Once the largest prep cross country meet in the nation, the Crete-Monee Pow-Wow is no more.
Crete-Monee athletic director Gene Cahan confirmed that the invitational won’t be back for a 42nd year in 2010, citing the declining number of teams participating. The Pow-Wow field peaked at 71 teams in 1978, but has dropped into the 20s in recent years.
The meet’s flighted format, which pits schools’ No. 1 through 7 runners against their counterparts, was the brainchild of its founders, Art Manwaring and the late Jim Becker. Their goal was to offer a chance for more runners to be recognized than in standard invitationals.
Four eventual state champs – Sandburg’s Tom Graves (1976), Belvidere’s Don Volkey (1978), St. Ignatius’ Mike Patton (1980) and Lockport’s Jim Knudsen (1981) – ran in the Pow-Wow and Lockport’s Tom Bellos set the meet record of 13:46.8 in 1984.