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Rutgers Olympic Sports Hall of Fame
Class of 2005

Pam Fearon '90

The all-time winningest doubles player in Rutgers history, Fearon was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) Regional Senior Player of the Year in 1989.  Also the Atlantic 10 Conference Senior Player of the Year, she achieved the highest national ranking ever for a Lady Knight, climbing to ninth with partner Kim Curcuru.  The winner of the Headley-Singer Award, given annually to Rutgers’ top senior female student-athlete, Fearon was the team’s Most Valuable Player and co-captain, earning all-conference honors in both singles and doubles and reaching the ITA Regional doubles final.  She later served as an assistant coach at her alma mater.

Robert Kaehler ’86

A 10-time U.S. National Team member and three-time Olympian, Kaehler won four World Championship gold medals, the most ever by an American male rower, as a member of the U.S. Men’s Eight.  Kaehler was captain and team MVP of the crew team during his senior year, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1986.  A three-time letterwinner “On the Banks,” Kaehler raced at the 1987 and 1989 World University Games and won the 1990 U.S. Single Scull National Team Trials.  After finishing his master’s degree in physical therapy at Columbia University, Kaehler returned in 1991 to earn a seat on the U.S. Quadruple Scull, and remained a member of the National Team for 10 years from 1991 to 2000.  In 1994, he switched to the Men’s Eight, and went on to win four World Championship gold medals (1994, 1997, 1998, 1999).  In addition, his Eight won the Grand Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta in 1994 and 1995, as well as the gold and bronze medals at the 1994 Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia.  In 1995, Kaehler earned two gold medals at the Pan American Games in Argentina.  As US Rowing’s Male Athlete of the Year in 1998, he finished eighth in the Quadruple Scull at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and fifth in the Men’s Eight at both the 1996 Atlanta Games and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Dr. Emil Perona ’52

The only Rutgers wrestler to ever win three Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) titles, Perona placed fourth at the 1952 NCAA Championships at 157 pounds to earn All-America honors.  Named to the EIWA Hall of Fame in 2002, Perona won the 167-pound crown in 1950 and the 157-pound title in 1951 and 1952.  A three-year letterwinner (1950-52), he arrived at Rutgers after winning a state high school title in 1948, and led the RU freshmen to a win against the varsity squad in 1949.  Perona served as the team captain in 1952, and later instituted the Perona Trophy, still given to all Rutgers EIWA champions.

Ron Speirs ’75

A 1975 All-American in the mile, finishing fifth at the NCAA Championships, Speirs helped lead Rutgers to the Metropolitan outdoor team title in 1975, finishing second in the mile and 880-yard runs.  Still the owner of the indoor (4:05.9) and outdoor (4:00.8) mile records “On the Banks,” Speirs was an all-IC4A honoree in 1975, finishing as the runner-up (4:00.8) to Eamon Coghlan, the future world record holder.  Speirs also helped lead Rutgers to a Metropolitan cross country title in 1974, and was awarded the Robert Collett Award as team MVP in 1973 and 1974.  He was an all-IC4A cross country honoree in 1974, and a three-time competitor in the NCAA Cross-Country Championships, finishing 31st in 1973, the highest ever by a Scarlet Knight.  While obtaining his master’s degree at Rutgers and serving as graduate assistant track and field coach, Ron went on to run  3:56.9 in the mile in 1977, the fastest time ever run by a Rutgers graduate.  A finalist at the 1976 British Olympic Trials, Speirs went on to found and serve as president of RU FAST (Friends and Alumni of Scarlet Track), and founded the Lester C. Wallack, Jr. Scholarship for men’s track.

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