Hall of Fame welcomes local ski and soccer legend in latest class

After a mogul ski career that saw her define an up-and-coming sport, Hilary Engisch-Klein was inducted into the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame last weekend.

Engisch-Klein, who was also a standout soccer player at Champlain Valley Union High School, was honored along with 10 other Vermont sports legends as part of the Hall of Fame’s sixth class at a ceremony and dinner on Saturday at Trader Duke’s Hotel.

In a speech tinged with humor, Engisch-Klein spoke about the great memories she made as a mogul skier on the world cup circuit, long before the sport entered the Winter Olympics. From winning her first World Cup race after a fraught journey to get there to a fun night out in France when snow canceled a race, the former University of Vermont soccer player had the crowd laughing as she recounted her career.

Engisch-Klein finished her ski career with 35 World Cup victories in a five-year span and was the overall World Cup women’s mogul champion four times.

After retiring from skiing, she became involved with the Special Olympics and the March of Dimes and served as honorary chairperson of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation skiathon.

Other inductees Saturday included four-time Olympic cross-country skier Tim Caldwell; stock car driver Robbie Crouch; legendary St. Johnsbury Academy track-and-field coach Ray Frey; collegiate and high school basketball standouts Matt Johnson, Larry Killick and Jen Niebling; longtime Essex High coach/athletic director Melba Masse, a pioneer of girls sports in the state; UVM football great Bobby Mitchell; Dave Morse, a sportswriter who chronicled high school teams and Thunder Road racers; and hockey great Martin St. Louis, who starred at both UVM and in the National Hockey League.

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