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STEVE HARDISON

Hometown: Fresno, California

High School: Roosevelt (1968)

Community College: Fresno City (1970)

College: Fresno Pacific (1974)

Major: Physical education

Hall of fame category: Athlete

Sport: Track & field - Pole vault

Inducted: January 21, 1994

Steve Hardison grew up in Fresno and graduated from nearby Roosevelt High School in 1969. He was the California State pole vault champion while at Fresno City College in 1970, then transferred to UCLA. Injuries limited his success with the Bruins. He returned to Fresno, enrolled a Fresno Pacific College, and quickly earned the title as the school’s most honored athlete. He competed in three NAIA National Championships, the 1973 indoor and outdoor and 1974 indoor, and won all three. He set a NAIA National Championship record of 16’ 6 ¼” in the 1973 outdoor championship in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Following graduation in 1974, he served on the staff Athletes In Action for five years. In 1980 he answered a Macadonian call from an AIA friend in South Africa, where he toured, competed and shared his Christian faith when apartheid made it extremely unpopular to do so. He retired from competition later that year, but not before he cleared a personal best 17’ 6”. He returned to Fresno later that year to take over the family printing business. Ten years later, on July 15, 1990, his fortieth birthday, Steve launched a comeback with a vault of 16’ 6” to break the U.S.A. and World Master’s records. He is a devoted husband and father and continues to vault and share his faith whenever opportunities present themselves.
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