When former IHSAA Information Director Bud Legg nominated former Sioux City Journal sports editor Terry Hersom for the Iowa Association of Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame, the decision didn't take much thought for HOF Chairman Mike Jay.
It didn't take much effort for Hersom's name to move along in the process and on December 7, 2019, Hersom will be officially inducted into the IATC Hall of Fame as a special contributor.
"It was a no-brainer. He has a true love for covering track and field and is a great historian of the sport," Jay said. "You can tell those guys that really know the sport and care about it and if you go back and read some of his stuff from Drake and the state meet, you can tell his articles about track and field were so well-written because he loved the sport."
Hersom said he is humbled by the Hall of Fame honor.
"I've been very humbled by every honor I've been given over my long career and this is no different. Especially to have Mike Jay be the one to notify me, he's the voice of the Drake Relays and state and he does a fantastic job," Hersom said. "I've always had great respect and a love for track and that's come from covering Drake and state. It's been fun in all of the years in Northwest Iowa to deal with so many remarkable athletes.
"I appreciate the recognition and just very humbled by it all."
Hersom started as the sports editor at the Journal in 1977 and retired on Jan. 1, 2016, ending a 38-year career with the Journal. Hersom covered countless track meets during that time with annual trips to the Drake Relays and the state track and field meet.
Hersom is a member of the Sioux City Relays Hall of Fame Committee, a group he chaired for more than 25 years.
Even in retirement, Hersom has kept up with Siouxland track and field athletes who have gone on to do some big things. He has been writing about Shelby Houlihan since she was a standout runner for Sioux City East. She has later gone on to win the Jackie Joyner-Kersee award, given to the top female runner in the nation.
Hersom has always been fascinated by how some of the area athletes have been able to push themselves to the limit throughout the years.
"I consider track and field to be a sport where people work harder to maximize their potential and get the very most out of what their bodies can produce," Hersom said. "I couldn't begin to list the names of the people I've gotten to cover. It's been great to watch Shelby Houlihan grow into a Jackie Joyner-Kersee award winner and Kiana Phelps become one of the best high school throwers in Iowa to a standout at Oregon.
"They all have held a special place and touched me."
The induction will be in Ames. Marshalltown coach Tim Bell, Corydon's George Saling, Dubuque's Rob Brock, North Linn's Ellen Reis and Cedar Falls' Faith Burt will also be inducted at the ceremony.
Over the past few years, Jay has gotten to know Hersom more. During Jay's event at the Wheelhouse this past winter, Hersom was one of the speakers.
"We've gotten to talk face-to-face about the history of track and field in the state and about Shelby," Jay said. "I feel like we've gotten to be good friends. His memory is still as sharp as a tack. I do feel like he's one of the best that's covered the sport in the state. He was very, very moved when I told him this was going to happen.
"It will be fun in December when he is inducted."