Four decades after becoming the first — and only — athlete in state history to win a high school track and field team title by herself, Patsy Pointer is headed to the hall of fame.
Pointer, née Walker, won all four of her events her senior year to lead Yelm High School to its only state championship in the sport in 1977, edging Port Townsend, 40-37, for the 1A title in Yakima.
During the two-day meet, Pointer won the 220-yard dash, 80-yard low hurdles, high jump and long jump.
She is one of six inductees to join the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association hall of fame as part of its 2018 class.
Shortly after Title IX was enacted in 1972, Pointer began her track and field career at Yelm. Between 1973-77, she won seven individual state titles, and set several school, state and national records.
"She was a great athlete in an era when women were pushed aside and not taken seriously in athletics," former Yelm coach Mike Strong told The Olympian in 2009. "There were few others who were gifted in this state at that time."
During her high school career, Pointer set seven school records at Yelm. She still holds five of them in the 200 (24.6 seconds), 400 (56.9), shot put (40 feet, 8 inches), high jump (5-10 3/4) and long jump (19-10).
She set state records for the 440 dash and 80 low hurdles — in which she later set a national record — in high school, and state-meet records in the 220 dash, 80 low hurdles and long jump.
Her long jump record (19-9 1/2) from 1977 is still the state meet record across all classifications. It is the oldest record in girls state meet history still standing.
Pointer was also the first female track and field athlete in Washington to win all four of her events at the state championship meet. Others have completed perfect meets since, but no athlete has matched Pointer's feat of winning a team title alone.
Following her final high school season, Pointer won a national championship in the pentathlon at the USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field championships.
She went on to compete in college at UCLA and Houston, winning national titles in the indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon in 1981. Pointer was an alternate on the 1984 Olympic team.
She became Yelm's first athletic hall of fame inductee in 2003.
Pointer is joined by one other athlete in Gary Lindgren (Rogers of Spokane), who is considered the best high school distance runner of all time, in the WIAA's 2018 class.
Lindgren competed at the 1964 Olympics and won 11 NCAA championships at WSU.
Baseball coach Gary Hatch will be inducted after spending 35 years at Sehome, where he collected 532 wins and three state titles.
Robert Gary Sr., who was the first black coach in state history hired by a public school, and Bob Kirk will be inducted as administrators. Ed Laulainen will be recognized as a contributor.
"This group of individuals has bettered each of their communities and the state of Washington as a whole," WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese said in a release. "It will be our honor to recognize the members of both the 2017 and 2018 classes at the ceremony in May."
The 2017 class, which will also be honored, included legendary Tumwater High School football coach Sid Otton, who remains the winningest coach in state history.
He had a career record of 394-131, made 27 playoff appearances and won six state titles — including the final five at Tumwater.
Otton's class also included basketball coach Al Hairston (Garfield, Kent-Meridian, O’Dea) and baseball coach Don Freeman (Prairie, Heritage).
Cheryl (Byers) Schauble who ran track and field at Pullman, and Duke Washington, who played football at Pasco, were recognized as athletes.
Educators Ron Jones (fine arts) and Dele Gunnerson (administrator/contributor), and contributor Craig Smith, who covered high school sports for The Seattle Times, were the other three inductees.