In February, 1997, Presidents and officers from the Track & Field coaches associations from Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota met in St Charles, Illinois to discuss the state of track and field in our Midwest region and how we could enhance the sports of Track & Field and Cross Country through clinics and sharing of ideas. John Nalley, then president of Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches Association, had longed to start a quad state meet with Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. He met Dick Washburn, then second Vice President of the Iowa Association of Track Coaches. John was heard to say how great it would be for a four state meet to showcase the talents of the seniors in these four states, while providing one more opportunity to compete against the best high school athletes in the Midwest. Dick said why not? And the Senior All-Star Spotlight Meet began to be planned.
January, 1998 saw John and Dick along with Tom Roderick, Illinois and Darryl Landas, Iowa, meet the evening before the Illinois Coaching Clinic and continued the discussion and organization of the meet. In February, 1998, the presidents met at the Wisconsin Track Coaches Clinic. Illinois and Iowa agreed to go with the meet in 1999 to get things started. At this time, Wisconsin had to begin the organization process of sending a team and Minnesota had a conflict with the date as that was one of the Minnesota State Meets. Darryl Landas is credited with the order of events and the meet was set to take place. One problem, where will it be held?
John made a few calls and on June 12, 1999, the inaugural Spotlight Meet was held at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. The meet was a dual meet between Illinois and Iowa. One of the first track events, the 4x800 set the tone for the how the meet concept was going to materialize. The Iowa Men defeated the Illinois Men by .12 sec. (7:49.72 to 7:49.84). It was a great start to what we hope is a great meet with great competition each and every year.
We were excited that in 2000 Wisconsin (headed up by Bill DeVoe, who was a member of the original meetings in 1997 and 1998) and Nebraska joined in. In 2004 Nebraska was having difficulties forming a team and had to cancel competing that year. 2008 marked the 10th Annual Senior Spotlight meet as we competed for the seventh year in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at the University of Northern Iowa. The Ten year anniversary also brought a new State into the meet. We welcomed Team South Dakota in 2008.