Joplin High School graduate, Nevada runner among those to be inducted into 2024 Missouri Sports Hall of Fame class

Mar. 21—A Joplin High School graduate who went to work as a sportswriter for The Kansas City Star and a Nevada runner are among those who will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame this spring.

Mike DeArmond graduated from Joplin High School in 1968 and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1972. He had a 40-year career as a sportswriter, retiring from the Star in 2011.

According to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, he was one of the first journalists on the scene and wrote the front-page story of the tragic skywalk collapse at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on July 17, 1981. He covered eight Olympic games, was one of 16 U.S. journalists to accompany the U.S. Olympic Committee for a site inspection tour of Cuba and coverage of the 1991 Pan American Games. In his four decades at the Star and Kansas City Times, he covered the National Basketball Association's Kansas City-Omaha Kings (1973-1978), the Royals (1973-1980) and the University of Missouri (1989-2012). DeArmond also served time as an editor at the newspaper, as an assistant city editor when there were both morning and evening editions, and as an assistant sports editor. He has received numerous awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors and the Missouri Press Association.

Nevada High School's Ashley Wysong was a five-time Class 3 state champion in the 400 meters (1995, 1996, 1997 state record 56.08) and 200 meters (1996, 1997). At the University of Missouri, she was a six-time NCAA All-American in the 800 meters and national champion on the record-breaking distance medley relay team. Wysong earned 16 All-Big 12 honors, winning the conference title and setting the record in the outdoor 800 meters in 2000. She placed third at the 2000 NCAA Outdoor (MU-record of 2:02.94), ran in the 2000 U.S. Olympic trials and won the silver medal in the Pan-American Games. Upon graduation, Wysong held University of Missouri records in both the indoor and outdoor 800 meters and relay records in the indoor distance medley, outdoor 4x400, and outdoor 4x800. Wysong ran for the Nike Farm Team and competed in the 2004 U.S. Olympic trials in the 800 after returning from two knee surgeries. Dr. Wysong is currently professor and chair of dermatology at the University of Nebraska, where she is a skin cancer surgeon, researcher and educator.

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame also will honor golf maestro Tom Watson as a Missouri Sports Legend with a bronze bust. Watson, a member of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame class of 1984, won eight major championships, including five British Opens, two Masters and a U.S. Open. His career included 39 PGA Tour wins, 14 additional wins worldwide and 14 wins on the Champions Tour, six of them majors. Watson was the PGA Tour Player of the Year six times, the leading money winner five times, won the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average on tour three times, won the season-long Schwab Cup race on the Champions Tour twice and is the only man in history to shoot at least one round of 67 or better in all four majors in four decades.

The class of 2024 also features:

—Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals.

—Casey Wiegmann, Kansas City Chiefs.

—Betty Lennox, Fort Osage High School/Louisiana Tech/WNBA.

—Ben McCollum, Northwest Missouri State men's basketball coach.

—The late Dale Eshelbrenner, tennis coach.

—Pembroke Hill School Boys tennis program.

—Dr. Vincent Key, sports medicine.

—Phil Dorman, Platte County High School wrestling coach.

—Platte County High School wrestling era 1999-2010.

—1979 Plattsburg High School State Championship football team.

—1977-1980 Hickman Mills High School girls basketball era.

—Fred Flook, William Jewell College baseball coach.

—Porter Ellett, The Art Hains Inspiration Award.

Additionally, the Hall of Fame will recognize the Diamond 9 Awards, which honor former Missouri high school or college standouts who played in college or in the pros, or those who made positive contributions in baseball and softball.

The Hall of Fame ceremony is set for 1 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at Union Station in Kansas City.

Some proceeds will benefit the Kansas City Police Athletic League and Special Olympics Missouri.