By Doug Halberstadt
In just a few days, thousands of northern Illinois high school students will be done with classes for the year as summer break begins. Some will be getting ready for college, others will start jobs, and for the rest, a myriad of summertime activities awaits.
One local athlete, Logan Rae Tillmon, will concentrate on a particular seven of those activities. “The Realness” (a nickname given to her by her father, Reggie Tillmon) will spend a large part of her summer focused on competing in the heptathlon for the Golden Eagles Summer Track Club. The 200-meter dash, 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump, javelin throw and the 800-meter run make up one of track and field’s most demanding events.
Tillmon, who turns 17 in June, started participating in track and field about eight years ago when she first started running for Coach William Cossey Jr. through a Rockford Park District program. Her love of the sport has grown from there.
The Rockford East High School senior-to-be possesses five state outdoor track medals and holds the NIC-10 indoor conference record in the 200-meter hurdles with a time of 30.91 seconds. She is also the East High School 100-meter hurdles recordholder with a time of 14.90 seconds.
Her versatility and speed have already attracted the attention of several Division I track programs across the country. Even though college coaches can’t officially start recruiting “The Realness” until July 1, she has already received multiple letters of interest from different schools. “As soon as July gets here, we fully expect our phone to be ringing off the hook,” her dad said.
Tillmon hopes to parlay her 3.95 grade point average and her love of sports into becoming an athletic trainer. She has made unofficial visits to Tennessee State University (the alma mater of track legend Wilma Rudolph) and also to Northern Illinois University to look at their track programs and their academic offerings. She anticipates more college visits to come this summer.
She’s going to have to find a way to work them in around those other seven things she’s got going on!
From the May 30-June 5, 2012, issue