Rick Bueltmann, Sue Gerard, Wendy Mertz Slifka, Marvin Malone and Amy Lodes Witte have something new in common.
They make up the inaugural class to be inducted into the Columbia College Athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 3 at the Country Club of Missouri.
Bueltmann, who played soccer, attended Columbia College from 1976-78 and became the Cougars’ first athlete to earn All-American status. He was named to the second team’s list in 1977.Gerard spent 33 years at Christian College teaching physical education and recreation courses. Christian College changed its name to Columbia College in 1970.
Slifka will enter the Cougar Hall as one of Columbia College’s most decorated softball players. She graduated in 1990, and remains its record holder with a .944 winning percentage. Slifka holds the NAIA national record for no-hitters in a season with seven, and she anchored Columbia College’s 26-game winning streak, which is also an NAIA best. Slifka earned All-American honors in 1989 and 1990.
Malone became the Cougars’ first NAIA basketball All-American in 1991. That year he led the Cougars to their first national tournament appearance in any sport.
Witte was a member of the Columbia College volleyball team from 1988-92 and was named conference player of the year in each of her four years as a Cougar.