Athletic Hall of Fame
Established in 2019, the Ottawa Hills High School Athletic Hall of Fame was created to honor the outstanding athletes, teams, coaches, and supporters of the district’s athletic programs. It recognizes individuals who have made exceptional and extraordinary contributions to the OH athletic program; had outstanding statistical achievement in an individual sport or sports; and/or conducted themselves in such a way as to reflect honor on the school and must have exhibited those qualities of character and standards of conduct consistent with their status as a role model to the community.
When it comes to state championships, Wendy (Roberts) Pavicic (’97) stands alone among OH athletes. As a freshman in 1993, she scored the winning goal as the girls’ field hockey team won the state Division III championship. And as a junior and senior, she won individual state titles in the 300-meter hurdles.
She received natural athletic abilities from father Keith – a standout point guard at Toledo’s Devilbiss High School – and mother Linda, a competitive tennis player.
“I had this beautiful balance of parents that supported me and wanted me to pursue athletics,” said Mrs. Pavicic, who attended kindergarten through her senior year at Ottawa Hills Local Schools. “But they never pushed me in that direction. They just naturally led me there.”
“My dad would take me to the Elementary School and put me on a line on the playground pavement,” she recalled. “And he would say ‘Ready. Set. Go!’ and we would race each other. And I loved it.”
The biggest influence in her athletic career came from Junior/Senior High English teacher John Brashear, who also coached the co-ed track and field team.
“The love I have for John runs so deep. He was such an influential person in my life,” she said. “He saw potential in me even as a Junior High athlete. He is the one that pushed me into the hurdles. He knew I had the work ethic and the natural talent of speed. He believed he could hone the ‘skill’ part of hurdles through coaching.”
Together, they chose the 300-meter hurdles as her signature event, an event that requires a combination of speed, endurance, and skill.
They achieved success in 1994 and 1995, as she finished third as a freshman and sixth as a sophomore at States. But as her junior year began, she was diagnosed with a lumbar stress fracture. She spent most of that year in a back brace even while competing during the fall field hockey season.
“My ability to practice and train was very limited,” she said. “I didn’t race 300 meters that year until it was time to prepare for the Districts. Coach Brashear knew how to train me to avoid all of the pounding that comes with hurdles. He got me prepared even though I was injured. That year took a lot of mental toughness.”
She cruised through Districts and Regionals, winning both titles without losing a heat. She won her State heats, too. “I was pretty confident going into the final race, feeling it was mine to lose,” she said. As she cleared the eighth and final hurdle at Ohio Stadium (both her titles came inside the OSU “Horseshoe”), she saw no one nearby. Victory was hers by a comfortable .7 seconds.
Retaining her Division III title was more challenging. “In my junior year, I hadn’t been running the hurdles until Districts. So I was more off the radar,” she said. “In my senior year, everyone knew who I was. I had a target on my back. I was the one to beat and I felt much more pressure.”
She again breezed through Districts, Regionals, and the early heats at States. But the competition was greater, and the race was closer; she won by only .06 seconds. “It was very emotional in a different way,” she said. “It was literally the last thing I was doing as a student. That race was the culmination of all four years of athletics at a high school that I loved.”
She eventually earned 12 varsity letters: four in track and field, four in field hockey, three in basketball, and one for varsity cheerleading in her senior year. Her number of state championships could have been even greater as the field hockey team returned to the state semifinals for three consecutive years (1994-1996) but was unable to return to the championship game.
While some colleges expressed interest in her as a track athlete, she ultimately accepted an offer from Northwestern University where she played four years of Big 10 field hockey. “As much as I loved track and field, I loved the team aspect of field hockey. It was as much a passion as getting into the starting blocks,” she said. She was named the female “Freshman of the Year” – an honor bestowed upon just one athlete among all the university’s female varsity sports. She also was named All-Academic Big 10 for four consecutive years and Second Team Big 10 in her senior year.
After graduating from Northwestern in 2001, her athletic interests shifted to competitive distance running. She joined an amateur racing team in the Chicago area; she eventually raced in 17 marathons over the next five years. Her best time was 3 hours, 4 minutes. She also coached a junior high track and field team for three years and worked as a pediatric occupational therapist for The Cleveland Clinic before leaving there to open up a micro school called Hope House Homeschool in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, the mother of three young daughters lives in suburban Cleveland with husband, Edward. She teaches Pure Barre classes – “I’ve stayed connected to the fitness world,” she said – and still makes regular visits to northwest Ohio to visit her parents and brother Eric (’99).
“For such a small school, the coaching talent and commitment that those individuals had for their athletes is unparalleled,” she said. “Part of my success was due to really good coaches.”
David Roadhouse (’62) earned his state swimming title without fanfare – or even teammates. As the only member of the OH swimming “team” that year, he even needed to find his own school representative to join him at the state finals in Columbus at the Ohio State University Natatorium.
“Coach (Norm) Niedermeier accompanied me for both of my trips to the state swim meet. He was my designated coach,” Mr. Roadhouse recalled of his sophomore biology teacher. “He still loves to tell that story.”
Mr. Roadhouse’s first-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly in 1962 has earned him acceptance into the Ottawa Hills Athletic Hall of Fame as part of the 2021 Class of inductees.
And except for two-tenths of a second difference at the 1961 finals in the same event, his title may have been a repeat. (He won the district qualifying events in that event both years.) His senior year performance was remarkable considering he spent a month in bed the previous summer after a pole-vaulting injury while on the high school track team.
Mr. Roadhouse’s love of swimming began at the Sylvania Country Club in Sylvania, where his family was a member. He would go on to compete for the Toledo YMCA and the Glass City Aquatic Club and at Amateur Athletic Union events throughout his young life. But as a teenager, he wanted to face the best.
“I wanted to compete at the highest level possible, which is how I came to compete at the high school level even though I didn’t have a pool, a team, or a coach,” he said. “It was very thrilling, and I was so happy to have done that for Ottawa Hills and to have competed against other high school swimmers.”
(In order to compete as a high school swimmer at Districts and States, he needed a representative of the school present with him. Without a coach to bring, that’s where Mr. Niedermeier stepped into the picture.) Mr. Roadhouse’s solo achievement is untouched, as he remains the only Ottawa Hills athlete to ever win a state swimming title. He also was the first athlete ever honored with a varsity letter for swimming. (He was president of the Varsity Club his senior year – a club reserved for those who have earned varsity letters.)
“At graduation, I was given three awards – one for athletics, one for service, and one for leadership. And as I moved on from Ottawa Hills, it was those three values that I took with me – the value of physical fitness, the value of service, the value of leadership,” he said. “I carried those character traits with me and always aspired to exemplify them.”
He continued swimming competitively at the University of Michigan. As a sophomore in 1964, he finished sixth at the Big 10 Championship in the 200-yard butterfly – the only sophomore in the finals. The top three finishers of that race were later members of the U.S. team at the 1964 Summer Olympics.
After earning degrees from U-M (in religious studies) and Princeton Theological Seminary (a master’s of divinity degree), he became an ordained Presbyterian minister. After a few years working as a chaplain and psychotherapist in the Chicago area, he became interested in the teaching of enlightenment and eventually became a Buddhist. He established and still runs a private psychotherapy practice, which celebrates 50 years of operation this year.
Sometime in the early 1980s, he started running marathons. An injury forced him into aquatic rehab, where he rediscovered his love for swimming.
“I thought there was something to this idea of cross training,” said Mr. Roadhouse, now 76. “So I bought a bike and started training on it and then slowly got back into running.”
He entered his first triathlon in 1986. Over the course of the next 35 years, he would enter more than 100 triathlons. In addition to numerous U.S. titles for his age group, he has held four world triathlon titles under the auspices of the International Triathlon Union: two for the 60-64 age group (won back to back in 2005-2006) and two for the 65-69 group (won back to back in 2009-2010). A triathlon requires a competitor to complete a 1,500-meter swim (about a mile); a 40-kilometer bike ride (about 25 miles); and a 10-kilometer run (about 6.2 miles).
He retired last year from competition but still takes three-mile daily walks. He and wife Ota have been married for 50 years and live in suburban Chicago near Lake Michigan.
“I’m enjoying it immensely,” he said of the new pace of life. “For the first time in over 30 years, I can actually enjoy the environment and nature rather than it whizzing by me.”
His play shined so brilliantly across multiple sports that teammates bestowed upon him the ultimate nickname: Gold.
Jamie O’Hara (’68) was a four-sport athlete who earned All-League honors in three of them. His accomplishments came naturally to an athlete who started competitive sports at age 5 in swimming pools around northwest Ohio.
“My competitive spirit came directly from swimming,” said Mr. O’Hara, now 70 and semiretired in Nashville (more on that later). “I used to get up as a 5 year old at 5 in the morning, and go work out. And after school, I’d go another two hours.”
He briefly held a national record for his age group in the 25-yard freestyle. His coach was Alex Steve, who coached thousands of area youths in swimming and who died in December. “He was the one who shot me full of competition,” Mr. O’Hara said.
The Athletic Career
The youngest of three siblings (two older sisters Dell (’62) and Micki (’65)), Mr. O’Hara grew up in the Village and played in multiple youth sports leagues. Once at Ottawa Hills High School, he played baseball, basketball, and track and field from 1964-1968. His abilities as a catcher earned him a tryout with the Detroit Tigers and ultimately a contract offer at age 17. In basketball, he played guard. In his senior year, the team won its league title and he was named to the All-Lakeshore Conference team and Honorable Mention All-State.
But for Mr. O’Hara, one of two inductees this year into the Ottawa Hills High School Athletic Hall of Fame, his greatest achievements were in football. He was co-captain of the 1967 team that went 9-1 (the loss coming in a game in which a sick Mr. O’Hara did not play) and easily won the Lakeshore Conference with an average margin of victory of 34-11.
“I coached a lot of great athletes, including Jim White,” said Norm Niedermeier, a 40-year OH teacher who coached Green Bear football from 1957-1997. “But in my mind, Jamie was unquestionably the best male athlete that school ever had.”
Mr. O’Hara played varsity football for four years, and the Green Bears were 23-5 over his final three. “He was great in every sport. And he was never a big shot. He just did his job 100 percent of the time,” Coach Niedermeier said. “A great team player and a fantastic person, too.”
His gridiron achievements in 1967 earned him the All-Northwest District Back of the Year Award; unanimous selection to the All-Lakeshore Conference team; and Class A Honors (Ohio then only had 3 classes, with A representing the smallest schools). He was second team All-Ohio as a junior. His abilities caught the attention of Ohio State’s Woody Hayes and Michigan’s Bo Schembechler, both of whom offered the 6-foot-1, 198-pound tailback a scholarship.
Coverage of his exploits were effusive. Wrote Mike Tressler in The Blade: “The era of O’Hara ended Friday night, the way it started—spectacularly.” That description came following Mr. O’Hara’s final game as a Green Bear in which he carried the ball seven times for 186 yards. “He almost isn’t human,” said Bill Lindeman, who coached the competing Elmore squad in that final game. “He’s too good for this league ….”
Mr. O’Hara ultimately chose the University of Indiana, then the reigning Big 10 Champions. (His older sister Micki was a student there, so that helped seal the deal, too.) He entered Indiana in the fall of 1968, and played on the freshmen football team. “I had one goal and that was to make it to the NFL,” Mr. O’Hara said in a recent interview.
In his sophomore year, the team moved him from tailback to wide receiver, but he also returned kickoffs and punts. He returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown against Northwestern on Nov. 15, 1969. And then came the injury.
During a late-season scrimmage, he tore his ACL. Today, he might have had surgery and ultimately played again. But in 1969, no such option existed. His dreams of being a professional athlete were gone. (To this day, the knee still aches.)
To console their son, parents Lindy and James O’Hara, Sr. gave their son a guitar. The O’Hara family loved to listen to the guitar playing of Bill Eggers, boyfriend and future husband of Micki, in the family’s Edgevale Road home. Mr. Eggers then began to teach Mr. O’Hara a few chords in the early 1970s.
“The injury was the biggest blessing in my life,” said Mr. O’Hara. “I thought it was the worst thing that could have happened to me. But it opened me to music and my life totally changed.”
The Songwriting Career
While he sang in the Choraliers and performed in school musicals, he never considered himself musically inclined. He had never played an instrument before the guitar.
Mr. O’Hara had always loved country music, particularly the music of Kris Kristofferson, Roy Orbison, and the Everly Brothers. Guitar in hand, a new kind of musical appreciation flowed into him, as did a creative desire to write songs. Around 1975, he and then-wife Meredith Roemer (’69) were on their way to Nashville.
He arrived with 10 songs he wrote and recorded in Toledo. He began shopping them around, seeing if anyone was interested. His solicitations took him to the Nashville offices of Monument Records, then the recording studio for many country stars. Outside, a man was painting the building. “I said, ‘Is this Monument Records?’” Mr. O’Hara recalls asking. “He said, ‘Yes,’ and I asked, ‘What do you do?’ And he said, ‘I’m a songwriter.’”
He still laughs at the story, recognizing that the moment was either a sign to turn around and head back to Ottawa Hills or to find humor in the exchange and keep pursuing his dream.
He and Meredith literally walked across the street to Tree International, another Nashville publisher that found artists for songs produced by its stable of songwriters. They were impressed enough with his work that day to begin shopping his songs around to musicians. But he wouldn’t get paid for another five years–just credit as the song’s writer.
The next five years were a near-endless stream of day jobs (chauffer, working on railroads, waiter, housepainter) and writing songs at night.
“In 1980, my career actually began,” Mr. O’Hara said. “I went in to the head guy at Tree and I said that’s it, I’m going to be a songwriter or I’m going to shrivel up and die. And since I’m a ‘songwriter’ now, you’ve got to start paying me.” They agreed, and for each accepted song, they now paid him $100 in addition to writer credit.
Over the next five years, he would write dozens of songs that would be recorded by country legends, including Conway Twitty, Ronnie McDowell, Don Williams, and Tammy Wynette.
Then one morning in 1985, a now-divorced Mr. O’Hara sat down at a picnic table—then serving as a dining room table inside his three-room home— and wrote a song. “I got up one day, sat on that picnic bench, and wrote ‘Grandpa,’” he recalled. The bosses at Tree International didn’t like much about it, including the long-ish title: Grandpa (Tell Me ’Bout the Good Old Days). “I said, ‘No, you’re not changing a thing,’” he recalled. (Members of the Western Writers of America would later call it one of the “Top 100 Western songs of all time.”)
Later that year, mother-daughter country duo The Judds decided to record it and make it prt of their new album. The song went to No. 1 for them and was nominated for two Grammys: one for “Best Country Song” of the year and one for “Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal” for their rendition of the song. “Grandpa” won ’em both in February 1987.
But like a heartbreaking story in a sad country song, Mr. O’Hara wasn’t there to go up on stage (see related story). By the time of the 1987 Grammy Awards, he had formed a group with friend and collaborator Kieran Kane called “The O’Kanes” (the name coming from a blending of their last names). The O’Kanes were favorably reviewed by Time, Rolling Stone, and Newsweek, in which David Gates referred to them as “the Glimmer Twins of Nashville.”
In 1988, they were finalists for a Grammy in the “Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal” category for a song they co-wrote titled “Can’t Stop My Heart from Loving You.” That song became their first No. 1 hit on the Billboard country charts.
Between 1986 and 1990, The O’Kanes released four albums. Six of their songs made it to the Billboard “Hot Country Songs” Top 10 charts. During this time, the group was popular enough to be touring on its own in Canada and opening for such acts in the United States as Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, and Willie Nelson. The group disbanded and each artist began solo careers, with Mr. O’Hara releasing his first solo album, “Rise Above it,” in 1994, followed by “Beautiful Obsession” and “Dream Hymns,” both of which are available at jamieoharamusic.com.
Mr. O’Hara had an equally productive 1990s, writing songs that were recorded by George Jones, Tanya Tucker, Trisha Yearwood, Randy Travis, Lee Ann Womack, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt. A great many of his songs have been recorded either by himself, The O’Kanes, or others.
After 45 years, he’s still living in Nashville. Wife Lola keeps up his Facebook page (facebook.com/ JamieOHaraMusic/) and he still writes the occasional song, such as “It’s Alright to Grow Old,” released in June by Brett Ryan Stewart.
However, he also has taken on a new occupation: writing fiction. He won’t share details. But if he wrote a book titled “Gold” about his own life, chances are it would be too fantastical to believe
And the Grammy goes to … The man outside the building!
Imagine your 10-year journey in the music world has reached a new high: a Grammy nomination. Now imagine a comedy of errors involving limousines, taxis, and a disappearing ticket to the magical awards ceremony. Sounds like a sad country song, right?
Well, it happened to Jamie O’Hara on Feb. 24, 1987, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. When his name was called that night, he was outside the building, knocking on doors and looking in windows.
He was in town with Donna Hilley, chief executive of Tree Publishing, and music partner Kieran Kane. Mr. O’Hara’s ticket was at Mr. Kane’s hotel (or so everyone thought).
Ms. Hilley wanted Mr. O’Hara and his wife Lola to ride in her limo, so they could all go together, so Mr. O’Hara cancelled his. But Ms. Hilley’s limo failed to show, so they had to scramble to get another ride.
They finally arrived at Mr. Kane’s hotel to get the ticket, but the desk clerk couldn’t find it, so they drove on to the Shrine Auditorium. Slowed by rain and a driver who could not find the building, they arrived to discover a line of limos snaking around the block. So they got out and ran in the rain to the entrance, where they got trapped outside with the fans, still confident they could get Mr. O’Hara another ticket. No such luck.
As curtain time drew near, he encouraged his friends to go on. In an era before cellphones, he would knock on doors and hope for the best.
“I knock on one of the side doors and a guy answers it and I say, ‘I know you’re not going to believe this, but I’m up for a Grammy and I don’t have my ticket,’” Mr. O’Hara said. “He said, ‘You’re right, I don’t believe you,’ and he shuts the door.” Eventually, Steven Griel, manager of The O’Kanes, sees Mr. O’Hara outside the building. “’What are you doing outside?’” he asks Mr. O’Hara. “And I said, ‘I can’t get in.’” The manager found someone to open the door and Mr. O’Hara walked inside. Turning toward him, the manager said: “By the way, you won. Congratulations.”
While the story gets better with age, the Grammy itself hasn’t. “It’s falling apart,” Mr. O’Hara said. “But I love it in its broken way.”
If anyone ever compiles a list of all-time great female athletes at Ottawa Hills High School, there is little doubt Katherine (Jamieson) Folino (’10) is at the top.
Inducted this year into the Ottawa Hills High School Athletic Hall of Fame, she excelled in three sports. She earned 18 varsity letters (including six for Dance Team and cheerleading) and as a junior set a state Division III record in 2009 in winning the state 300-meter hurdles. From 2007-2010 at States, she placed 10 times with one championship and two runner-up finishes.
In track, she was a four-time winner of the Toledo Area Athletic Conference (TAAC) “Female Athlete of the Year” and the TAAC “District Sportmanship Award.” And as a sophomore, she became the first OH athlete to place in three events at States.
Along the way, she set Green Bear records and won TAAC titles in field hockey, basketball, and track and field. And she crushed her senior hoops year. In addition to finishing her four-year career with 1,052 points, she was TAAC “Co-Player of the Year” (with teammate Lauren Abendroth); named to the All-Academic TAAC and District 7 teams; and to 1st Team District 7 and Associated Press All-District. Finally, she was Honorable Mention on the All-Ohio Team.
Today, she makes her home in Cincinnati (with husband Danny Folino) and works in the marketing department at Fifth Third Bank. After graduating from Michigan State, she spent three years with the Marathon LPGA Classic and was part of the team that helped to bring the Solheim Cup to Toledo in 2021.
“I loved my time at Ottawa Hills and it made me into the athlete I would become at Michigan State,” said Mrs. Folino. In her senior field hockey year at Michigan State, she was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team and was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for Nov. 5. In her senior year, she received MSU’s “Sportsmanship Award.”
“What made my memories so special are the people that made them special: all of my teammates during my four years as a Green Bear,” she said. “I’ll never forget my field hockey preseasons, running all over the Village (and track and field). But my first as a freshman was incredibly special when I joined the varsity team with my sister.” In field hockey, she was All-Ohio for two years and Academic All-Ohio all four years. She was also a Top 20 finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award.
“Once basketball season came around, I always looked forward to epic pre-game dance parties in the locker room with my teammates,” she said. “It makes me wonder how our TAAC opponents got ready for games because we were on to something!”
“It was always fun to get out to the track. Track workouts were always tough, but our sprint group always found a way to make it a blast,” she recalled. She also expressed gratitude for being an OH athlete along with sister Megan (’07) and brother Andrew (’11). “All of my athletic memories in high school are so special,” she said.
As a high school athlete, Ms. Coleman and playing partner (and fellow honoree) Laurie Imes won the Ohio Class A-AA doubles title in October 1980, defeating a team from Kenton (6-2, 6-1). They were coached by Ronald Ricketts. In October 1981, Ms. Coleman defended the doubles title against a team from Bexley, but this time with partner Torrey Lott (5-7, 6-1, 6-4). She received her undergraduate degree in exercise science and master’s in sports management from the University of Georgia. She has a diverse background in the teaching, coaching, and healing fields.
She has had her own massage practice for 21 years specializing in sports, neuromuscular therapy, and stress relief. She also has worked as a clinic supervisor, grading and mentoring students at her former massage school, The Academy of Somatic Healing Arts.
She has been teaching spinning classes for the past 11 years in several health clubs around Atlanta. She is a Lifetime Certified Spinning Instructor with Mad Dogg Athletics. She was certified as a Level 1 Yogafit instructor in 2012.
She became a wellness coach in 2010 and was certified as a Professional Life Coach in June 2012. She has been on a consistent personal development path and desires to help others grow and be their best selves.
In the late 1980s through the mid 1990s, she was the tennis pro and director at two clubs in North Carolina; coached Atlanta ALTA Teams; and worked for the United States Tennis Association as a schools program director for the Southern section. She was “Georgia Female Player of the Year” in 1996 and played varsity tennis at the University of Georgia and University of Minnesota.
Her other interests include investigative research, bikram yoga, weight training, hiking, traveling, live music, and dancing.
Mr. Hill was part of the tennis doubles team (along with fellow honoree Jim Tenney) who won the 1956 state title, defeating a team from Mansfield (6-4, 6-3). Mr. Hill made it back to the state tournament in 1956, but with a new playing partner.
After Ottawa Hills, Mr. Hill enrolled at Yale University, where he played lacrosse. He graduated in 1960 with a bachelor of arts degree in history. He played lacrosse at Yale and then spent a year in London as an insurance broker with Lloyd’s of London. He worked as a reinsurance broker in New York, Chicago, and Minneapolis before returning to Toledo in 1969 to form his own insurance agency, which he subsequently sold. Clients included The Toledo Hospital, The Toledo Blade, and the City of Toledo.
In 1984, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to found a direct-response insurance agency specializing in marketing to bank checking-account customers. After later selling this company, Mr. Hill joined John Hancock, specializing in financial planning and long-term care. He retired in 2010.
Mr. Hill has served on the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Toledo and Nashville. He was a member of the Fine Arts Committee of the U.S. Department of State and Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville. While at Ottawa Hills, he captained the basketball and football teams. He has three children (Mawgie, Bijnie, and Lizzie) who attended Ottawa Hills, 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild. He current resides in Nashville.
As a high school athlete, Ms. Imes and playing partner (and fellow honoree) Kelly Coleman won the Ohio Class A-AA doubles title in October 1980, defeating a team from Kenton (6-2, 6-1). They were coached by Ronald Ricketts.
Ms. Imes continued her tennis career at Ohio University via a full scholarship. She graduated from OU in 1985 with a bachelor of fine arts degree. She then managed a small art gallery in Cleveland for several years before moving to Atlanta. Once there, she pursued a post-graduate degree in architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology.
She was a successful tennis player in the Atlanta ALTA league. She competed in the Double AA1 category for the famed Bitsy Grant Tennis Center and won the city title for five consecutive years, which garnered coverage in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Her career and athletics were second to her role as mother to daughters Anastasia, Mischa, and Ashley. Once her children were independent enough, she became an entrepreneur. Ms. Imes has owned several construction-related companies. She has managed multimillion dollar residential and commercial construction projects – and toted lumber and swung a hammer in the field.
She currently runs Laurie Imes Inc., providing CAD drawings to general contractors, estimating of projects, and expediting construction permits. She and her partner Scott Whitfield also own a successful moving company in Atlanta.
While she put her athletic career on hold temporarily, the athlete in her never gave up. Tennis was traded in for martial arts and running. She is a first-degree black belt in Goju Ryu Okinawan style. She has won several martial arts medals at the Georgia Games. As her 5K and 10K runs became somewhat blasé, she pursued triathlons. She has placed third, second, and first in the Tri the Parks triathlon series. She also has competed in more than a 100 triathlons, including sprint, Olympic, 70.3, and full Ironman (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, 26.2-mile run) distance races. Even after a traumatic brain injury due to a motorcycle wreck in 2017, she races her bike on gravel forest service roads in the North Georgia mountains with 5,000 feet of climbing.
Mr. Tenney’s greatness as a tennis player began at Ottawa Hills High School during a time when athletes and teams were “Green Arrows” and not “Green Bears”. In 1956, he and playing partner John M. Hill (see bio on page 12) won the state doubles title, beating a team from Mansfield (6-4, 6-3). That same year, Mr. Tenney’s brother Tom finished as state singles champion runner-up. In 1957, Jim Tenney repeated his brother’s achievement when he, too, finished as the state singles champion runner-up.
During this era, the high school did not have its own courts; students instead played at the Toledo Tennis Club. And competition was conducted among Ohio high schools regardless of enrollment.
In his junior year, Mr. Tenney was runner-up in state singles. As a senior, he not only was team captain but also won the state singles title. He also played varsity football during his junior and senior years. Under the outstanding leadership of team quarterback Jim White, the team finished undefeated both years.
While studying engineering at the University of Michigan, he played varsity tennis his sophomore, junior, and senior years. The team won the Big 10 tournament those three years and Mr. Tenney was team captain his senior year.
After graduation, he moved to Southern California and earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern California. He worked mainly in the aerospace industry until retiring at age 68.
In 1967, he married Joanne, a California native and physical education teacher. They have been married for 52 years and have two daughters; both are kindergarten teachers for public school systems. He and Mrs. Tenney have five grandchildren and in retirement enjoy traveling and playing with the grandchildren – and playing tennis, of course.