Texas Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor Inducts Its 16th Class


On September 25, five stellar Longhorn former student-athletes were inducted into the Texas Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor in a ceremony at the Frank Erwin Center. The hall’s 16th class included Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, Destinee Hooker, Debbie Risen Hurwitz, Charlotta Sorenstam, and Tori Trees Smith.

Cuthbert-Flynn, ’86, was unable to attend the ceremony as she is running for political office in Jamaica. A track and field star for Texas from 1983-86, Cuthbert-Flynn left Texas a three-time NCAA champion, 11-time Southwest Conference champion, and was a member of two NCAA championship teams. She went on to win three Olympic medals.

Hooker, ’09, flew in from North Carolina for the event. A two-sport star at Texas from 2006-09, she led the volleyball team to the NCAA finals in her senior season and is a three-time NCAA high jump title holder in track. After leaving Texas, she won an Olympic silver medal in volleyball. She now plays for Tianjin Bridgestone in China.

Hooker said the induction into the Texas Women’s Hall of Honor is one of her proudest moments. “It’s a huge honor, especially being the youngest inducted this year,” Hooker said. “It’s definitely a top five.”

Risen Hurwitz, BA ’87, MBA ’89, Life Member, swam for Texas from 1984-88. She is a seven-time NCAA champion and 19-time All American. She was inducted alongside her former teammate, Tori Trees Smith, making the afternoon even sweeter.

“I cried; I was very happy,” Risen Hurwitz said. “To have Tori go in with me, she’s one of my best friends and that was icing on the cake. It made it extra special.” She lives in Houston, but still comes to Austin often as part of a swimming alumni group at UT, which helps her keep in touch with her former teammates and support UT swimmers.

Trees Smith, BS ’88, is a six-time NCAA champion and 14-time All-American in swimming from 1984-87. She also helped Texas win four team titles. She also competed in the 1984 Summer Olympics where she finished fifth in the 200-meter backstroke. She married a fellow UT swimming national champion, John Smith. Their son, Clark, is a current swimmer for UT.

“It’s such an honor just to be here. I’m going to cry, I’m so emotional,” Trees Smith said. “My son goes here as well, so it’s nice that I can still come back to school so much to see him swim.”

Sorenstam, ’93, was only at Texas for one year to play golf in the 1992-93 season. She led the team to five tournament wins and six top-five finishes. She won an individual title at the 1993 NCAA Championship and was awarded the National Collegiate Golfer of the Year. She went professional in 1994 and went on to win the LPGA Tour in 2000. She now lives in Orlando, Florida, where she is a golf instructor.

“First I was very surprised because I couldn’t believe it was true. [Women’s athletics director Chris Plonsky] started listing off things and I was like, ‘I guess I’ve done a couple good things in my life,’” Sorenstam said. “I’m very honored to be here.”

From left: Charlotta Sorenstam, Destinee Hooker, Tori Trees Smith, and Debbie Risen Hurwitz at the Women’s Hall of Honor induction on September 25.

Photo courtesy Texas Athletics.


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