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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • Duo Geneseo’s only 100-meter medalists

  • It took 68 years but Geneseo now has another state medalist in the 100-meter dash and this time it is a female.
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  • It took 68 years but Geneseo now has another state medalist in the 100-meter dash and this time it is a female.
    Recent Geneseo graduate Rayne Bodeen became the first female state medalist in the 100-m dash and joins 1946 Geneseo graduate Bill Neuleib as the only two state medalists in the event.
    “I am surprised it has been this long because we have had some really fast athletes and good sprinters come through Geneseo High School,” said Neuleib, who ran on cinders during his track career. “I hope we can look forward to having more place.”
    “It is crazy because I didn’t know this was the case,” said Bodeen. “I was just excited to be in the finals and didn’t know it was such a point in history.
    “(Being the only female medalist) is something cool to be remembered by. It is one of the more exciting things to leave behind.”
    Neuleib earned a third-place finish at state held at Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois-Champaign in the 100-m dash (100-yard dash in 1946) his senior season in 1946; while Bodeen took fifth during her senior season this year at the state meet held on the campus of Eastern Illinois University.
    “I was pretty excited,” said Neuleib. “In those days, it was all one class and the two fellows who finished ahead of me were both from suburban schools. When you go to something like that you go in with the idea to do the best you can.
    “When I was a junior, nine of us went to the state meet and I would call it a learning experience. I believe I had success as a senior because of the experience I had as a junior. I was still nervous, but you can focus better when you have been there before.”
    “The past two years I was ranked well, but the prelims got to me,” said Bodeen. “I was able to have it all pay off by making it to the finals and reaching the goal I had been wanting. It is just an awesome feeling.
    “The fact it was my senior year it was all or nothing and I let the pressure fade away. There was a lack of pressure and I just went out and had fun. It helped me sprint the way I needed to.”
    Neuleib and Bodeen both agreed they like the 100-m dash the best because they are able to “get out and go right away” in a full sprint without having to back off and are able to go 100 percent.
    Page 2 of 2 - Over his high school career, Neuleib earned two state medals in the 100-m dash his senior year and in the 4x200-m relay (880-yard relay in 1945) his junior year.
    Bodeen nabbed three state medals over her four years at Geneseo in the 100-m dash her senior year, the 4x100-m relay her junior year and the 4x200-m relay her sophomore year.
    “After the past two years, I didn’t know if it would happen (in the 100-m dash),” said Bodeen. “On the off chance, it did and it was awesome. I worked hard and it paid off. It is a great feeling.”
    Neuleib didn’t end his running career at Geneseo, but continued on and ran track at Bradley University in Peoria.
    In the fall, Bodeen will attend Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where she will study engineering.

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