Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame will honor five newcomers

Five legends of sports will be immortalized.

The Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame, which was established in 1983, will induct Natalie Sanderson, Sami Whitcomb, Elaine Canchola, Jackie Newman, and Cliff Farrar into the Class of 2024 on June 2 at the Serra Center in Camarillo.

Sanderson, a 2001 Buena High grad, was a goal-scoring soccer wizard who excelled for Pac-12 Conference champion Stanford. She scored 130 high school goals—among the highest tallies in CIF-Southern Section history—and earned Gatorade and Parade magazine national honors.

Whitcomb, an active women’s basketball professional player who captured WNBA championships with the Seattle Storm in 2018 and 2020, excelled on the hardwood at Buena, the University of Washington, and Australia’s national squad.

Canchola is a women’s long-distance running savant from Ojai. The Nordhoff grad won two team and two individual state titles, and she’s a four-time CIF section individual champ in cross country. Canchola, who ran for the University of Wisconsin, led UCLA to the NCAA championships during the 1998–99 school year.

The 90-year-old Newman, who served in the U.S. Army’s 40th Infantry Division during the Korean War, was a barnstorming fast-pitch softball pitcher who dominated for teams primarily in Oxnard and Camarillo for more than 30 years. According to his bio, his fastball reportedly reached 106 miles per hour. The Ventura County Star-Free Press branded Newman “the Sandy Koufax of softball” in 1967.

Farrar, an innovative football coach who spent 21 of his 41 total seasons in the sport guiding Nordhoff, directed the Rangers to four CIF championship game appearances. He is third on the county’s all-time wins list with 171 victories; the only two people with more head coaching football wins are already in the hall.