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Sophomore Chase Jordan’s ninth-place finish in the 100-meter dash earned Leo its only point in the IHSA Class-A State Track and Field Meet held at Eastern Illinois University on May May 23-25.

Jordan’s time was :11.10 seconds, up the track from first-place finisher Supreme Muhammad of Winnebago, who was timed in :10.72. Jordan matched that time with a personal-best :10.72 showing in placing third in the preliminaries, and he ran a :10.9 in the Hope Sectional to qualify for the state meet.

But he didn’t quite hit his stride coming out of the blocks in the final and couldn’t make up the early deficit.

Senior triple-jumper Joshua Ball was Leo’s only other finals qualifier, placing 10th with a best effort of 41 feet 11.5 inches.

Junior Lordan Black’s :16.7 in the 110-meter hurdles was a personal best, but he was 24th in qualifying and didn’t make the final. The 4-by-100-meter relay team, plagued by a balky handoff, was timed in :44.58 in the prelims, a non-qualifying 27th. Fouls kept senior Lawrence Lee from advancing in the long jump, and junior Neil Anderson couldn’t clear the qualifying height in the high-jump prelims and did not advance.

Winnebago’s Muhammad also took first in the 200 meters in :21.51 and anchored the 4-by-100 and 4-by-200 relay teams to runner-up finishes, helping Winnebago amass 57 points, good for the Class-A state title. Tuscola was second with 54 points, followed by Colfax (50), Morrison (39) and Bloomington Central Catholic (33). 

Coach Ed Adams said an experience the Lions had off the track was as meaningful as anything that occurred in state-meet competition.

“Neil Anderson, Joshua Ball, Kaleb Larry and Clarence Rhames held the door for a lady entering a restaurant they were about to enter,” Adams recounted in a Facebook post. “Inside the restaurant, she didn’t know how to work the soda machine, so the guys got up and helped her. 

“She went to her car, came back and told the boys this had been a difficult week for her because she just learned her daughter had cancer. She gave them a 10-dollar bill and refused to take it back. They decided to give it to a teammate who didn’t have any money.”

Ed Adams is a Hall of Fame track coach with six state titles on his resume. But he never fails to see the bigger picture. “This is why I coach – because of young men like these making our team and our coaches proud,” he said. “Everything isn’t about running, throwing and jumping in practices and meets.”