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August 13, 2020

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Six to be inducted into ONU Athletics Hall of Fame

By Andrew Korba

Six members of the Ohio Northern University athletics family will be inducted into the University's Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, as part of ONU's Homecoming weekend.


They will be inducted on Friday during a banquet in Ohio Northern's McIntosh Center and introduced Saturday before the ONU football game at Dial-Roberson Stadium.

The six inductees are Brandi Nicole (Stover) Bruns, a 2002 education graduate and volleyball athlete from Rockford, Ohio; Beth Ann (Breudigam) Gribler, a 1985 management/marketing graduate and basketball and volleyball athlete from Powell, Ohio; Nancy Jean (Shoemaker) Keith, a 1989 education graduate and softball athlete from Vienna, Ohio; Brad Ross Longberry, a 1978 business administration graduate and basketball player from Findlay, Ohio; Robert Garner Lydic, a 1997 biology graduate and track athlete from Powell, Mich., and John Martin Wechter, a 1978 pharmacy graduate and track standout from Shelby, Ohio.

Brandi Bruns (upper right) has gone down as one of the most recognized award winners in Ohio Northern volleyball history. Bruns was named to the ACVA All American Second Team twice, the Great Lakes Region First Team three times, and earned a National Player of the week honor.

In addition, Bruns was also a First Team All-OAC honoree three times and OAC Player of the Year twice. Not only did Bruns excel on the volleyball court, she also won numerous academic awards. She was named to the Verizon Academic All District IV Second Team, earned an Academic All-OAC Honorable Mention nod twice and was also a Academic All-OAC First team honoree once.

Brandi currently ranks second in ONU history in career assists with 5,726, fifth in career service aces with 198 and tenth in career hit percentage at .288. She led the team in assists for all four years she played and holds an ONU single match record with 81 assists. She graduated from Ohio Northern in 2002, with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Bruns received her Master's Degree in 2005 from Marygrove College. Bruns is now a third grade teacher at Parkway Elementary School in Rockford, Ohio.

Beth Gribler (bottom right) was not your typical college athlete. She was a two sport star, earning three varsity letters in volleyball and basketball. She excelled on the volleyball court earning numerous awards along the way. She earned two First Team All Conference selections as well as two First Team All-Ohio nods.  In addition, she was also nominated for the Academic All-America team and was named to the All-Ohio Academic Second Team.

While she was at ONU, Gribler's volleyball teams were conference champions for all four seasons. Currently, she ranks seventh in school history with a career hitting percentage of .292. She led the team in hitting percentage two different seasons and in digs for one season. It is hard to imagine with Gribler so busy that she graduated from Ohio Northern in 1985 with a Bachleor Degree's in both Marketing and Management as well as a Spanish Minor. Gribler is currently works as a Senior Consultant in Distribution Channel Marketing for Nationwide Insurance in Columbus, Ohio.

Nancy Keith (top middle) was as dominat as a softball player that ONU has seen. "Shoe" as she was known by, accumulated three All-OAC First Team selections while playng for the Polar Bears. She excelled in the classroom as well by being selected to the Academic All-OAC First Team three times, the Academic America Third Team once and the First Team All Central Region.

She led the 1987 ONU softball team with a batting average of .437 and 43 base hits. For her career, she accumulated 123 hits, which places her in 23rd place in school history. Keith graduated from ONU in 1989 with a degree in Elementary Education. She received her Master's of Education from Wright State in 1995. She currently works as a Kindergarten teacher at Northeastern local schools in South Vienna, Ohio.

Brad Longberry (bottom left) was one of the most resiliant athletes Ohio Northern has ever seen. He played and started every game in his ONU career, 104 in all. This mark was an OAC and ONU record at the time and ranks third in school history. He was a First-Team All OAC selection twice and won numerous team awards including "Chairman of the Board" three times, the "Playmaker Award" twice and team MVP once. Currently, Longberry ranks second in ONU history with 1,036 career rebounds.

He also posted 1,391 points which is 11th best in school history. Longberry led the team in rebounding for three seasons and grabbed 331 rebounds in 1977, which is the sixth most in ONU single season history. He graduated from Ohio Northern in 1978 with a degree in Business/Marketing. Longberry is currently the President of Flag City Water Systems.  

Robert Lydic (bottom middle) has numerous accomplishments as a track runner during his time at Ohio Northern. He helped the Polar Bears win the school's first ever OAC Track Championship. During his time at Northern, he won the OAC Championship in the 800 meters as a freshman. In addition, he was an NCAA Qualifier.

Lydic set six records while running at Ohio Northern. In indoor track, he owned the school record in the 500 meters, 800 meters and 4x400 meter relay. For outdoor track, Lydic set the school record in the 400 meter run as well as the 4x400 and 4x800 meter relays. His records all still rank in the top 10 in school history. After his graduation from ONU, Lydic has not stopped running. He finished the Ironman Triathlon in 2008, participated and finished in Ironman 70.3 Triathlons and ran in three marathons. He was also a two time National Qualifier in Nastar Downhill Ski Racing. He graduated from ONU in 1997 with a BS in Environmental Science/Biology. Lydic founded IP Security Reps and serves as President of the company.

John Wechter (upper left) was one of the most dominat runners that Ohio Northern has ever seen. He was a four year letter winner and was voted team MVP in 1974.  Wechter accumulated the most points in track events for all four seasons that he ran at Ohio Northern. "Wec" as he was known by, is the co-record holder in the 100 yard dash, running it in 9.9 seconds twice. On top of that, he also ran the 200 meter dash in 21.44 seconds, which is the longest standing school record.

Wechter was a four time NCAA Qualifier and notched an eighth place finish in the 200 meter run in 1976. After his graduation, Wechter participated in many 5k runs and triathlons. He is also an avid cyclist and rode 4,000 miles last year. He graduated from ONU in 1978 with a BS in Pharmacy and currently works for MedCentral Health Systems.