LEWISTON — Youth, gender equity and excellence in an unsung sport are themes of this year’s Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame class, announced Friday at Gipper’s Sports Grill.

Basketball star Kristi Royer Ouellette, hockey standout Katie Lachapelle, championship gymnasts Rod Gendron and Pete Landry, and late hockey headliner Gerry Forgues comprise the 32nd annual honorees, who will be officially enshrined Sunday, April 26 at Lost Valley.

All four of the living inductees graduated from Lewiston High School in the 1990s. Gendron, 42, is the oldest of the group.

“It’s great that Katie and I are going in at the same time,” Royer said. “I think it shows that Lewiston athletes at that time were players to watch. There were a lot of people at the games. It’s a lot of fun going to games when you know they’re going to win. I go back and look at our records, and we really didn’t lose.”

Ouellette is part of the first father-daughter combination in the hall, joining her father, Fred Royer.

She remains the all-time leading scorer in Lewiston girls’ basketball history 16 years after graduation. Her senior squad won 21 games and a Class A West championship before falling to Mt. Blue in the state final.

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The winning ways continued at Bowdoin College, where Ouellette scored 1,455 points, twice earned regional All-American acclaim and was named the school’s outstanding female athlete. Ouellette was instrumental in building the Polar Bears into a national power.

A competitive swimmer in her early youth, Ouellette’s height and strength made for a natural transition to the court.

“My parents always had opportunities for me to try anything that I wanted to try and always being able to play on any team I wanted to. At one point I was on five basketball teams,” Ouellette, now a teacher in South Portland, said. “Two older men just came up to me and said, ‘I remember when you used to play against the boys in Y League travel.’ I had to guard the tallest guys because I happened to be taller. That’s probably where I got better, too, playing against tougher opponents.”

Lachapelle also benefited from playing against boys. Long before girls’ hockey was sanctioned as a varsity sport in Maine, she was the only female on Lewiston’s 1995 Class A championship squad.

“It was such a welcoming environment,” Lachapelle said. “People always ask ‘how was it?’ and I didn’t know any better. Two of my best friends to this day, John Shields and Andrew Sangalang, I grew up playing hockey with. I don’t think I ever really had a negative experience.”

The opportunity to practice every day, Lachapelle said, was instrumental in her transition to Providence, where she averaged nearly a point per game in 116 career contests.

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Today, Lachapelle follows in the steps of her parents, Roger and Maureen, as a coach. She has been an assistant at Union, Niagara, Ohio State and now Boston University, as well as the USA Hockey Under-18 national team.

“This is pretty awesome. I love being from Lewiston,” Lachapelle said. “I know I haven’t been here since college, but this will always be my home. It’s just a great feeling, especially with the class that’s being inducted. It’s an unbelievable class.”

Gendron and Landry both were products of fellow hall of famer Don White’s program at Andy Valley School of Gymnastics.

There, Gendron won seven state and three New England championships. He then excelled at Ohio State, where he was part of two Big Ten championship teams and was an individual event finalist three times at NCAAs.

“It was a city that competed, but we were sort of the first gymnasts from the state to venture out into nationals and things like that,” Gendron said of Landry and himself. “We were usually the underdogs to people who didn’t really know.”

Landry followed Gendron’s path to Ohio State and reached even greater heights, winning three Big Ten individual titles, dual All-America status, and an NCAA team title with the Buckeyes.

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“He wanted to go to Nebraska, but then I set him straight,” Gendron, who now owns and operates Andy Valley, quipped.

“Following in his footsteps was the right step and right path for me to take,” said Landry, who is employed in medical equipment sales and lives in Barrington, N.H. “For me personally I think it framed my career. Without the attributes that athletics taught me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Dedication, commitment, work ethic, respect, through Don White and his coaching style, all those things were key with gymnastics and baseball.”

Championship success followed Forgues throughout his hockey career. He was part of a state title at St. Dom’s in 1947, a national men’s title with the Bates Manufacturing Fabriques in 1950, and Hockey East crowns at Boston College in 1954 and 1956.

Forgues also was a pitcher of renown, starring for both BC and the Auburn Asas.

The hall of fame will honor other star athletes and teams of the past and present at its banquet.

St. Dom’s 1960 hockey team will bask in the ”Flashback to Fame” spotlight on the 55th anniversary of its state title. William Clifford Sr. will receive a HOF Pioneer award.

Additionally, two coaches and 17 high school and college senior athletes with local ties will pick up Chamber of Commerce President’s Awards. They are: Lewiston state championship coaches Ron Dumont (girls’ hockey) and Lynnette Morency (cheerleading); LHS athletes Isaiah Harris, Hassan Mohamed, Heather Kendall and Erica Lemieux; Edward Little top performers Ian Mileikis, Lew Jensen and Olivia Paione; St. Dom’s standouts Brad Berube and Faith Grady; Lewiston’s Olivia Grimmer (Hebron Academy); Auburn’s Kerri St. Denis (St. Paul’s School); the Bates trio of Sean Enos, Graham Safford and Mekae Hyde; and LHS products Jessica Bowen (Thomas tennis), Scott Ouellette (Wentworth baseball) and Shelby Turcotte (Southern Maine lacrosse).

Tickets for the banquet are limited and are available at the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce, 415 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, or by calling 783-2249.

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