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Hall of Fame inductee Cederquist was one of area’s best track coaches

February 6, 2013
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

JAMESTOWN - The Board of Directors of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce Cal Cederquist will be formally inducted at the CSHOF's 32nd annual banquet on Monday, Feb. 18 at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.

Over a career that spanned more than 30 years, Calvin "Cal" Cederquist established himself as one of the area's finest high school track coaches.

Cederquist attended Southwestern Central School, where he was captain of the track team and a two-time CCIAC long jump champion and a Section 6 qualifier. He then moved on to Alfred State College, followed by Buffalo State College, where he picked up a Bachelor's Degree. He later earned a Master's Degree from St. Bonaventure and did further graduate work at Fredonia State and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

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Cal Cederquist, track coach for Chautauqua Central and Chautauqua Lake Central Schools, will be formally inducted at into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame at the 32nd annual banquet on Monday, Feb. 18.

His teaching and coaching career began at the original Chautauqua Central School in 1972. He began working with a track team that hadn't won a championship or even a dual meet in 40 years. Without any actual track facilities and a dozen or fewer athletes, Cederquist worked tirelessly and turned the program into a winner. He claimed three consecutive championships from 1979 to 1981.

He sent several of his athletes to Section 6 qualifiers including Shawn Smith, who was a Section 6 1,000-meter champion and a sectional record holder. Smith went on to win the National AAU Junior Olympics in the 1,500-meters after his senior year. Cederquist also produced the first girls' state qualifier, Jill Bergman, who competed in the 100-meter hurdles.

In addition, Cederquist developed an outstanding cross country program at "Little Chautauqua," including three state qualifiers, a state finalist and four county champions competing in Class C as a Class D school.

After a nine-year hiatus, Cederquist returned in 1990 to help build a combined boys and girls program and again those teams were successful. From 1994 to 1998, Chautauqua won five consecutive track championships with more than 50 victories and, as before, a number of individuals earned trips to the Section 6 championships.

By 1996, Chautauqua High School was planning to merge with Mayville Central School, and in Chautauqua's final season, Cederquist's track team was one of the area's best. In the final athletic event in school history, the 1,600-meter relay, team members Brian Jones, Vern Post, Todd Glenn and Lucas Brown capped things off by winning the school's first and only state championship.

The merger created Chautauqua Lake Central School in 1997, and Cederquist continued coaching, helping Jones to claim another state crown in the 400-meters. Cederquist retired from teaching after 33 years, but remained as a coach until 2008. Cederquist had the distinction of coaching all three of his children, Barry, Kevin and Carrie, on championship teams.

During his career, Cederquist also was a four-time Post-Journal Coach of the Year winner, was named as the Joe Paterniti Coach of the Year by the Southwestern Track Association and also received the New York State Coaches' Century Award for cross country. He served on the Section 6 Track Advisory Board for 14 years and was the Section 6 Class C chairman. He also is a Grape Belt Hall of Fame inductee.

Joining Cederquist as inductees in the Class of 2013 will be Ron Blackmer, the late Jim Foti, Walt Thurnau, Dan Palmer and Jim Young.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Bruce Baumgartner, regarded as the greatest heavyweight freestyle wrestler in American history, will be the guest speaker.

The CSHOF induction banquet on Monday, Feb. 18 will begin with a hospitality session at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased at Matt's News on Third Street in Dunkirk, Fredonia Food Mart on Temple Street in Fredonia and Jamestown Cycle Shop on Harrison Street in Jamestown. Tickets can also be ordered by phoning Chip Johnson at 485-6991. The price per ticket is $50. CSHOF members receive a $5 discount.



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