Torrence , Willie
Willie Torrence was one of the first outstanding African American high school athletes outside of the Portland metropolitan area in the late 1920s and early 1930s. While at La Grande High School, La Grande, Oregon he won state high jump championships in 1931 and 1932 with jumps of 5 ft. 10 inches both years. Also in 1931, he won the state long jump title with a leap of 21 ft. 5 1/2 inches. An April 30, 1932 article in the Oregon Journal recounted how Torrence led LaGrande High School to the annual Eastern Oregon Track & Field Championship title. "Willie Torrence, colored athlete, was the outstanding star for the winners capturing first places in the javelin, high jump, broad jump and high hurdles and winning second in the low hurdles, third in the shot put and fifth in the discus."