History of the Indoor Classic    Written by: Mike Newman, DyeStat Illinois Additional info: Randy Anderson, Illinois Top Times   The first IPTT Classic was contested in 1989. There were, however, many more events that led up to the first meet.   There has always been a high interest in track & field in the state of Illinois. The interest was taken to a different level in 1970 when the track & field newsletter Timely Times was first published. The newsletter was created by the Keen family in Riverside. The Keen boys had just started competing in track and cross country. The parents decided to come out with the newsletter that would highlight the top weekly performances by athletes throughout the state, results of the meets, and a leaderboard with the top 50 performances in each event. In the fall, the top 50 list was replaced by a weekly coach’s team poll. Timely Times was a mailbox must check every Tuesday or Wednesday seeing what your competitors did or where you were ranked.   What you see know on the internet now was inspired from what the Keen family developed. In 1978, Coach Larry Wieczorek, then coach of Proviso West and now the XC / track coach at the University of Iowa, saw the interest of track in Illinois and built the Proviso West Classic with the help of Coach George Paulk of Wheaton-Warrenville High School.   The event was held at the end of March and was held on the 200-meter indoor track at Proviso West High School in Hillside. Most of the top athletes in the state were invited to the meet which was held on a Friday evening.   The meet was held for seven years ending after the 1984 meet when Wieczorek went to Iowa. For the next couple of years, there were end of year indoor invitational but they were not like the Proviso West Classic. At the end of the 1986 cross country season, the Keen family decided to stop publishing Timely Times. Seeing the need for a track publication, Mike Stine and Marty Bee of Naperville carried on the tradition of Timely Times by creating Illinois Prep Top Times. In 1989, the two coaches saw the need for an indoor “state meet” and created the IPTT Classic. The meet was held at the University of Illinois Armory from 1989 to 2005.   Just like the Keen family before them, Stine and Bee handed over the reins of Illinois Prep Top Times to two Chicago Public League Coaches, Bob Geiger of Whitney Young and Tony Jones of Lane Tech in the fall of 2003. The two coaches upgraded Illinois Prep Top Times to one of the prominent high school running sites in the state of Illinois. Jones and Geiger joined up with John Dye and became the editors for Dyestat Illinois until 2012. The IPTT Classic was moved from Champaign to the new Shirk Center on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington in 2006 where the meet is currently contested. The meet took different shapes similar to what the IHSA was going through. When the IHSA expanded track & field to 3 classes, the meet mirrored the change. The meet was also moved from Saturday to a more suitable format of being held on Friday night and Saturday.   Geiger and Jones stepped down at the end of 2012. the Illinois Prep Top Times was taken over by Randy Anderson of Clinton and Roland Brent of Bloomington and Dan Andrews. With the help of Marchan Adkins, the tradition continued.  The quartet has renamed the meet the Illinois Top Times High School Track & Field Indoor Championship. The name may be different but the mission started by Bee and Stine and continued by Geiger and Jones remains the same to produce a premier indoor meet for athletes and coaches that will help promote collegiate recruiting and future participation of Illinois High School athletes.

In 2013 the trio came up with one of the first High School Leadership boards in the Country very similar to the TFFR site for College athletes. This leadership board was created by Dan Andrews. We also debuted a complete new website (
www.illinoistoptimes.com) with the leadership board online.   In 2014 Roland Brent's job at State Farm transferred him to Texas and at the end of that season Roland stepped aside. Also in 2014 we teamed up with Direct Athletics to update our leadership board to mirror the TFFR site even more since it was created by Direct Athletics. This made the Illinois Top Times meet one of the largest and most digitally advanced meet in the county.

In 2015 they raised the bar again, and brought in Runnerspace with live streaming video and video on demand.  This gave the athletes more exposure to college coaches and track enthusiasts across the country.  At the end of the 2015 season, Dan Andrews had an opportunity to follow his dream and is coaching at Milliken University.  His role has changed a little and he now sub-contracts as their Technical Director. The mission since Randy Anderson has been a part of Illinois Top Times remains the same: To produce a premier indoor championship meet for athletes and coaches that would help promote collegiate recruiting and future participation from Illinois high school athletes.