The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Prep Track & Field: Horton signs with Salukis

  • 800 meter specialist looks to add depth to SIU mid-distance events
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  • Luke Horton is yet another Harrisburg Bulldog to sign with the Southern Illinois University Track & Field team this spring.
    He joins a list that includes Lindsey Murray and McKendree University transfer Isaac Ingram to make a trio of Bulldogs competing for the Salukis this upcoming fall.
    Also at SIUC from Harrisburg are Dakota Upchurch (football) and Tyler Smithpeters (basketball).
    After a verbal commitment in May, Horton officially signed his National Letter of Intent in July.
    This was the exclamation point for Horton after a shining year and career for the Bulldogs. Horton is happy with the way the year went but is also looking forward to continuing his career.
    “It was great year to spend with my teammates,” Horton said. “We had a lot of success and a lot of fun. I was happy with the way we went out with back-to-back conference champs and two medals at state. That was pretty awesome. I’ll miss it, but I am looking forward to SIU and to be able to practice with other great athletes should help me improve. I want to help the team in the mid-distance events and just try to get better every day.”
    Luke was part of the state runner up 2011 team as a freshman. He ran one of the top 800 meter times in the state as a sophomore and also qualified for the state meet in two events that year.
    His junior year was cut short due to illness, but Horton came back strong for his senior year and scored points for the Bulldogs all over the track.
    HHS head coach Zach Cox knows that the lineup will not be as flexible next year without Horton in it.
    “The great thing about coaching Luke is that he can run the 100 meters or run the 1600 meters and be one of the best in the area. His specialty is obviously the 800 meters, but he is one the most versatile kids I have ever coached. I think missing his junior year really lit a fire under him as he is unbelievable competitive. He took his work ethic to the next level and it made us a better team.”
    Horton’s transition from purple and white to maroon comes after yet another great season for the ‘Dogs. Harrisburg placed in the top 15 overall at the indoor state meet in Class 2A. They brought home first place trophies from the Carterville, Murphysboro, and the Sparta Invitationals. For the second year in a row the Bulldogs were crowned River to River Conference Champions (Ohio Division).
    The season concluded with a stellar state performance at Eastern Illinois University. In the last race of his high school career, Horton topped his personal record from his sophomore year at 1:56.18 which was good for fourth place in class 2A. Horton then helped the 1600 meter relay team to a fifth place finish at the state meet. Corbin Crim, Preston Boone, and Michael Victoria joined Horton on the relay that received All-State honors. They ran a blistering 3:20.95, one of the fastest times in school history.
    Page 2 of 2 - Recently, All-South awards were announced with Horton and Crim receiving individual honors. The 1600 meter relay team of Horton, Crim, Boone, and Victoria also received the recognition for running the fastest time in the area. Horton (1600M, 800M, 400M), Crim (400M, 200M, 100M, LJ), Boone (400M), and Victoria (400M) all ran some of the best times in the area to receive All-South recognition.
    “We hate to see our seniors go as they were a pleasure to coach,” Cox said. “ I’m excited to see what Luke can do with is talent at the next level. On the bright side, we have some very talented young athletes that should be fun to watch over the next couple years.”
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