Inductees Up to the time of its induction in 2000, the 1952 Woodruff High School cross country team not only ranked as the only state championship team produced by the school, but the first Peoria team to win the event.
Coached by longtime Woodruff track and cross country coach Roy Gummerson, the Warriors easily beat back nine other teams on the hilly course of the Country Club of Peoria on November 1, 1952.
Five of Woodruffís seven winners finished in the top 33 with Charles Hakes winning the event by running the almost two-mile distance in 10 minutes, 16.8 seconds.
Bob Coe finished 23rd, Bill Stone 24th, Walt Helmick 32nd and Dave Jones 33rd. Ron Hastings and Boyd Neavill also ran to complete the Warrior's seven-man team but only the top five finishers for each school counted in the final score.
Woodruff finished with 37 points with Urbana second with 80 and Evanston third with 87. Including those running as individuals, 100 runners took part.
The state title marked a brilliant season for the Warriors who also won the Illini Conference and District meet titles. In five dual meets and one triangular, Woodruff runners swept the first five places each time for perfect 15 point totals.
Up to the time of its induction in 2000, the 1952 Woodruff High School cross country team not only ranked as the only state championship team produced by the school, but the first Peoria team to win the event.
Fred Tuerk earned a reputation as one of the nation's most respected sports journalists in his 36 years as Sports Editor of the Peoria Star. He was also responsible for some of the special promotions which established the Peoria paper as a leader in sponsoring sporting events. He became Sports Editor in 1919 and continued in that capacity until his death in 1954.