Senior Preston Henze (SHS ‘16) led a cadre of Shelbyville distance runners to the University of Illinois Springfield in recent years. He capped his 4th year in cross country last fall, but ran as a junior in track during the indoor season this year.

Henze was a member of the inaugural men’s track and field team at UIS, as a freshman. He then was joined by younger teammates Tyler Pasley, upon graduation, and Kenton Wilson, after running for Danville Area JC.

Henze ran in 13 cross country races at UIS and 28 track and field events prior to entering the 2019-20 seasons. He has been a member of three relay teams that scored 12 points at GLVC Track Championship events.

His top times in track prior to this school year were 1:59.08 in the 800m, 4:04.49 in the 1,500m, 4:23.17 in the Mile, 9:17.28 in the 3,000m, 15:52.97 in the 5,000m.

In cross country, his best times were 16:46.0 in the 5,000m, 20:46.7 in the 6,000m, 27:10.9 in the 8,000m.

During the recent 2019-2020 Indoor track season, Henze placed 13th in the 3000 meters (9:25.05) at the Tom Hathaway Distance Classic in Indianapolis. Henze placed 52nd in the mile (4:40.04) at the Pittsburg State Invitational.

He ran 25th in his heat in the 5000 meters (15:55.49) at the Grand Valley State Big Meet in Allendale Michigan on Valentine’s Day. The next day, he ran 48th in the mile (4:41.85).

Henze placed 9th in the 3000 meters (9:10.94) at the Illinois College Hilltop Invitational.

At the GLVC Indoor Championships, the final track event this season, due to the virus crisis, Henze ran on the Distance Medley Relay. They placed 9th (10:43.88).

Last fall, Henze opened the cross country season placing 25th (24:03.50) in the 7k at the UIS Invitational. Henze was 172nd (28:03.8) at the Michgan State 8k.

At the Loyola Lakefront, Henze was 91st (28:06.61) in the 8k Gold Flight. He was 282nd in the 8k (28:35.4) at the Lewis University Crossover.

Henze was 72nd (27:46.50) in the GLVC Cross Country Championships for the 2nd place UIS Prairie Stars.

In UIS cross country, in 2018, competed in two meets during the season … finished 78th at the GLVC Championships. He was 27th overall at the UIS Invitational.

In 2017, Henze ran in five races and was runner-up overall at the Orion’s Twilight Mini-Meet and the Illinois College Invitational. He finished 25th at the UIS Invitational.

In 2016, Henze competed in six events. He had Top-10 finishes in the Orion’s Mini Meet and the Illinois Springfield Invitational in the 3,000m. He came in 125th overall at the GLVC Championships.

At the UIS indoor track and field, in 2019, Henze was a member of the distance medley relay team that finished third at the GLVC Championships. He also at the conference meet, came in 17th in the mile and 11th as a member of the 4x400 relay team.

Henze competed in four events overall. His top individual finish was third in the 800m at the Jim Green Invitational. He had two other top-four showings as a member of a relay team.

In 2018, Henze was a member of the distance medley relay team that finished fifth at the GLVC Championships. Individually, he finished 14th in the mile at the conference meet.

He competed in six overall events. He was a member of the distance medley relay team that won at the Lewis Invitational. He collected three top-10 individual finishes, including 7th in the 800m at the Tom Hathaway Distance Classic.

In 2017, Henze was red-shirted.

In UIS outdoor track and field, in 2019, Henze was a member of the 4x400 relay team that scored with a 7th-place finish at the GLVC Championships. He came in 11th at the conference meet in the 1500m.

Henze ran in five events during the year. He had Top-5 finishes in the 15000m at the Big Blue Alumni Invitational, and the Illinois College True Blue Open.

In 2018, Henze competed in six meets. At the GLVC Championships, he finished 18th in the 800m and was 12th as a member of the 4x400 relay team.

He finished 5th individually in the 800m at the Big Blue Alumni Invitational. He had two Top-10 finishes as a member of the 4x400 relay team.

In 2017, Henze ran in seven competitions. He finished 9th at the GLVC Championships as a member of the 4x400 relay team. He had two Top-10 finishes in the 1500m, including 8th at the Rose-Hulman Twilight Invitational.

He had a total of four top-10 finishes in the 4x400 relay, including sixth at two events.

UIS Academic Awards: 2019- GLVC Academic All-Conference; 2018- GLVC Academic All-Conference; 2017- GLVC Academic All-Conference.

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

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