Cross still holds a place in the Wyoming basketball record book, ranking 14th in career scoring, 11th in career assists, 11th in career rebounding, 18th in career steals and seventh in career three-point baskets made. She was a three-time academic …
Powell Olympian part of 2009 induction classAs a student at the University of Wyoming, Jesseca Cross spent plenty of time in the school's athletic hall of fame studying, tutoring or while on her way to and from training and practice sessions. This weekend, she'll become a permanent part of those halls as a member of the university's 17th induction class.“It's a very humbling honor,” said Cross, who will be inducted into the UW Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday. “It's really the culmination of my career as an athlete. It's not something that I ever thought I would accomplish when I looked at all those photos as a student.”Few can argue with the selection, however. Cross demonstrated her abilities as a multi-sport athlete at the university. She starred in basketball, lettering in all four of her seasons and earning all-conference first-team honors as a junior and second-team honors as a senior.
Cross still holds a place in the Wyoming basketball record book, ranking 14th in career scoring, 11th in career assists, 11th in career rebounding, 18th in career steals and seventh in career three-point baskets made. She was a three-time academic all-Western Athletic Conference selection, a three-time WAC scholar-athlete and Wyoming's NCAA woman of the year in 1996-1997.
Cross was also enjoyed a stellar track career as a thrower, earning All-America honors three times. Indoor and outdoor shot put records that she established remain in place at the university. She also sits third all-time in the discus, sixth all-time in the hammer throw and eighth all-time in the indoor 20 lb. weight throw.
Cross was named a national strength and conditioning All-American in 1998 while at UW. She went on to compete in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, becoming the first female athlete to ever compete in both the shot put and hammer throw in the same Games.
“I knew that I'd been nominated in past years, but when I spoke with (selection committee chairman) Ken Cook and he told me I'd been selected for the hall of fame, I thought he was kidding,” said Cross.
Cross will be one of the guests of honor at a Friday night banquet at the Hilton Garden Inn convention center. She'll be joined by former UW football standouts Gene Huey (1966-68) and Sean Fleming (1988-91), All-American track performer Quincy Hayden Howe (1998-2002), former Cowboy point guard Mike Jackson (1980-83) and the 1961 national champion rodeo team as former athletes in this year's hall of fame class.
Senator Alan Simpson and Peter Simpson, both of Cody, will also join Cross as members of this year's induction class. The pair are being honored with special achievement awards.
The group will also be recognized during halftime of Wyoming's season-opening football contest against Weber State on Saturday.
“Without the opportunities I had at the University of Wyoming, I wouldn't be in the position I am today,” Cross said of the role her years as a UW athete have played in her life. “I have a unique gift to offer others due to being an athlete at the University of Wyoming.”
Cross will be accompanied to Laramie by a party of 22 family members and friends who will share the moment with her. Saturday's football game will mark the first athletic event she has attended since leaving campus in 2000.