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Posted: January 16, 2009  :

Athletics: News & Notes, Volume 9, Number 1

Former Villanova track star Traynor dies

A versatile middle distance performer who ran for National Track & Field Hall of Fame Coach Jumbo Elliot at Villanova, Patrick Traynor of Perkasie, Pa., died Saturday from apparent heart failure. He was 67.

A prep star at Monsignor Bonner High School in Havertown, Pa., where he was a Catholic League cross country and mile champion, Traynor arrived at Villanova in 1959 where he ran everything from the mile on up, although he found his true calling in the steeplechase.

Traynor won two events at the 1962 Penn Relays where he was voted the most outstanding male college athlete. Also at that event he finished as the runner-up in the steeplechase to 1956 Olympic Games finalist Deacon Jones.Traynor was an NCAA all-American in the steeplechase in 1961 and 1962, and won national AAU steeplechase titles in 1962 and 1963. He also captured the men's AAU 10,000m cross-country title in 1963.

Traynor graduated from Villanova in 1963 with a degree in history. While teaching at Sayre Junior High School in Philadelphia he continued his running career and qualified as an alternate for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics with his fourth place finish at the Olympic Trials in Los Angeles.

Traynor served in the Air Force from 1965-1969 and attempted to make the 1968 U.S. Olympic Team, but was unable to qualify for the squad at the Olympic Trials in Lake Tahoe. Following his stint with the Air Force, Traynor taught and counseled families and patients at Philadelphia health centers for 30 years.

In addition to his son Patrick Jr., Mr. Traynor is survived by daughters Tara Cook, Emily and Bridget; sons Keith and Joseph; a brother; a sister; seven grandchildren; and his former wife, Lisa Klausner.

Forgues, Tegtmeier named Al Heppner Scholarship recipients

2008 Olympic Trials participants Lauren Forgues and Chris Tegtmeier have each been named the recipients of $2,500 Al Heppner Scholarship Grants.

The Al Heppner Memorial Fund was established in honor of Al Heppner, an outstanding race walker and aspiring journalist, who was 29 years old when he died on February 19, 2004. The annual award is made from the Al Heppner Memorial Fund to young athletes who best meet the qualifications set by the Fund's protocol. Set up as an endowment fund, it provides a permanent vehicle for members of the race walking community to aid young race walkers.

A resident of Boothbay, Maine, Forgues was a bronze medalist at the 2007 Pan American Race Walk Cup. She finished third at the 2008 USA Indoor Mile Race Walk Championships held in conjunction with the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden in New York City. She is currently a junior at the University of Phoenix.

The defending NAIA Indoor race walk champion, Tegtmeier is a resident of Jansen, Neb., and a junior at Concordia University in Seward, Neb. He competed at the 2008 IAAF Race Walking World Cup in Cheboksary, Russia, where he finished 95th in the 20 km race.

List of Al Heppner Scholarship recipients:

2004 - Anne Favoloise, University of Wisconsin - Parkside
2005 - Maria Michta, CW Post University, NY
2006 - Patrick Stroupe, Central Methodist University, Missouri
2007 - Maria Michta, CW Post University, NY
2008 - Chris Tegtmeier, Concordia University, Nebraska
2008 - Lauren Forgues, University of Phoenix (formerly University of Maine)

For more information on the Al Heppner Memorial Fund, please visit:

About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.

For more information on USATF, visit

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