Inductees Co-founder of the Illinois Valley Striders in 1973, an organization that has grown from 19 members and two race events to a membership of 700 and more than 100 events a season, Steve Shostrom is perhaps the No. 1 name in the history of long-distance running in Greater Peoria.
Founder of the now world famous Steamboat Classic in 1974, he was race director through 1993 and watched the two events of the Classic grow into a running happening that draws top athletes from around the world to compete against thousands of local runners. Since 1986 athletes from over 40 countries have competed here.
As the flagship race of the Illinois Valley Striders, the Steamboat has played a major part in Peoria's revitalized River Front activities and is an event that has helped bring Peoria to the front of the pack in the world of running.
In his long running career, Shostrom has run over 70 marathons including competing in 16 Boston Marathons. At the time of his induction he had run in the St. Louis Marathon every year of its 26 year existence.
Shostrom has also been regional director for the Road Runners Club of America from 1981 through 1986, was Road Race Management Race Director of the Year in 1991, won the Neve Harms Award for Meritorious Service to Sports in 1983 and assisted in the foundation of Peoria's Race for the Cure.
He is also a founding member of the Peoria Area Sports Commission, was named Peoria Area Sports Commission Volunteer of the Year in 1997 and was a founding member of the Moonlight Basketball League, an all-volunteer anti-gang program.
Co-founder of the Illinois Valley Striders in 1973, an organization that has grown from 19 members and two race events to a membership of 700 and more than 100 events a season, Steve Shostrom is perhaps the No. 1 name in the history of long-distance running in Greater Peoria.
Larry Leitner was among the state's elite officials for more than 40 years, officiating high school, college and professional sporting events from 1960 through 2003 and he remains involved in sports by serving on the board of directors for the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament, as well as evaluating current officials and moderating IHSA rules clinics.
Among his officiating highlights, Leitner worked more IHSA basketball and football tournament games than any official in the state's history, earning 27 consecutive boys basketball regional assignments. He also worked the IHSA boys basketball state finals in 1973, 1974 and 1976, including the 1976 championship game, and three IHSA football finals, including the first-ever 2A state championship game in 1974. A charter member of the Gateway Conference officiating crew in 1988, Leitner was part of the crew that officiated the 1990 and 1993 NCAA Division I-AA quarterfinals and he served as an associate official for the Big Ten Conference from 1984-88.
Leitner also was called upon to officiate two IESA state championship games, the 1990 National Catholic Basketball finals, three Shriner All-Star football games and the 1980 IBCA All-Star Classic, while also working for two seasons in the Midwest Professional Football League.
Leitner is a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, Peoria Officials and Bloomington/Normal Officials Halls of Fame.