2000 Hall of Honor
A Rockford native and graduate of West High School, “Ced” Blazer came to Beloit College to run for the distinguished and inspiring coach Herb Hodges, who later called him “the toughest competitor he ever coached.” A four-year track man, he earned great recognition as the anchor for the Midwest Conference winning mile relay team in 1950 and ’51. Blazer was also the sprint-medley relay anchor on teams that set Purdue Relay records, won the Beloit Relays and finished second at the Drake Relays. He was a member of the sprint-medley team that finished 2nd in the College division at the Kansas Relays, where the team’s time was faster than all but one team in the University division. At the 1951 conference meet, he was the high scorer, winning the 440 and anchoring the mile relay team as Beloit edged Monmouth for the Conference title. A dash man who consistently finished the 100 in around 10 seconds and the 220 around 22, Blazer was relied upon to pull the team through the most difficult competitions. Co-captain his senior year, he also held the field house record for the 440. In 1984, Blazer and his teammates were honored when Beloit College recognized the accomplishments of the exemplary 1951 track team and their contributions to the fine athletic heritage of the institution. Blazer is president of Zenith Cutter Co., Inc., and is a noted corporate leader and philanthropist in Rockford.
A native of St. Charles, Illinois, Michele Preuss transferred to Beloit in 1987 and made her mark immediately on the basketball and softball programs. A first-team All-Conference selection in both sports, she also achieved national recognition in assist average and batting average. On the court, as a junior she led the team with an average of 17.6 points per game with 4.9 rebounds. Senior year she contributed 16.5 points per game and 5.1 rebounds. Voted most valuable player in both her junior and senior years and a co-captain in 1989, she was a women’s record holder with the most assists, most steals and most points per game. Her versatile playing earned her recognition at the Northland College Invitational and the Rockford College Lady Regent Classic as well as a place on the all tournament team at the Beloit Invitational. A North Division first team shortstop, she led the team in five offensive categories including batting an impressive .453 with 15 RBIs, earning her a national ranking of 22nd among the nation’s hitters and selection as the team’s offensive player of the year in 1988 and elected co-captain in 1989, Preuss won the Janssen and the Peterson awards.
A Beloit High School graduate, Richard Raddant became a four-time Midwest Conference track champion during his Beloit College career. He was a Midwest Conference champion twice in both the broad jump and the 100 yard dash and on two occasions was the leading scorer at the Midwest Conference meet. In 1939, Raddant won the broad jump and the 100 and 220 yard dashes at the Midwest Conference Freshman Telegraphic Meet and was on the winning freshman spring medley relay team at the Beloit Relays. As a sophomore, he won the broad jump, the 100, and 220 yard dashes in his first two varsity meets against Ripon and Carroll, earning him high-point honors. Bothered by a leg injury in his junior and senior years, he nonetheless continued to excel. As a junior, he won the broad jump and the 100 yard dash and took second in the 220 at the Midwest Conference Meet and anchored the winning 440 relay team at the Beloit Relays. At the State Meet he took top honors in the broad jump but was unable to compete in other events due to injury. A captain in 1942, he won top-athlete honors at the Beloit Relays with a victory in broad jump at personal best 23’3½” and he anchored the winning 440 and 880 relay teams. Although not expected to compete in the state meet, he won the 100 in a record-tying 10 seconds and topped the field in the broad jump. A decorated WWII Navy veteran who then pursued a career in journalism and public relations, Raddant died in an auto accident in 1977.