Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame welcomes Class of 2017

Louisville, KY (WAVE) - A new wave of legends took their place among the greats of the Commonwealth on Thursday night. Eight new inductees joined the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.

"When you spend 27 years in Freedom Hall and you do, you spend a lot of time in there, you do stop and read a lot of them," longtime University of Louisville sports information director Kenny Klein said. He was referring to the iconic plaques that hang in the concourse of the arena.

Klein was joined in the Class of 2017 by horse racing handicapper and announcer Mike Battaglia, UK football star Rodger Bird, Marshall County girl's head basketball coach Howard Beth, Lexington sportscaster Rob Bromley, running legend Swag Hartel, Trinity head football coach Dennis Lampley and golf legend Marion Miley.

"Back in the days when I was running, this isn't something I ever thought would happen and it's very gratifying at 65 years of age to be inducted into this Hall of Fame, but I really don't think I deserve it," Hartel told WAVE 3 Sports.

"I'm happy just to get on there, I don't care if it's one word, I made it, I made it, I made it, and that was neat, that was neat," Lampley said.

Battaglia recalled that his favorite Kentucky Derby call was the Affirmed-Alydar stretch duel in 1978, his first. "Starting off at Miles Park in '72 and calling the Kentucky Derby in 1978, that was quite a leap," he said.

Sacred Heart's Brooke Forde and Johnson Central's Geordan Blanton were named the female and male winners of the Dr. Rudy J. Ellis Sports Medicine Center High School Athlete of the Year.

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