Small School on 79th Street Does it Again in Track & Field
What better way to end a season than to win a State Championship?? The Leo Lions did just that on Saturday, May 28, 2011 down at the IHSA State Finals in Charleston, Ill.
The Lions won the IHSA Class 1A State Championship with the slimmest of margins of one point to Harrisburg, 42-41.
Leo was led by senior sprinter, Bruce Gray, who tied for first in the 100 meter dash with a time of 10.79, a fifth place finish in the 200 meter dash with a 22.23 and he anchored both the 400 and 800 meter relays that finished second.
The 400 meter relay ran a time of 42.95 and the 800 meter relay ran a 1:29.31.
The relays included seniors Andre Patton, Denzel Tucker and Gray followed by freshman, Theo Hopkins.
Senior Reuben Blackwell finished second in the 110 High Hurdles with a 14.83.
Freshmen sprinter Hopkins ran in the 200 meter dash and finished sixth after running a 22.31.
Head track coach Ed Adams believed that his team could win, but once he found out officially he relayed the news to Gray and both shared a hug of success, hard work and excitement.
“I’m happy for the kids, they worked very hard and this is something they will remember for the rest of their lives,” said Adams.
Adams was asked if this championship has more meaning than the previous four he has won. “The last one is always more special.”
With this State Championship, Coach Adams and Leo have won five Class A State Track Championships and one Class AA Title.
Leo has eleven overall state champinships with six first place finishes.
In the history of the IHSA the only Catholic/Private school to win a track & field title is Leo High School.
Due to a lack of training facilities, the Lions run in the hallways of the school during the indoor season and whatever track they can find during the outdoor season. Despite all the odds, the small school on the south side of Chicago found a way to win again!
This title is a testament to hard work, determination, dedication and the track team certainly deserved and earned this tremendous honor.