Hall Of Honor Inductions Highlight Homecoming Weekend

(l-r) Jonalyn Denlinger and Megan Mlinarchik were each All-Americans during their playing days at EMU.
(l-r) Jonalyn Denlinger and Megan Mlinarchik were each All-Americans during their playing days at EMU.

Eastern Mennonite University is gearing up for Homecoming this weekend and it looks the weather will be great this year. The Athletic Department is contributing its fair share to the activities in 2016, including a number of sporting events, a pair of Hall of Honor inductees, and the annual Paul R. Yoder, Sr., Golf Classic.

Paul R. Yoder, Sr., Golf Classic
The weekend starts with the 24th annual Yoder Golf Classic on Friday at Heritage Oaks Golf Course in Harrisonburg. A fundraiser hosted by the Royals Club, EMU’s athletic fundraiser club, the Yoder Golf Classic never fails to give supporters a great time full of laughs with friends. The format is four-person captain’s choice, with shotgun starts at both 8:00am and 1:00pm.

The annual golf outing is named for the late Paul R. Yoder Sr., a longtime Mennonite pastor and avid EMU sports fan.

Hall of Honor Induction
Saturday will be the busiest day on campus, starting with the Hall of Honor Induction in the morning. Two former student-athletes will be inducted at a breakfast ceremony in Yoder Arena, and each brought national recognition to EMU Athletics.

A gifted player from her first game with EMU’s field hockey team, Jonalyn Denlinger was named the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year in 2002. She was also named All-ODAC First Team as a freshman, and is one of just a handful of all Royals athletes to be All-ODAC First Team in each of their four seasons. Denlinger was also named All-Region each of her four years, as well as All-American Third Team as a junior. She left the field hockey program fifth in career assists, and also seventh in career goals and points. Denlinger also earned the 2006 EMU President’s Award.

Denlinger currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband, Jon Risser, a 2005 EMU alum. She is the director of membership for the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, has been working with foundations throughout the state of Maryland for seven years, and is an adjunct professor at University of Maryland School of Social Work.

Simply put, Megan Mlinarchik could be the best all-around jumper ever for the EMU track & field teams. In just three seasons, Mlinarchik was an NCAA National Qualifier a combined 11 times in the pole vault and high jump. She earned All-American status when she finished fourth in the pole vault at the 2005 NCAA Indoor National Championship. Between her events of the pole vault, high jump, long jump and triple jump, Mlinarchik was an eight-time ODAC Champion and a 15-time All-ODAC performer. She holds the EMU program records in both the indoor and outdoor high jump, and graduated second in the indoor and outdoor pole vault, as well as the indoor long jump.

Mlinarchik lives in Harrisonburg and teaches 4th grade at Keister Elementary School. She is also the high jump and pole vault coach at Harrisonburg High School.

The induction of Denlinger and Mlinarchik brings the membership in EMU’s Hall of Honor to a total of 94 former players and coaches.

Athletic Events
There will also be three intercollegiate games on campus on Saturday, all on the Turf Field.

The women’s basketball program is having an alumni game in Yoder Arena at 2:30pm. Former players from all eras of EMU basketball will be present, including Deana Moren Baker, a 1986 alum who was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this year.

For more information on campus-wide events, click here to see the EMU homepage for Homecoming Weekend 2016.