Dayton Track Star Inducted Into Kentucky High School Sports Hall of Fame
Many may not know that perhaps the most decorated athlete ever in the Commonwealth of Kentucky is from Dayton and was a track star. Adrienne Hundemer won 20 state titles during her time at Dayton High School and was inducted into the KHSAA Hall-of-Fame last Saturday for her illustrious career.
Her accolades are seemingly endless.
She was a three-time Kentucky Post Athlete of the Year honoree. She won 12 individual state championships, four titles in the 300 meter hurdles, and four-straight state championships in both the 100 meter hurdles and the 400 meter dash. She was part of six straight 1600 meter relay championships and contributed to two state championships in the 800 meter relay. Her time of 14.70 in the 100 meter hurdles at the 1994 state meet is still a 1A record 20 years later.
The road for Adrienne was not always easy. Her mother was killed when Adrienne was only one-year old and she was raised after that by her aunt.
“We didn't have much, but that was okay,” she said about her upbringing. “I've become a very strong and successful woman and owe a lot of my success to my coach Barry Binkley, my other coaches, my teammates and especially my family.”
She won her first state medal as a seventh-grader in the mile relay and proceeded to win the mile relay for the next six years. Then she won her first individual race as an eighth-grader in the 300 meter. She said that running for Dayton was a lot of fun for her in that time, even though the practice conditions there were by no means lavish.
“We didn't have a track when I ran, so we ran in the street, basically,” Adrienne said. “We practiced blocks off the curb and we ran repeats up streets and hills. For the big meets we would go to Anderson High School in Ohio and use their track and kind of get some practice in.”
After high school, she was awarded a full scholarship to Marshall University from 1994-98. There, she became the Southern Conference champion in the 400 meter hurdle her junior year and was named the Southern Conference Freshman runner of the year. In her sophomore year, she flipped over a hurdle and injured her back which kept her out the rest of the year, but bounced back to help set the record in the heptathlon before it was broken in 2011. She said that while she enjoyed her opportunity at Marshall, it wasn't like running for Dayton.
“High school was different than college. I loved high school, it was fun, where college was more like work,” she said. “I loved going to school and running, but it is more of your job for working out two different times a day and going to class all day and then practicing for hours and hours and hours. It was just crazy and wasn't as fun as I thought it would be, but it was still a great experience.”
Now, Adrienne is a massage therapist and a mother of two daughters. She has also been the cheerleading coach at Dayton High School for four years. She says that she doesn't run as much as she used to, but she stays in shape training for fitness and figure competitions.
“If I'm doing any cardio it is on the machine or incline, but I can still run. I guess when you're a runner, you're always a runner. I could go out and run two miles with no problem, but if you give me five miles I might be huffing and puffing,” she said.
The induction into the KHSAA Hall-of-Fame was her sixth induction into various Halls of Fame, but she says this one was the biggest.
“It's such a huge honor. I was so nervous and I didn't even have to speak. I've been on cloud nine for the last couple of days,” said Adrienne. “Since last June when I found out, I've been so excited, I couldn't wait for the day to come and now it's finally here.”
She is also proud to highlight her hometown of Dayton in a positive light.
“There is a lack of sports in Dayton, but the kids do their best for what they have. I look back at the track team we had there and it was an awesome team. It is nice to put our town on the map. I'm proud of where I'm from. The streets where I was brought up took me in.”
Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor