TriCounty The 1998 track and cross country season was a dream time for Bradley long distance runner Mary Ellen Hill, a former Princeville High School athlete.
Highlights of her indoor and outdoor track season and fall cross country season leap out at every turn. She was fourth in the NCAA outdoor championships in the 5,000 meter run in 16:08.72. She was ninth in the NCAA indoor championships in the 5,000 in 16:44.13. She was only the second athlete in Bradley history to score in an outdoor NCAA championship meet.
Mary Ellen twice earned NCAA All-American honors. She won the Missouri Valley Conference cross country championship by 17 seconds in 17:18. She was named Valley Track Athlete of the Year for both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
But there were other big moments. When she ran in the NCAA cross country meet, where she finished 63rd, Hill became the first Bradley athlete to run in three NCAA events in one year.
Dominating the Missouri Valley Conference women's running scene, she was named Valley women cross country athlete of the week three times last fall.
She dominated in the spring in the 5,000 meters: she broke the Bradley and Valley meet record in 16:38.82, won the Bradley Open, was third in the Indiana Invitational, was third in the Drake Relays and ran the distance in 16:22.54 at the Stanford Invitational.
She also set a Valley meet record at 3,000 meters in 9:45.28 and then ran the distance in 9:39.86 in the Iowa State Classic. Only a junior, she still has two indoor and two outdoor track seasons to go plus one more cross country campaign.
The 1998 track and cross country season was a dream time for Bradley long distance runner Mary Ellen Hill, a former Princeville High School athlete.
|Jerry & Elaine Reibling|
For four decades Jerry and Elaine have volunteered their time and effort to benefit the runners competing in events within the Tri-County. Just prior to Jerry’s induction into the Steamboat Classic Hall of Fame in 2015, the race’s co-founder, Steve Shostrom said, “Jerry and Elaine are treasures in the running community. They have made substantial, lasting contributions to the Steamboat Classic and the Illinois Valley Striders over the years. They have worked tirelessly at countless local races through heat, rain, ice, snow and wind to get quick, accurate results for runners of all ages and abilities." Jerry was involved with the Steamboat Classic for 35 years and Elaine has been a part of the Race for the Cure for about 30 years. Married over 50 years, the Rieblings helped pioneer the transformation from hand timing to computerized timing for the major running events in the Tri-County area. In addition to the Steamboat Classic and Race for the Cure, they have served at the following events over their decades of service: the IHSA State Cross Country Meet; Illinois Valley Striders events; countless high school invitationals including the Richard Spring Memorial Invitational (Peoria Notre Dame) and the Peoria High Invitational at Detweiler Park; and Bradley University and the University of Illinois cross country meets and invitationals. Jerry has also raised funds for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by participating in the Memphis to Peoria Run and running the satellite event from Canton to Peoria. The dedication and passion of Jerry and Elaine for these events has enabled thousands of others to experience achievement and enjoyment while competing in running events.