Inductees Front Row: (from left) Clarence Herschberger, Fennimore Bodman, Godfrey Luthy
Middle Row: (from left) Ralph Field, Herb Jamison, captain Robert Hotchkiss and Jesse Gable.
Back Row: (from left) Robert Bourland, Roland Woodward, Ralph Dougherty, Coach W. Geiger, Augustin Rousseau, and Albert Jamison.
The first state track meet of the Illinois High School Association was held in Champaign on May 20, 1893 and Peoria Central, winning eight of the 16 events, was the winner.
Nineteen schools took part, twelve scoring points, with Lakeview High of Decatur second. Central's 42 points would be the most scored at a state meet until U. High of Chicago managed 42 1/2 in 1914.
A number of events no longer contested were on the program including the football kick, baseball throw, high kick and mile bicycle ride.
For Central, Herb Jamison, who would be the silver medal winner in the 1896 Olympics in Athens, won the 50 yard dash in 5.75 seconds, the 100 yard dash in 10.40 seconds and the 220 yard dash in 23.25 seconds.
Other Central winners were Ralph Field with a running broad jump leap of 20 feet, one-half inch; Clarence Herschberger in the pole vault at 8 feet, 8 inches; Albert Jamison in the mile bicycle ride in 2:49.5; Augustin Rousseau in the standing broad jump at 9 feet, 10 inches; and Robert Bourland in the shot put with a toss of 36 feet, 9 inches.
In addition Field was second in the high jump, Robert Hotchkiss second in the baseball throw and high kick and Godfrey Luthy third in the mile run.
Hotchkiss was captain of the team and W. Geiger was coach. The first state meet was held at the University of Illinois Athletic Field before an estimated crowd of 700.
Front Row: (from left) Clarence Herschberger, Fennimore Bodman, Godfrey Luthy
|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.