STANDISH, Maine – The 41st class of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame has been announced and Saint Joseph's College alumna Sheri (McCarthy) Piers '93 is listed among the 12 inductees.
Piers joins longtime running mate Kristin Barry, Kirsten Clark-Rickenbach, the Cross family, Pennie Page Cummings, Doug Friedman, Dan Hamblett, John "Jack" Kelley, Ralph Payne, Ed Phillips, Travis Roy and Amy Vachon in this year's class, which will be enshrined with an induction ceremony at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on May 1st, 2016.
One of the most prominent female runners in the country, Piers has competed in over 150 races, including nearly 25 marathons, in the last 10 years. She is a three-time United States Women's Masters Champion (2011, 2013, 2014) and a two-time Olympic Marathon trials qualifier. VIEW CAREER RESULTS ON ATHLINKS
Piers will also compete in the 2016 Olympic Marathon trials, which will be held on February 13th in Los Angeles. In her third, and she says final, marathon trials bid, Piers must finish among the top three females to represent the United States in the 2016 Olympic marathon in Rio de Janeiro on August 14th.
Piers, who joined forces with Barry in 2007 and has trained with her ever since, is a three-time TD Beach to Beacon 10K road race women's masters champion (2012, 2014, 2015) and has finished as the top Maine female three times (2009, 2011, 2012).
Not one to brag about her long list of achievements, Piers says that being inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame is "obviously a huge honor, but I did not set out to earn these awards and I never expected to enter any hall of fame. My competitive drive is what keeps me going and it's not about the accolades or even winning, really."
Piers, who was a four-year standout for the Saint Joseph's women's basketball program, was also inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame in 2014.
She has competed in nine of the last 11 Boston Marathons and finished as the top American female (of any age) and placed 99th out of 21,616 participants with a 2:41:55 time in 2012. Piers made her first appearance in the 26.2-mile journey from Hopkinton to Copley Square in 2005 when she finished as the 406th female with a 3:27:32 time and displayed rapid improvement with the help of Barry's workout regimen, which Piers describes as "the hardest thing she had ever done in her life" in the early stages of the partnership.
Piers posted her best Boston Marathon effort in 2009, when she placed as the 11th female, and second in the 35-39 age group, with a 2:37:04 performance. Her best time came in the 2012 Twin Cities Marathon, when she finished as the second women's masters runner - and ninth female overall – with a 2:36:59 effort.
Piers, who hails from Westbrook, and Barry, a South Portland native, first made a connection at the 2005 Turkey Trot, an annual 5K event hosted in Cape Elizabeth, and have essentially been inseparable since, training together almost daily for each of the last 11 years. As a result, both have achieved success running races across the state, region and country.
"Really, it's perfect that we're going in together," says Piers, speaking of her and Barry entering the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in the same year. The incredible bond between the two is exemplified by the fact that they have closed out several races holding hands while crossing the finish line, including the 2010 TD Beach to Beacon 10K when Barry was ultimately declared as the top Maine finisher.
Piers, now 44, was a high school cross country champion in Maine, but didn't really emerge in the larger running world until a breakthrough performance at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2007, where she finished eighth in 2:45:37 and qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Boston, where she placed 16th in 2:38:16. She ran the Trials again in 2012, finishing 24th in 2:37:09.
Since 2008, when she first began to train seriously and do interval work, Piers has been running between 90 and 130 miles per week, with no more than two or three days off in a calendar year.
Piers ran three miles daily, "for fitness and for sanity," throughout college and afterward, when she worked full-time at a hospital while pursuing her nurse practitioner degree.
Though she fielded several offers from NCAA DI cross country programs, Piers instead attended Saint Joseph's to play basketball, a sport she tabs as her "first love" to this day. Certainly no slouch on the hardwood, the 5'2" point guard tallied 859 points, 603 assists, 253 steals and 228 rebounds in 117 career contests and remains among the Monks' all-time leaders in assists (2nd), assists average (5.2, 2nd), games (3rd), steals (4th), three-point percentage (34.9%, 5th) and three-pointers made (90, 10th). At the time of this release, Piers remains as the Monks' single-game assists record holder (15, vs. UNE 12/12/90).
While playing under the watch of current Head Coach Mike McDevitt '83, Piers earned a pair of NAIA All-District honors and helped St. Joe's post a 96-23 (.807) four-year record with four Western Maine Athletic Conference (WMAC) Championships, three NAIA National Tournament appearances and three NAIA New England crowns during her career.
A regular at SJC Athletics events, Piers currently serves as the Director of the Saint Joseph's College Health Center.
For more information on each of the 2016 inductees, CLICK HERE
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.