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has been an absolutely tireless worker for the sport of Track & Field since she first got involved. In her acceptance remarks when entering the National Officials Hall of Fame, she described how it all happened.
“I was first introduced to track and field while teaching in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The Head Mistress of the Magburka Secondary School for girls decided to have a track team to compete at the District Championships. and that I should be the coach. Bear in mind that I played basketball and softball in school and knew nothing about track. OK! No track, no equipment, and no uniforms! Wow. I found an old Athletics Rule Book, we chopped down grass and underbrush, made a few, what must have been the most substandard hurdles ever and dug a sand pit for the horizontal jumps. Miss Bartlett and the girls sewed uniforms. I obtained a stop watch from the Peace Corps office and our team was born. Yes we did compete and actually won the championships.
Years later when my daughter was competing in middle school track I mentioned that it would be more fun if I knew what was going on. Coach signed me up for officials’ training classes and the rest is history. That was in 1983.”
Since then Mary has organized and trained officials across New York and the nation and made the training objective that officials were not officiating for themselves (no matter how gratifying that would be), but for the athlete, no matter their age or level – Youth to professional.
She has officiated locally and all over our state and nation. I am sure as a kindergarten teacher she probably developed a US map lesson that showed her students where she went to do a track meet that summer!
Mary has been totally saturated by her involvement with our sport. She served 14 years as President of the New York State Certified Officials Association and 20 years as the President of her own local chapter of that organization, Southern Catskill. She served on the Metropolitan Association’s Officials Committee’s executive board. When we formed the New York Association, she stepped forward with enthusiasm to serve on its Board of Directors, helping us to get the association up and running.
As to her officiating experience, it would take me a day to read it all (HOLD UP LIST), but I will read you some highlights. (read highlighted events)
She has been honored for her contributions before
USATF Officials Hall of Fame
NYS Public High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame
Section IX Track & Field Hall of Fame
Dick Teetsel Outstanding Track & Field Official Award
Dick Ferziger Award for Distinguished Service
Ken Smith Award for Outstanding Service
M.A.C. Service Award
NOC Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Service
New Balance National Scholastic Award for Outstanding Contribution and Dedication
Charles Ruter Award finalist
Mary and her husband Carl moved to Maine this past year to be near two of their children and four grandchildren. She has a daughter and two other grandchildren to visit in Seattle as well.
Mary, we will miss you, but we want to give you another award to dust off in your new family room up THEYAH in Maine! We hope this one will have a special place in your trophy room as it does in all of our hearts.
Mary, Welcome to our USATF New York Officials Hall of Fame.