News & Events

Hall of Fame Gets Three New Members

2015 Hall Of FameThe Mars Hill athletics department inducted its 2015 Mars Hill Sports Hall of Fame Class on Saturday, November 7. This year’s class of inductees includes (pictured, l-r) Kristin Shipley (Volleyball/Track and Field/Cross Country), Craig Eckstein (Cross Country/Track and Field),  and Dale Similton (Football).

Kristin Shipley (Volleyball 1999-2002; Track and Field 2000-2003, Cross Country 2003)
Kristin Shipley was a member of the Mars Hill volleyball, track and field and cross country teams from 1999 to 2003. She was named the SAC Volleyball Freshman of the Year in 1999 and earned first team All-SAC honors in 2002. Shipley earned a spot on the University of Alaska Anchorage’s SpringHill Suites Invitational All-Tournament Team in 2002 and is the current school-record holder with 31 kills in a match set against Lenoir-Rhyne on October 2, 2001 as well as the record-holder with 12 service aces in a match set against Catawba on October 26, 2001.

Shipley was the Conference champion in the high jump (2000, 2002), javelin (2001, 2002, 2003), long jump (2002) and pole vault (2002). She earned All-Conference honors from 2001-2003 and was named the Field Events MVP in 2002 and 2003. Heading into the 2015-16 track season Shipley is still the school record holder in the indoor long jump, distance medley relay, javelin and heptathlon.

In her lone cross country season in 2003, Shipley was a NCAA championship meet qualifier and earned All-Southeast Region as well second team All-SAC accolades.

A double-major in Biology and Chemistry and featured as part of Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, Shipley earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2007 from East Tennessee State University and is currently employed by The Doctors Clinic in Silverdale, Wash. as an outpatient orthopedic physical therapist.

Craig Eckstein, Cross Country/Track & Field (2001-2004)
Craig Eckstein was a member of the Lion men’s cross country and track and field teams from 2001 to 2004.

Eckstein was the Southeast Region Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2003 as well as the South Atlantic Conference Runner of the Year in 2003 and 2004. He earned All-Region honors in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 and was an NCAA championship meet qualifier in each of those seasons. A four-time first team All-SAC runner and the individual champion in 2003 and 2004, Eckstein was the school record holder at the 8 kilometer distance.

Eckstein was the Conference outdoor track and field champion in the 5,000 meter run in 2003 and 2004 and was the champion in the 10,000 meter run in 2003 and 2004. After graduating from Mars Hill, Eckstein became a cross country coach in Ohio where he was named the 2010 Southwest Ohio Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year and 2012 Southwest Ohio Conference Track Coach of the Year at Mt. Healthy High School. His efforts with the 2012 Mount Healthy Fighting Owls earned him Cincinnati Coach of the Year honors. A physical education coach at Little Miami Junior High, Eckstein is also the owner of Buckeye Timing.

Dale Similton, Football (1982-1985)
Dale Similton was a member of the Lion football team from 1982 to 1985. He earned second team All-SAC honors in 1984 and in 1985 as a wide receiver. Similton was an honorable mention NAIA All-American in 1985.

At the time of graduation, Similton was the school record-holder for receiving yards in a season with 940 yards, receiving touchdowns in a game (3 vs. Gardner-Webb), touchdowns in a season (12) and points scored in a season (72).

Similton was a four-year member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) while attending Mars Hill from 1982-85.

Similton is currently the athletic director and head varsity boys basketball coach at Central Academy at Lake Park in Indian Trail, N.C.

Each of the inductees will have their accomplishments listed on a plaque that will be mounted in the lobby of Chambers Gymnasium with all past Mars Hill Hall of Fame inductees.