----- Mineral Pride Society, Mineral, Illinois ----- Home of the Leopards

Mineral High School Track & Field

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The Mineral High School Leopard Track & Field Program

A very strong sport for the talented MHS athletes. The team was champion of the Little Four Conference several times in the 1930s and 1940s and also beat schools such as Prophetstown (who was several times bigger in enrollment than Mineral) in dual meets . 

Upon moving to the much larger Two Rivers Conference, the Leopards continued to excel.  The tracksters brought home two 2nd place finishes and one third place finish.  Mineral was likely the smallest school in the conference which featured Erie and Prophetstown, both schools with enrollments 5 -8 times larger than Mineral's. 

Mineral’s most successful athlete in track, it is believed, was Russell Buysse. Russell placed second in the Sectional meet at Ottawa his junior year and earned a trip to the state meet in Champaign. He was not given the opportunity to compete in the sectional meet his senior year.

Russell obviously came from good stock.  His brother Dale Buysse (Class of 1938), won the Little Four Conference and Bureau County Track Meet titles in his junior AND senior years, setting the county record in the discus that stood for many years.  Dale placed 3rd in the District meet his Senior year, just missing a trip to the state finals.  Dale would compete in the "Senior Olympics" throughout his later years, even holding the world recored for the discus in the 74 year old age group at one time.  

Another Track story involved Dick Boelens. It is believed Dick never lost a One Mile Run race during his senior year (‘54). Even in the sectional Dick won his heat but was beaten out in the next heat by athletes from much larger schools on the basis of overall time. 

Jim Hodgett (Class of 1956) tells me in his senior year there was no track team. Jim heard about the Two Rivers Conference meet being held in Tampico and asked Superintendent Peters if he could go and represent Mineral HS. Jim was given the "okay" and threw a shot put "about 14 times" the night prior to the meet for practice.  He and his brother Sam (1954) and cousin Eldon (1954) had practiced the pole vault in years past but he had not competed in this event all year.  Jim drove to Tampico by himself and entered himself in the shot put, pole vault, and 180 low hurdles. Needless to say, Jim pulled off the near impossible.  He won three gold medals that day, winning all three events.  In fact, after the first day of competition Jim, as the lone member of the Mineral HS Track Team, had Mineral HS in 3rd Place!. Tracksters in 1956 were only allowed to enter in three events, so Jimmy could not return for the second day, but what a great representative of the Mineral athletic pride! 

Other MIneral HS athletes who won conference and county titles, as far as can be researched to date, are listed below.


1932 - Little Four Conference Team Champions

1933 - Little Four Conference Team Champions

1936 - Little Four Conference Team Champions

1938 - Little Four Conference Team Champions

1941 - Little Four Conference Team Champions

1942-43 through 1945-1946  no track team

1948 - no record available

1949 - Two Rivers Conference Team - 2nd Place

1950 - no record available

1951 - no record available

1952 - Two Rivers Conference Team - 2nd Place

1954 - Two Rivers Conference Team - 3rd Place 

1956 - 61 no record available


Year   Athlete                Conference Champ                      County Champ       State Qualifier

1937 - Dale Buysse         Shot Put, Discus                          Shot Put, Discus                

1938 - Dale Buysse         Shot Put, Discus                          Shot Put, Discus   

1940 - Morris Foes            High Jump, 220 hurdles                High Jump

1941 - Morris Foes            High Jump, 220 hurdles                 High Jump

           Charlie Hasbrook  880 yard run

           Buysse, M. Foes,   440 yard relay 

           Gingrich, D.Studley

1942 - Russell Buysse       100, 220 yard dashes                       100,220 yd. dashes       100,220 

           Dean Studley        440 yd dash                                     440 yd dash

1947 - Robert Studley       100, 220 yard dashes

          Wayne Studley       440 yard dash

          Mickie DeFauw       Shotput

          Richard Nielsen       Discus

1953 - Lawrence "Dick" Boelens    1 Mile Run

          Sam Hodgett           Pole Vault (tie 1st

          Eldon Hodgett         Pole Vault (tie 1st)

1954 - Lawrence "Dick" Boelens     1-Mile Run, 880 Yd. Run

1955 - Eddie Morey            1-Mile Run

1956 - Jim Hodgett             Shot Put (46' 8"), Pole Vault (10'6"),

                                          180 Low Hurdles (21.7 seconds)