At the 2016 IHSA Cross Country State Final meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria, the IHSA honored Chris Perry, the long-time state final meet manager for the historic event.
Perry was presented with an award by former IHSA administrator Ron McGraw, while the following bio on his career was read over the PA to recognize his contributions to Illinois high schools, student-athletes, coaches and the IHSA:
"The Illinois High School Association Cross Country State Final meet is considered one of the premier events of its kind in the country, and the IHSA is privileged to honor Chris Perry, one of the greatest contributors to that legacy.
Chris’s career as a high school teacher, coach and administrator in the Peoria Public Schools district began in 1978, and he went on to add the duties of IHSA Cross Country State Final meet manager when he ascended to the role of Activities Director at Peoria High School in 1992.
As the meet manager, Chris worked tirelessly to maintain and enhance the tradition of providing a first-class race experience for the student-athletes, coaches and fans who make the pilgrimage to Detweilller Park each fall. From scoring, to result reporting, to technological advancements, countless improvements were made to the meet under Chris’ watchful eye. All the while, he worked to maintain and motivate a small army of volunteers who shared his passion in showcasing high school running in Illinois at the highest possible level.
Chris has served the IHSA in a variety of capacities throughout the years, including as a member of the Cross Country Advisory Committee, All-State Academic Team Selection Committee, March Madness Steering Committee and as a track & field official. But his greatest impact has undoubtedly been in his role managing this event and the countless individuals he impacted through it. Chris retired from education in 2011, but has remained a vital part of the state final team here in Peoria.
The IHSA is proud to honor Chris here today, as this will mark his final time working on the state final team, although his presence and impact will be felt for generations."