TAYLORVILLE HIGH SCHOOL 
SPORTS HALL OF FAME 
PORTRAIT

BRUCE AIKEN

    Bruce Aiken, a 1965 graduate of Taylorville High School was one of the finest track athletes to run for the Tornadoes. He lettered in football three years as a running back, lettered his junior year in basketball and was the premier sprinter in the state lettering three years and winning the State Championship in the 100 and 220 yard dashes.

    As a football running back, Aiken had the size, at 6'1, 190 pounds, and the burning speed to be a great player. He rushed for over five hundred yards as a junior and bettered the thousand yard mark on the 5-4 squad in the fall of 1964. He was selected to the Mid State Conference, All-conference Football Team in 1964 and was also chosen to be a member of the All Southern Illinois Football team by the St Louis Post Dispatch.

    As a basketball player, Aiken played two years for the Tornadoes, seeing varsity action his junior year.However, it was track that provide Aiken his greatest glory. During his junior year, in 1964 Aiken showed speed that got him noticed throughout the state. He was selected co-captain of the team that year and calmly set the Mid-State Conference 100 yard Dash record with a time 10.05 seconds. He also set the Pana Open 220 yard record with a time of 22.5 seconds. Because of a scheduling error, Aiken was not entered in the 220 yard dash in the district track meet, but was entered in the 440 yard dash instead. Unable to correct the error, Aiken set a district record in the 440, winning in 50.9 seconds.

    Having tasted the record setting success of 1964, Aiken skipped the basketball season his senior year, and dedicated his winter to conditioning and getting ready for the spring track season. The training paid off. During the 1965 track season, Bruce Aiken began by setting the 100 yard dash record at the Mattoon Open with a time of 10.0 seconds. He followed that with a record setting run in the 100 yard dash at the Roxana Relays with a time of 10.1 seconds. The Mid-State Conference 220 yard record was next to fall with a time of 21.4 seconds. In preparation for the district track meet, Aiken participated in the tough Alton AAU meet and set a meet record in the 220 yard dash with a time of 21.5 seconds. At the district track meet, he captured both tie 100 and 220 yard dashes and with Lonnie Gilpin, Dennis Rexroad and David Trost, set a school record 1:31.9 seconds in the 880 yard relay.

    The highlight of Aiken's high school career and Taylorville High School Track came at the Illinois State Track Meet at Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois.  In the face of a twenty mile an hour wind; Bruce Aiken became the first and only state track and field champion in Taylorville High School history, first winning the 100 yard dash in 10.5 seconds and then following up with a double, by winning the 220 yards dash in 22.3 seconds.

    Bruce Aiken, held one of the top ten times in the 220 yard clash in the nation for high school athletes that spring of 1965. He was offered and accepted a scholarship to play football at Kansas State University. He currently lives with his wife, Joanne, in Memphis Tennessee, where he retired from the banking business.