2021 Niagara Falls Sports Wall of Fame class
Amy Audibert is one of the 2021 inductees into the Niagara Falls Sports Wall of Fame. NBA Photo.
The Niagara Falls Sports Wall of Fame will grow by 11 individuals and one team when the annual induction ceremony is held this Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Gale Centre.
Because of the pandemic, there was no induction ceremony held last year so this year’s ceremony will include the 2021 and 2022 inductees.
Today, BPSN will look at the 2021 class made up of Amy Audibert, Dr. Ralph Biamonte, Michael Pickering, Dr. Keith Pyne, Sarah Quaranta and Paul Yerich.
AMY AUDIBERT (Athlete)
Audibert’s basketball career started at A.N. Myer where she was a two-time winner of the Harold Biggar Memorial Award, handed out annually to the best high school girls basketball player in Niagara Falls. She was named to the A.N. Myer Sports Wall of Distinction in 2010.
After Myer, she enjoyed a four-year stint as a scholarship basketball player with the University of Miami Hurricanes. She was team captain in her senior year and was named to the 2005 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Team.
She has also had stints as an assistant coach with the Brock women’s team and the Niagara College men’s squad.
The Niagara College broadcasting grad has gone on to an impressive career in broadcasting career working with the University of Buffalo, the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA, the Raptors 905, the Canadian Elite Basketball League and the Toronto Raptors. She is currently a radio analyst and television studio analyst with the Miami Heat.
DR. RALPH BIAMONTE (Builder)
Biamonte’s involvement in horse racing started in the 1950s when he began working as a hot walker (walking hot and sweaty horses after a workout) at the Fort Erie Race Track.
He ran a dental practice in Niagara Falls from 1971 until 2002 and during the early stages of that time he switched his attention to being an owner.
In 1985, he obtained his Thoroughbred Trainer’s Licence and it didn’t take long to establish himself as the top trainer at the Fort Erie Race Track. He was the leading trainer at the track from 1992 until 1997 and broke the single season record for wins by a trainer in consecutive seasons.
He earned his 1,000th career win in 2013 and recorded wins at more than 20 different Stakes Races, earning the designation of Graded Stakes Winning Trainer.
Biamonte raced horses in Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, West Virginia, Florida and Ohio. His purse earnings exceed $23 million.
He is also a successful breeder, breeding multiple Stakes-winning horses.
MICHAEL PICKERING (Athlete)
The Toronto native moved to Niagara Falls with his family in 1986 and became interested in the sport of competitive trap shooting in 2000. He became a member of the Thorold Conservation Club, the Hamilton Gun Club and the Grand Island Rod and Gun Club.
He joined the Amateur Trap Association in 2001 and won several championship during the next two decades. His titles included: 2006, 2008 and 2011 class shoot winner in New York; Atlantic Provincial Class A Singles Championships in 2014 and 2017; Ontario championships in singles, doubles, handicap and team shooting; and, a Canadian Singles 16 Yard 200A Division championship.
The highlight of his career was becoming a Canadian Trap Shooting Champion in 2008. In winning that title, he shot a perfect 200 of 200 clay targets in the preliminaries and 74 of 75 in the final. The targets fly through the air at more than 90 miles per hour.
DR. KEITH PYNE (Builder)
Pyne was born in Sommerville, Ma., and moved to Niagara Falls in 1965. The Stamford graduate went on to play university basketball at Guelph.
Pyne has had a long and successful career in sports medicine working his amateurs, professionals and Olympians. He is currently a consultant with the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers and MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers. He developed a predictive injury platform called PMotion which is being used by Premier League soccer, the NBA and Major League Baseball.
His list of previous clients includes working as: medical consultant for the Boston Red Sox when they won the World Series in 2018; the Medical Board Chairman for the Washington Nationals for four seasons including a World Series title in 2019; a member of the medical staff for the Los Angeles Dodgers when they won the World Series in 2020; a medical consultant for the Toronto Raptors when they won the NBA title in 2019; and, a medical staff member for the New York Islanders.
SARAH QUARANTA (Athlete)
The Niagara Falls native and Saint Paul alumna played A and AAA boys hockey for the Niagara Falls Canucks until the major bantam level when she made the switch in girls hockey in her Grade 9 year. She played for and was a captain with the Stoney Creek Sabres and was named Niagara Falls athlete of the year in 2009.
In 2015, she was named to Canada’s under-18 national team. She played on the third line and top penalty killing unit and helped Canada win a silver medal. That same year she was member of Team Ontario that captured a Canada Winter Games silver medal in Prince George, B.C.
She went on to play NCAA Division hockey with Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh where her honours included: College Hockey America Rookie of the Week; 2016 CHA All-Rookie Team; and, a female student athlete of the week award in 2015.
She helped Robert Morris win its first regular season and CMA championship in 2016-17. The title advanced Robert Morris to its first NCAA tournament.
The former All-America Scholar and 2019 Presidential Scholar-Athlete is now a teacher in Niagara.
PAUL YERICH (Athlete)
Yerich has had a long and successful 30-year running career with appearances at the Toronto, Montreal, New York City, Quebec City, Buffalo, Boston, Berlin, Germany, and Athens, Greece, Marathons.
His accomplishments include: Niagara Casino Half-Marathon titles in 2001 and 2004; Track Niagara’s Runner of the Year in 2003; golds medals in the 200 metres, 400 metres and 500 metres at the 2015 Canadian Masters Championships; golds in the 800 metres and 1,500 metres and three bronze medals at the 2019 World Masters Athletics Championships; and, Man-a-Mile championships in 2003 and 2010.