CLASS OF 2005
Simply put, Tom Warne is Howard County’s most successful collegiate athlete ever.
Following an outstanding track and field career at Kokomo High School, Warne continued his excellence at Northwestern University where he captured two Big Ten and three NCAA pole vault championships.
Competing under legendary Kokomo High coach Chet Hill, Warne won IHSAA state pole vault championships in 1926 and 1927 and led the Kats to team state titles as well. In the spring of ’27 Warne competed in Chicago where he set the world’s record vault of 12-10 1/2.
At Northwestern, Warne won Big Ten and NCAA championships as a sophomore. A year later, he won the NCAA title again, before touring Europe, where he was unbeaten in 10 competitions. As a senior in 1931, Warne again won Big Ten and NCAA championships — the latter at a height of 13-10 5/16. Each of the three years Warne won NCAA gold medals, the height of his winning vault increased.
Perhaps it’s fitting that in a basketball-crazed community, the first woman inducted into the Hall of Fame is Howard County’s all-time — boys or girls — leading scorer.
Tiffany Longworth starred on Kokomo High teams that won three North Central Conference titles and two state championships. Over that four-year span, the Wildkats assembled a 94-7 record and the multi-talented 5-foot-8 guard scored 1,936 points. A decade after her graduation, she still owns 12 career records, including points, assists and steals. She also is recognized as the player most responsible for kick-starting a KHS girls basketball program that has become a symbol of excellence state-wide.
She was runner-up in voting for the 1993 Miss Basketball before accepting a scholarship to Penn State University. During her four seasons there, the Nittany Lions were 96-26 while winning two Big Ten championships. She graduated from Penn State as the school’s all-time leading 3-point shooter.
A Lebanon native who came to Kokomo in 1984, Cary Hungate is Howard County’s most decorated golfer. Head pro at the American Legion and Kokomo Country Club courses, Hungate shot the best round of golf ever in the county in 2001. He toured the KCC course with a 12-under-par 31-27-58, shattering the course record by four shots.
A member of the Ball State and Indiana High School golf halls of fame, Hungate has been one of the state’s top club pros. Among his many titles, three times he’s been Indiana’s Player of the Year and five times he’s captured Indiana Stroke Play and Match Play championships. He also took great pride in winning the State Father-Son Tournament with son Ryan and the State Parent-Child Tournament with daughter Katie.
Hungate has also been a U.S. Open qualifier four times and twice has played in the PGA Championship.
Ezra Hendrickson first came to the attention of the Howard County sports community as a major contributor to Western High School’s boys basketball sectional championship team in 1990, but it was at a different venue where he would make his name.
Hendrickson’s first love was soccer. After a college career with Drake University’s men’s soccer team, Hendrickson went on to become a mainstay in Major League Soccer, the top rung of professional soccer in the U.S.
In a lengthy MLS career that began in 1997, the attacking wing defender won the MLS Cup twice, first with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2002, then with D.C. United in 2004. In addition to winning league championships, Hendrickson was part of the L.A. squad which won the 2001 U.S. Open Cup and 2001 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup.
Internationally, Hendrickson represented his native St. Vincent and the Grenadines more than 100 times, serving as captain for a decade.
Walter Cross was an outstanding athlete, coach and contributor during his lifetime — the bulk of it spent in Howard County. As a basketball player at Thorntown High School, he won the Gimbel Award, which was the forerunner to the Trester Award. He later came to Kokomo High School where, from 1925-66, he taught science and coached.
A member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and the Indiana Track and Cross Country Hall of Fame, Cross coached football, basketball and track and started the school’s cross country program in 1941.
After his retirement, he continued to assist with track and swimming meets at Kokomo and Haworth High Schools and often served as the timer at football and basketball games.
Cross saw every Kokomo Relays from its inception in 1925 until his death in 1987. In 1986, Kokomo High’s football and track facility was named Walter Cross Field.
One of Howard County’s outstanding three-sport athletes, Bruce Rose is known for his athletic contributions at Haworth High School and Purdue University.
At Haworth as a senior, Rose was a two-way end in football and played in the North-South All-Star Game. Rose was the catalyst on the Huskies’ basketball team that finished 23-3. The 6-foot-6 forward also averaged 21 points and 15 rebounds on a squad that won sectional and regional titles. He capped his career by being selected for the Indiana All-Star team. That spring, Rose was the catcher on the baseball team that advanced to the Final Four.
Rose accepted a basketball scholarship at Purdue where in three seasons he played in all 78 games. As a senior, he was the team’s sixth man, averaging 9.0 points on a squad that finished 21-9 and won the NIT. In 1994, Rose was named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s Silver Anniversary Team.