Butler’s Neff overcomes two torn ACLs to complete outstanding career as Ohio High Runner of the Year

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Butler’s Danny Neff is the 2009 Ohio High Magazine Boys Track Runner of the Year.

Bad knees turned Danny Neff into one of the country’s top high school runners. A senior at Vandalia-Butler High School, Neff defended his
1,600 meter state title and added an 800 crown at the Division I outdoor state
track and field championships. Those two titles go with a pair of indoor state championships in the same events that Neff earned in March.  Neff is the 2009 Huntington Bank/Ohio High Boys Track Runner of the Year.


Bad knees turned Danny Neff into one of the country’s top high school runners.

A senior at Vandalia-Butler High School, Neff recently defended his 1,600 meter state title and added an 800 crown at the Division I state track and field championships held June 6 at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Those two titles go with a pair of indoor state championships in the same events that Neff earned in March.

Neff, undefeated during his senior season, is the 2009 Huntington Bank/Ohio High Boys Track Runner of the Year.

Neff never thought of himself as a runner until a few years ago when injury ended his team sport days. He blew out his right ACL in seventh grade playing football and then did the same to his left ACL as a freshman.

After that he turned to running.

“I needed something that was competitive,” Neff said, “that didn’t demand that I cut.”

Now all he does is cut time.

Neff dropped seven seconds alone from regional to state his sophomore season when he placed third in the 800 despite being seeded 10th. He was also second in the 1,600 at the 2008 indoor state championships.

Neff’s best efforts in the 800 (1:51.36) and 1,600 (4:08.41) this year, respectively, rank seventh and eighth nationally for high school.

In regards to the Greater Western Ohio Conference, which has produced some standout runners, Neff holds the conference records in the 800 (1:54.22), 1,600 (4:15.64) and 3,200 (9:25.46). The 3,200 record he achieved this spring when he ran the event for the first – and last – time at the GWOC championships.

Neff is headed to Georgia.

He picked the Bulldogs over Ohio State.

“I ‘m not saying that I don’t love Ohio!,” Neff said. “I’ve lived here for almost eighteen years! I just wanted to try and get a different experience. I wanted to see what the south was like, and hey, it’s a different climate!

“The running weather will be much better in the winter (laughs). When it gets really cold out my knees get a little… stiff.”

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