ARKANSAS TRACK & FIELD HALL OF FAME, 2008 INDUCTEES
Gaile Hainley – Graduatedfrom Mansfield High School in 1961, Westark in 1963 and the University of Central Arkansas in 1966. In 1968, Hainley began coaching track at Waldron High School where her girls teams won the Ouachita Relays for several years. In 1973, Hainley and Helen Parker of Ashdown initiated the state track meet to include all classes for girls. Her Waldron teams won the 1973 state championship. Hainley’s teams finished in the top five the next several years and won three more championships. At one time, her junior high track team won twenty-six straight track meets. She served several years on the AAA Track and Field Advisory Committee. Hainley retired in 1999 but continues to be actively involved in working track meets around the state.
Dariel W. Johnson - Little Rock Central and Arkansas State University. At ASU, Johnson was a member of the 1976 and 1977 teams that won the Southland Conference Track Championships. He ran on two school record relays, the 1600 meter relay in 3:08.4 and the 240-shuttle hurdle relay. Johnson was ASU’s school record holder in the 400 meter hurdles at 51.7. At Little Rock Central, Johnson was one of the nation’s premier hurdlers and the Most Outstanding Performer in the 1975 Class AAAA State Meet. On March 22, 1975, as a senior, he ran the fastest hurdle times in the nation recording 13.6 in the high hurdles and 18.7 over the low hurdles. In 1974, as a junior, he turned in the fastest times in the state in the high and low hurdles, winning both in the Meet of Champions. He was also ranked number one in the state in the 220 yard dash and among the best in the 100 yard dash at 9.7, as well as being a member of all three Tiger relay teams. In the 1975 state meet, Johnson ran ten races in one day including prelims, finals and relays winning high-point honors with 18 ½ points with his winning hurdle times equaling the state records of 13.8 in the high hurdles and 18.8 over the low hurdles. Johnson concluded his high school track career by posting the best time ever run by an Arkansas high school hurdler at 13.6 while finishing third in the high hurdles at the prestigious Golden West Invitational at Sacramento, CA.
David Johnston - Elaine High School and University of Central Arkansas from 1964-1969. Johnston lettered for four years in track & field at Elaine High School and in 1964 was state champion in both the high and low hurdles. At UCA, he lettered in track & field four years and in 1969 was AIC long jump, triple jump and high hurdles champion. He was NAIA national champion in the long jump and first team All-American in 1967, 1968 and 1969. Johnston was high point man in the AIC championships. In 1968, he set a new AIC record of 48’7 ½” in the triple jump. His bests included 10.5 for 100 meters, 49.7 for 400 meters, 25”1” in the long jump, 6’ 7 ½” in the high jump, 15’6” in the pole vault, and 14.1 over the high hurdles. Johnston was awarded the Nell Martin trophy in 1969 as the outstanding amateur athlete. He has coached track & field at the high school level in California and college track at Arkansas State, SMU, Central Arkansas, University of Florida and Arizona State.
Bill Nutter - Conway High School from 1950-1953 and Hendrix College from 1953-1957. Nutter lettered in track & field three years at Conway High School , four years in track at Hendrix College where he received the Hugh Robinson Outstanding Athlete Award in 1957. Nutter’s coaching career included Conway High School from 1958-1963 where his teams won state championships in 1960 and 1963. He was voted Arkansas High School Coach of the Year in 1963. He served at the University of Central Arkansas as assistant track coach from 1965-1968 and as head track coach from 1968-1973. His 1969 team won the AIC Championship and he was voted AIC Coach of the Year and named Area 5 and District 17 NAIA Coach of the Year. His 1969 team placed sixth in the national meet, which was the highest finish on record. Two athletes were named All-Americans. Nutter has served as chairman of Arkansas AAU long distance running committee and has made numerous presentations at clinics over the years.
Don Pierce - Crossett High School, Jessieville High School, Track Official and Administrator.
Pierce graduated from Crossett High School in 1979 and won the Meet of Champs in the pole vault.
He has been the leader in starting and continuing indoor track & field for Arkansas high school competition including a state championship that has grown to a very large event involving many athletes. The indoor track program got started in the early 1990’s and Pierce has continued to be the meet director in charge of the program ever since. He has also served as state meet referee for AAA, host and track administrator, and president of the Arkansas Track Coaches Association. Pierce has served as the head track & field coach at Jessieville for a number of years, coaching his teams to numerous conference championships and two state championships. He is currently serving as president of the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame.
Godfrey Siamusiye – University of Arkansas,1995-97. Siamusiye was a six-time All-American and four-time NCAA champion during his career at Arkansas. He is the only athlete in U of A history to win back-to-back NCAA Cross Country Championships in 1995 and 1996 and he also captured back-to-back NCAA Outdoor 10,000-meter titles in1995 and 1996. Siamusiye was a member of four national championship and five SEC championship teams. In addition to his success on the national level, he claimed 10 individual Southeastern Conference crowns. He represented Zambia at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta where he finished 10th in his heat of the 3,000 meter steeplechase.
Joe Wessell - Paragould High School and Arkansas State Teachers College. Wessell ran track for Coach Raymond Bright at ASTC from 1961-1964, competing in the 100 yard dash and all three relays. ASTC won the AIC championship all four years that Wessell was a member of the team. After college, he coached at Paragould for three years. Since 1970, he has been well known for starting high school and college track meets as well as major meets at the University of Arkansas, University of Alabama and Ole Miss. He has started six SEC outdoor conference meets in the last 10 years and two SEC indoor meets. In both 2001 and 2002 Wessell was chosen as one of the starters for the 2001 and 2002 NCAA Indoor National Championships.