A tribute run to honor the late coaching legend Richard Cooley was held Saturday at the Amherst Steele track that bears his name.
Comets boys cross country runners sprinted a mile to honor Cooley, who served as head track coach from 1958 to 1982 and head cross country coach from its inception in 1959 until 1982.
In that time, he coached 19 conference track championships and 12 cross country conference championships; three state track individual champions and two state cross country individual champions; and two team state cross country championships (1962 and 1977).
Cooley was elected to the Ohio State Association of Track & Cross Country Coaches’ Hall of Fame in 1972 and the Lorain County Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2011.
He became an Olympic pole vault official and officiated the pole vault in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Winning the “Cooley Mile” was Dane Johnson with a time of 4:50.5.
Rounding out the top five were Devin Baumgartner (5:01.9), Josh Hill (5:04.1), Dru Trifiletti (5:06.3), and Brandon Fernandez (5:12.8). Dylan Beam was next with a 5:24.0, followed by Matt Trame (5:24.2), Andrew Vontell (5:26.7), Tyler Kovach (5:32.0), Ben Brogan (5:35.5), Pierce Barnes (5:38.0), Alex Reyes (5:38.1), Chase Beetler (5:43.0), Ben Yuhasz (5:53.7), and Alex Poalson (5:58.3).
The boys will compete Saturday at the Southwestern Conference championship meet at Lorain County Community College. The varsity runners will start at 9:40 a.m. and the open race will be at 11 a.m.
The day will also mark the one-year anniversary of Cooley’s passing.