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Neal West
The Centralia Sports Hall of Fame
2007 Individual Award Winner


A 1987 graduate of Centralia High School, West received All-State honors in both Cross Country and Track his Senior year and was also voted the school’s Most Outstanding Male Athlete.

As a Cross Country runner in 1986, he was individual champion at the prestigious Peoria Invitational meet as he led the Orphans to a third place finish. West was also South Seven Conference champion leading his team to the title. 

In IHSA Class AA regional and sectional action, he placed first and second respectively as the team was also first and second respectively. At the IHSA State meet, West finished eighth individually leading the team to a seventh place finish. He was voted CHS Outstanding Cross Country Runner for 1985 and 1986. He qualified for the 1986 Athletic Congress National Cross Country meet at the University of California at Irvine. There he finished 39th of 300 in his age group. In his final CHS home meet, he set the three-mile course record of 15:21.

At the 1987 IHSA Class AA state track meet, West placed sixth in the 3200m in 9:13.69. Leading up to this accomplishment, he placed second in the Sectional in 1985 (9:49.3) and first in both 1986 (9:28.91) and 1987 (9:24.3).  He was also second in the 1987 Sectional 1600m in 4:21.8.

West was a part of the first place four-mile relay teams at the Orphan Relays in both 1986 and 1987 (18:36.7), and the distance medley first place relay team in 1987.

In South Seven Conference track he was 3200m champion three times: 1985 (9:43.77), 1986 (9:21.97), and 1987 (9:22.00). He was also second in the 1600m in 1987 (4:25.06).

After high school, he received varsity letters in Cross Country and Track at the University of Alabama in 1989.  In 1991-92, he was team captain and most valuable performer at SIU-E in Cross Country and Track receiving Sportsman of the Year and Scholar Athlete awards. West also received Provost and Harbert Memorial Scholar honors at SIU-E.



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