Gretchen Byrne Burns
Speed Skating & Golf
While some athletes only excel at one sport, Gretchen Burns was a champion in two – speedskating and golf. Burns, one of 11 children, was a multi-sport standout at Bishop Ludden. But she also grew up competing in speedskating like her father and former champion Jack Byrne.
At the age of five, Burns won her first speedskating race. Later in her first national competition at age 11, she set a national record in the 440-yard race in 1972. She won the 1979 Women's National Outdoor Championships and was selected for the U.S. Speedskating Team.
As her skating career began to wind down, Burns’ golf career was beginning to take off. In 1989, she won two local majors: the Syracuse Women's District Golf Championship and the Babe Zaharias Tournament. Burns, who also coached speedskating, was the youngest hall of fame inductee at age 32.
1964: Won the 5-and-under speedskating championship in Ohio.
1967: Victories in US Open Outdoor and International Silver Skating competition
1968-1979: Member of Syracuse Speedskating Club
1972: Set national record in Midget girls 440 (44.3 seconds)
1975: Set the Junior Girls 880 record at Lake Placid
1976-1978: Played basketball, golf and soccer at Bishop Ludden
1977: Syracuse Chamber of Commerce Female Athlete of the Year
1978: Italian America Athletic Club Athlete of the Year
1978: Won the NYS Amateur Women’s Golf Championship
1978-1980: Member of USA National Skating team, tried out for spot on Olympic team
1979: U.S. National speedskating champion in the senior women division (18 and over)
1980: Medalist in Syracuse District Golf Championship
1981: Co-medalist in State Women’s Championships
1981: Herald Journal’s Woman Golfer of the Year; Member of Oswego State’s Men’s Golf team
1982-1983: Coached soccer, basketball at Bishop Ludden.
1982: Member of American Cancer Society's National Championship team, four-time winner (1982, '96, '98, '00).
1983: Won Syracuse District 2-ball with Pat McCarthy
1986: Won District 2-ball with Julie Peck
1989: Won Babe Zaharias Tournament and SWDGA Championship
1992: Chairman of Babe Zaharias Cancer Golf Tournament
1994: President of the Northern New York Speedskating Association (also in 2001)
2002: Selected as U.S. Speedskating Development Coach of the Year
Coaching accomplishments: Coached 12 skaters, including three National Champions, earning over 30 medals at the Short Track Nationals.