Inductees Bill Buster was one of Roy Gummerson's stars at Woodruff High School back in the early 40's and once he started running, he really has just never stopped. He ran on the 1942-43 Greater Peoria championship teams, setting records in the 100 and 220 yard dashes and broad (now long) jump.
Lettering all four years at the University of Illinois, he ran on the 1945-46 Big Ten championship team and 1946 Illini team that won the NCAA meet. His 60-yard-dash time was the lowest in the world during one season. He was also second in the NCAA in the 100 yard dash and fourth in the 220, pIus running on the record-setting Illinois relay teams at the Cleveland, Purdue, and Chicago relays.
In the Armed Service competition he was 1st in the 100 meter event at San Antonio in 1947. A member of the Illinois Valley Striders since 1978, he was named Veteran Runner of the year by that organization in 1980. He won the Illinois State Road Racing Club Association's five-mile cross country title in 1980 in the 50 years and over division, and took that group's 10-mile championship in 1987 in the 60 and over age group. For those 60 and over he won the Steamboat Classic fifteen kilometer run in both 1986 and 1987; and in 1988 he won the Classic four-mile race. A semi-retired insurance man, Bill runs about 35 miles each week, dropping by his office "once in a while.'
Bill Buster was one of Roy Gummerson's stars at Woodruff High School back in the early 40's and once he started running, he really has just never stopped. He ran on the 1942-43 Greater Peoria championship teams, setting records in the 100 and 220 yard dashes and broad (now long) jump.
|Dawdy Hawkins |
"Dawdy" Hawkins, one of the most successful high school basketball coaches in the nation, directed his teams to state titles in two different states. His Lincoln Northeast High School team won a Nebraska state prep crown in 1948, just before he left to take over at Peoria Central. He quickly forged a powerhouse at Central, his 1952-53 team, led by brilliant center Hiles Stout, making it to the championship game of the Illinois state finals at the University of Illinois' old Huff Gym before bowing to LaGrange, 71-60. Hawkins took three other Peoria Central teams to the state tournament (1954, 56, 59) and then, switching to Pekin, had five other state appearances (1964, 65, 66, 67, 73), including state championship teams in 1964 and 1967.