospitals and health systems for more than seven years for Premier Inc. Karniewicz and his wife have three children and live in Tampa, Florida.

Mark Odgers (Men’s Tennis, 2001-2005)

Mark Odgers established himself as one of Division III’s most successful performers as a member of the Emory men’s tennis program, with his stellar play enabling him to earn numerous individual honors while serving as a catalyst for unprecedented team success.

During his tenure with the Eagles, which ran from 2001 through 2005, he played his way to All-America acclaim in both singles and doubles all four years that he competed, becoming the program’s first eight-time All-American.

A four-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional doubles champion, he was the first player in program history to win back-to-back crowns in that competition. He competed in the NCAA D-III Singles and Doubles Champions on four occasions and was the No. 3-ranked singles and No. 4-ranked doubles player nationally as a senior. He was selected by the ITA as the National Senior Player of the Year.

Career-wise, he closed out his career in the No. 1 spot in school history with 93 doubles victories, and his 69 triumphs in singles action ranked 10th. He won 20 more doubles matches in each of his four seasons, including a program record 27 victories during the 2003-04 season.

A member of the Emory’s first national title team in 2003, he helped the Eagles to a four-year record of 79-14 that included four semifinal appearances in the NCAA Championships. A two-time recipient of the athletic department’s McCord Award, he was recognized as a member of Emory’s All-Time UAA Team in 2010.

After graduating, Odgers remained with the tennis program as an assistant coach from 2006-2011. In 2009, he married the former Molly O’Leary, a 2006 Emory graduate, and they have a son. In 2011, Mark and his family moved to Dallas where he helps run the American side of the family farming business in Central Texas while also serving as a tennis pro at the Brookhaven Tennis Academy.

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