KMA Sports Hall of Fame Rick O'Rourke

(KMAland) -- One of the state's most decorated cross country runners is Thursday's KMA Sports Hall of Fame inductee.

The late Rick O'Rourke won three consecutive state championships from 1967 to 1969 as a member of the Villisca cross country team. He is one of only nine in the state's history to pull off the incredible feat.

"They lived out in Morton Mills," Rick's sister Shannon Atherley told KMA Sports on Thursday's Upon Further Review. "That's about 11 miles from Villisca, and Rick would run to school everyday."

O'Rourke, who was also a member of the famed Villisca state track champions from the late 1960s, carried the ironic nickname of "Turtle" throughout his time in Villisca.

"He was persistent," Atherley said. "My brother Kim said that Rick was always racing against himself, trying to beat his last time."

O'Rourke entered the Coast Guard in 1970 and had positive influences on many people far and wide.

"I think he did have an influence on a lot of people in a lot of different ways," Atherley added. "On my brother, my sisters and me. We always heard about what a great guy he was."

"This is just a huge thing. It's nice that he's being honored in this way. It's a wonderful way to remember him. I've been reminiscing, going through pictures and talking to people about him. It's been a great experience."

O'Rourke is the first KMA Sports Hall of Famer that will be inducted posthumously. His induction will be held at a later date to be determined. 

To hear the complete interview with his sister Shannon click here.

A KMA Sports Hall of Fame announcement will be made on Upon Further Review at 11:50 AM each weekday until August 28th.


2017-18 KMA Sports Hall of Fame Announcement Schedule

Monday, July 31st — Taylor Kaufman, Glenwood (Baseball)

Tuesday, August 1st — 2007 Stanton State Champion (Football)

Wednesday, August 2nd — Kyle Canoyer, Riverside (Wrestling)

Thursday, August 3rd — Gary Bergstrom, Griswold (Coach)

Friday, August 4th — 1998 Riverside State Qualifier (Softball)

Monday, August 7th — Madison Keysor, Treynor (Softball)

Tuesday, August 8th — Abby Schlater, St. Albert (Soccer)

Wednesday, August 9th — Linda Rowe, Glenwood (Track & Field)

Thursday, August 10th — Terry Graham, Sidney (Track & Field)

Friday, August 11th — Kirk Schuler, Red Oak (Tennis)

Monday, August 14th — Kristin Kovar, Clarinda (Tennis)

Tuesday, August 15th — Brandy Ossian, Essex (Basketball)

Wednesday, August 16th — Kyle & Jill Marcum, Clarinda (Golf)

Thursday, August 17th — Kara Paul, Red Oak (Volleyball)

Friday, August 18th — Cary Cochran, Tri-Center (Basketball)

Monday, August 21st — Suzanne Youngberg-Rigg, Essex (Cross Country)

Tuesday, August 22nd — Todd Millikan, Shenandoah (Football)

Wednesday, August 23rd — 2008 Rock Port Girls State Track Champion (Team)

Thursday, August 24th — Rick O'Rourke, Villisca (Cross Country)

Friday, August 25th — Basketball (Team)

Monday, August 28th — Legacy Award