Five to be inducted in LHS Hall of Fame tonight

By 
Chris Mcconnell
Thursday, February 20, 2020
On Tuesday morning, Detective Joel Sauter of the Laurel Police Department announced that the second suspect in the Sept. 12 robbery at Taco Bell in Laurel had turned himself into authorities in Billings… #News  https://www.laureloutlook.com/content/suspect-taco-bell-robbery-custody

 The 1999 LHS State Champion Football team is also part of the Class of 2020 Hall of Fame and will be honored at a later ceremony to be covered in the Outlook at that time.

At halftime of tonight’s boy’s basketball game against Billings Central, three stand– out Laurel High School athletes and two community members will be inducted as the Laurel High School Hall of Fame Class of 2020. The inductees include a world–class athlete, former State Champions and long– time Laurel Community members and supporters.

The boy’s game begins at 7 p.m.

Patrick Casey

Patrick Casey is a 2008 LHS graduate and a seven–time State Champion in cross country and track. He won the state cross country, 800m and 4x400 relay team titles once and the 1,600m and 3,200m events twice. He was the Gatorade XC runner of the year for Montana in 2007 and National USA Track & Field Junior Olympic XC Athlete of the year and national champion in 2007.

At Montana State University from 2008– 2011 he was the first person to run a sub–4 minute mile in Montana and is the current school record holder in the mile. He was a three–time All–American at MSU and finished 3rd nationally in the indoors 1,600.

At the University of Oklahoma in 2013 he was an All–American and finished 3rd nationally in the 1,500m. He was Big 12 conference champion in the mile, 1000m and Distance Medley Relay. He is also the record holder in the Big 12 and for the Sooners in the 1,500m.

He has been running professionally since 2014 and is currently sponsored by Under Armor.

As a professional he is the world record holder in the Indoor Distance Medley Relay, took 4th in the 2018 USA Track Championship in the 1,500m and was a finalist in the USATF Outdoor Championships in the 1,500m in 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019.

He continues to run in competitions in the U.S. and Europe.

Connie (Lord) Rowe

Connie (Lord) Rowe is a 1976 LHS graduate and three–time Montana State Champion in cross country and track. She won the state cross country meet, the 880m and the 1,600m during her senior year. She was nominated on behalf of her high school coach, Patti Miller, who was part of the inaugural LHS HOF Class of 2019. On her nomination form, Lord was called “an outstanding athlete at a time when girls cross country was fairly new to Laurel and to Montana. She was a trailblazer and someone who we looked up to and wanted to emulate.”

Lord graduated from MSU in 1980 and currently lives in Oregon.

Dr. Lee Richardson

Dr. Lee Richardson graduated from LHS in 1954. He studied Physics and Pre–med at Montana College then attended Medical School at George Washington University in Washington D.C.

He completed his residency in Salt Lake City then returned to Laurel in 1965 to practice family medicine at the then–new Laurel Clinic on 1st Ave. for the next 43 years.

His father was a charter member of the Laurel Rotary Club, of which Dr. Richardson was also a member. He belonged to the Laurel Chamber of Commerce, Masons, and was a board member of both Billings hospitals during different times.

As part of his nomination to the LHS HOF for community contribution, an acquaintance stated, “He is an example of what makes this community a special place and we are very lucky he did not take the advice given to him: ‘Do not practice medicine in the town you grew up in.’”

Ed Robertus

Ed Robertus is a 1971 LHS grad and stand–out football player and wrestler. He was an athlete in both sports his entire high school career. He played in the East/West Shrine game (football) the summer after his senior year, but wrestling was where he excelled. Coach Tom Sprigler, 2019 LHS HOF inductee, called Robertus “the best wrestler he coached.” He was a two–time State Champion in the 155 pound (junior year) and 167 pound (senior year) weight classes. At one point Robertus had 52 straight wins and in one championship season he scored 100 points, had 13 pins and didn’t have a single point scored against him.

He also won a mechanical competition and was awarded a trip to the Indianapolis 500 where he was able to drive around the track.

Robertus has been a life–long member of the Laurel community, raised his family here and has three grandsons who have all been outstanding athletes at LHS.

On his HOF nomination form, it states, “Ed is a terrific example of what it means to be in the Hall of Fame. He set the bar high for his younger brothers who also played football and wrestled; as well as for the many other Robertus family members who attended, and continue to attend LHS.”

Dr. John Smith

Dr. John Smith is a 1948 LHS graduate who played football and basketball all four years of high school and was in the class play and involved in Pep and Glee clubs, as well as various school committees.

He practiced dentistry in Laurel from 1959 until 2001, has been a member of the Rotary Club for almost 60 years, served as the local president and has received two Paul Harris Fellow awards, one from the Laurel Rotary Club and one from the Billings Downtown Rotary Club. He was an original member of the Laurel City County Planning Board for over 25 years and was the Chairman of the Laurel Airport authority for 50 years. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Laurel Chamber of Commerce.

1999 LHS State Champion Football team

The 1999 LHS State Champion Football team is also part of the Class of 2020 and will be honored at a later ceremony and covered in the Outlook at that time.

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