Growing up in an athletic family in Fort William, both Cleve and his sister Helen were well known during the 1920s and 30s for their outstanding athletic abilities in a variety of sports. It was in the sport of track and field, however, where Cleve’s athletic talents would truly shine.
Cleve got his first taste of success while just 12 years of age competing with the Fort William YMCA Hexathlon team. Although competing in a number of events he was best known for his incredible jumping abilities. Competing for Fort William Collegiate, he claimed the 1927 and 1928 senior boys high jump titles at the Ontario Provincial High School Track and Field Championships. In 1931 he defeated prominent track stars Wally Bain and Doug Skinner to win the 1931 decathlon event at the Thunder Bay District Track and Field Championships. In 1932 Cleve claimed the district broad jump and hop-step-jump titles, repeating the victory in 1933 in the high jump.
Competing for United College at the University of Manitoba, Cleve earned numerous honours including the 1931 men's overall interfaculty title by setting records in both the high jump (at 6') and pole vault (at 10'6"). Competing in Western Canada Intercollegiate Athletic Union championships, he set records in the high jump and earned titles in the pole vault and relay serving as one of the highest point earners for the University of Manitoba during track meets.
As one of our area's early track and field stars and an executive member with the Thunder Bay Track and Field Association from 1930-33, Cleve truly contributed to the early development of the sport of track and field in northwestern Ontario.
Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 25th, 1993