The 1999 boys track team is the first track team to be inducted into the SCHS Hall of Fame. The accomplishments of this team, undoubtedly, make it one of the best teams in any sport at Salem Community High School.

Coached by Kirby Phillips and assisted by Orlando Ramos, their success began early in the season when they won the Sterling Indoor Meet, edging out Springfield Lanphier. Throughout their season, the team totally dominated all dual and triangular meets. In large, multiple team meets they were champions of the Paducah Tilghman Invitational, Wamac Invitational and Marion Relays, and finished an impressive second place at the Mineral Area Meet at Belleville West, Orphan Relays, Al Joyner Classic, and Mt. Vernon Relays.

They were runaway champions of the North Egypt Conference, scoring 228 points to second-place Olney’s total of 105. Many conference records were set by this talented team. SCHS Hall of Famer Noah Cosby set a new record in the pole vault while Jeremy Silvey, Ed Cox, Cosby and Conor Kain set a new 4 X 100 conference mark. SCHS Hall of Famer Nathan Purcell set a new record in the 1600 meters, and workhorse and SCHS Hall of Famer Mike Minton became a four-time conference champion in the shot put and three-time champion in the discus.

The 1999 boys track team was the first and only sectional champion track team. Eighteen different individuals contributed points toward the team’s total, sending seven Salem athletes to the state meet in Charleston.

Results at the state meet were as impressive as the team’s entire season. Leading the way was Minton, finishing first in both the shot put and discus. Purcell finished fifth in the 1600 meter and Cosby vaulted to finish seventh. The 4 X 800 meter relay team of Billy Beer, Brian Diefenbach, Tim Tolka and Tommy Oliverio ran a strong 8:08 but failed to make it into the finals. At the end of the day, Salem Community High School proudly finished fourth at the IHSA state meet. This is an accomplishment that has never been matched in track at SCHS. To date, the 1999 boys track team still holds 3 SCHS indoor records and 10 outdoor records.