Inductees Gib Leach, the first swimmer to be honored by the Hall, practically grew up in a pool and thrived on hard work.
His prep career at Peoria Richwoods could hardly have been more successful. Going undefeated in dual meets from 1970 through 1972, Leach won the state 100 yard breaststroke in 1970 as a sophomore in 1:02.71 and lowered his state winning time to :59.940 in the event two years later, becoming only the sixth swimmer in national high school history to break the one minute barrier.
He was a high school All-American for his final three seasons of prep competition, was ranked second in the nation in the 100 breaststroke his senior year and was voted Illinois High School swimmer of the year in 1972 by Illinois swimming coaches.
Away from the prep scene, Leach was a finalist in the 1971 Men's long course national and was ranked 14th in the nation in 1971, qualifying him for the 1972 Olympic trials.
Gib Leach, the first swimmer to be honored by the Hall, practically grew up in a pool and thrived on hard work.
|Ron Dwyer, Sr.|
Ron was an All-Conference, athlete in football, basketball, and baseball at Spalding Institute and achieved All-State honors in basketball. He accepted a full scholarship to Western Illinois University for basketball. After his freshman year he transferred to Bradley University on a baseball scholarship. At BU he played baseball for three years and football for two years. In 1964, he was selected for the All-Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Team. Ron was invited to play on the first Peoria Pacers Baseball Team in the Central Illinois Collegiate League, batting 4th in the lineup and playing 3rd base alongside Don Kessinger, the eventual star shortstop for the Chicago Cubs. After college he shared his sports acumen as an assistant coach for Spalding’s basketball teams that were the state runners-up in 1969 and 1970 Class AA Tournament. He was the pitching coach for the 1974 East Peoria team that placed 2nd in the Class AA Baseball Tournament. Ron was a player/manager in Peoria’s Sunday Morning League for 15 years; for 20 years he served as supervisor of the softball program for the Peoria Park District; for 6 years was active in Little League; and for 2 years helped lead a youth basketball program. He was an umpire/official in baseball, basketball, and football at various levels of competition over 21 seasons.