CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.- The Virginia High School Hall of Fame, sponsored by the VHSL, announced Tuesday morning the class of 2019 which includes two members of the track and field community. They are joined by another eight individuals.
The two track individuals are Park View's Natalie Baird and Gar-Field, Lake Braddock, Christiansburg, and Woodbridge Coach Jeff Custer.
Natalie Baird, a 2008 graduate of Park View high school is still the most prolific thrower Virginia has ever seen. She gets inducted this year, just the second year that she is eligible for this great honor, because statically speaking she is the greatest of all time.
Baird was a seven-time state champion and two-time all-American as well. She actually was a perfect seven for seven in state championship competition without having indoor track as a sport for her school. She also holds the overall, senior class, junior class, sophomore class, and freshman class state record for the discus throw.
Her all-time best of 161-7 is the only throw over 160' ever in the state of Virginia and in 2008 it broke a 27 year old state record. Her high school progression was 139-11, 157-7, 159-4, and 161-7. Her sophomore best of 157-7 would still rank VA No. 3 All-Time still today.
Coach Jeffrey Custer (bottom left) with his team at Great Meadow
Coach Custer is hands down one of the most decorated coaches in the states' history. He has had coaching stints at Christiansburg, Woodbridge, Gar-Field, and is still coaching at Lake Braddock Secondary. In total he has helped his teams win over 13 state team titles and also had numerous individual state champions as well.
His legacy though is how he has continually shaped young athletes' lives for the better. For close to 30 years he has quietly built some of the biggest and best dynasties the state has ever seen and done so by improving the athletes he has on his team both athletically and scholastically.
The best way you can judge how great of a coach and mentor he was and is would be by asking his fellow coaches and former athletes. They would tell you he always wanted to help anywhere he could and that he truly wanted to put all the other drama to the side and just focus on making you the best you could be.
MileStat congratulates both Natalie and Coach on being inducted into the hall of fame.