Allen, Molina, Tinley top USAT 2012 HOF class

The Grip, ST and the Terminator will join The Man in ceremonies this May to finally make the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame a full house of the sport’s original Big Four.

Mark Allen, Scott Tinley and Scott Molina, who combined to win nine Ironman World Championships and countless other titles over their legendary careers, headlined the fourth class of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame announced today.

Also selected for this year’s class to be honored at a banquet May 10 in San Diego are top age grouper Ethel Autorino and contributors Bob Babbitt and Sally Edwards.

Allen, Tinley and Molina finished two USAT Hall of Fame classes behind previous inductee Dave Scott. These pioneer triathlon stars were dubbed “The Big Four” whose accomplishments earned them the sport’s equivalent status of the four US Presidents carved on Mt. Rushmore.

"Our six inductees for 2012 represent all that is good about the multisport lifestyle, and USA Triathlon is thrilled to honor their contributions to our sport," said Chuck Graziano, chair of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame Committee. "We look forward to hosting the event in San Diego and believe this will be a fitting kick off to the ITU World Triathlon San Diego weekend."

Some of the achievements of the 2012 nominees:

Mark Allen won six Ironman World Championships between 1989 and 1995; the very first ITU Olympic distance World Championship in 1989, and 10 straight Nice International Triathlon titles. Between 1988-90, Allen won 20 straight races. Over the course of his career he made the podium 90 percent of the time. Allen now coaches athletes in more than 50 countries through and is an award winning author for the book he co-authored with Brant Secunda called “Fit Soul, Fit Body; 9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You.”

Scott Tinley earned nearly 100 multisport victories and ranks as one of the hardest working, winningest triathletes of all time. After discovering the sport in 1976 as a student at San Diego State, Tinley rose to prominence and won Ironman Hawaii in 1982 and 1985. Tinley is a pioneer in an off road triathlon and co-owns and manages the longest running off road triathlon in the world – Scott Tinley’s Adventures in San Luis Obispo, California. Tinley also founded a successful triathlon clothing company – Tinley Performance Wear. Tinley stays close to sport as an author, columnist, college lecturer, marketing consultant and amateur participant. He lives in Del Mar and Gaviota with his wife Virginia and their two children, Torrie and Dane.

Scott Molina won 104 professional triathlon victories, six USA Triathlon elite national championships ( including four straight in 1983-86), the 1988 Ironman World Championship and two World’s Toughest Triathlons. He won 50 US Triathlon Series wins and recorded more than 200 podium finishes over his career. Molina was born in Pittsburg, California, one of seven children and married professional triathlete Erin Baker in 1990. The couple has three children and one grandchild. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand and works as a triathlon coach.

Ethel Autorino is a 10-time USA Triathlon age group national champion and won six gold medals at the ITU age group World Championships. In 1986, she set the women’s 50-59 age group record at the Ironman World Championship and in 2000 she set the women’s 70-74 age group record at Kona.

Bob Babbitt co-founded the popular endurance sports publication Competitor Magazine in 1987 and launched Competitor Radio in 1990 alongside fellow triathlete Paul Huddle. Babbitt co-authored books with Mark Allen and Julie Moss and also authored "30 Years of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship." Additionally, he is the creator of the Columbia Muddy Buddy Ride and Run Series and is the co-founder of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which raised over $32 million to help disabled athletes over the past 19 years. He was the 10th inductee into the Ironman Triathlon Hall of Fame and was presented with the Shoemaker Media Awareness Award by the Paralysis Project of America. Babbitt has completed more than 300 triathlons, including six Ironman events.

Sally Edwards As an athlete, best-selling author and entrepreneur, Sally Edwards has constantly displayed the passion and the plan to get America fit. She has founded six fitness-related businesses, including Fleet Feet Sports, YubaShoe Sport Snowshoes and current ventures such as Upbeat Workouts, an iPhone app for runners. Edwards has written 23 books on sports, fitness and health, including the popular title, "Triathlons for Women." As an athlete, Edwards is a 16-time Ironman finisher. She finished 2nd at Kona in 1981 - and set a Master's world record in the event in 1988. She is a former winner of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run and ran in the 1984 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Edwards has served as the national spokeswoman for the Danskin and Trek Women's Triathlon Series since 1990.

The USA Triathlon Hall of Fame was founded in 2008, and this year's class will bring the total number of inductees to 19. Previous inductees include Verne Scott, Karen Smyers, Sheila Taormina, Judy Flannery and Jon Gray Noll (2008); Jim Curl, Carl Thomas, Valerie Silk, Barb Lindquist and Paula Newby-Fraser (2009); Dave Scott, Susan Bradley Cox and Dave McGillivray (2010).