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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Former Coach Sings Praises of New Hall of Famer

GREENWICH, Conn. – Bill Mongovan has fond memories of Ceci Hopp from when she ran for Greenwich High School more than 30 years ago. Mongovan stood in for the distance runner, who now goes by Ceci St. Geme, when her selection was announced Thursday as one of the newest members of the Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame.

St. Geme joins former Fairfield University star Joe DeSantis in the Hall's James O'Rourke Amateur Wing. Stamford's Bennett Salvatore and Bridgeport's John Bagley will enter the Jackie Robinson Professional wing. Former Staples soccer coach Albie Loeffler and Bridgeport's Charlie Bentley will be enshrined in the J. Walter Kennedy Community Service Wing. The hall is run by the Fairfield County Sports Commission. The award winners will be honored at a dinner Monday, Oct. 17, at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich.

Hopp made her name as a scholastic star at Greenwich High, winning the National Cross Country championship in 1980 and following up with a national title in the 3,000-meter run as a senior. She still owns four Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference outdoor records and two state milestones. Hopp St. Geme continued her success as a collegian at Stanford by winning the NCAA 3,000 run as a freshman in 1982 in a time of 8:57, still an American Junior record.

In 1992 and 1996 she qualified for the Olympic Trials in three events, while winning the USA Track & Field national championship in the 5,000 meters in 1994. Hopp St. Geme, who graced the cover of Runner's World magazine seven times, remains one of the top female Masters runners and is active in 5K runs. She has been the assistant cross country and track coach for the past nine years at Corona del Mar High in Newport Beach, Calif.

Riverside's Dorothy Hamill was inducted in the Amateur Wing in 2005. Greenwich swim coach Terry Lowe was inducted in the Community Service Wing in 2009. Steve Young went into the Professional wing in 2005, and Tim Teufel was selected in 2008.

Do you remember Ceci Hopp St. Geme when she ran at Greenwich High? Start the discussion below!

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