GARY WESTERFIELD, Smithtown, NY has been involved in Athletics since high school, as a runner at Smithtown Central H.S. and at SUNY Brockport.
While in graduate school, he became a race walker and quickly reached national class, winning the Coney Island Walk in 1968. Drafted into the US Army in 1970, much of his time was spent on the Army T&F team. During his tour of duty, he competed in the World Military (CISM) Championships as well as the Pan Am team trials where he had a 3rd place finish in 4 hours 21 minutes.
Gary taught high school social studies for the Smithtown School District from 1969 to his retirement in 2000. During that career, he coached the Smithtown HS track team to the Suffolk County championships in the late 1990's, and also had a stint at Stony Brook University in the early 1980's, winning the first ECAC Div 3 XC championship in 1984. While at Stony Brook, he developed a stable of race walkers that were among the best in the country.
In 1986, Gary became an international Race Walk Judge and a certified track and field official. His first international judging assignment was in 1991 as the chief judge at the San Jose World Race Walking Cup. His international judging assignments took him to approximately 20 countries from 1986 to 2016, when the IAAF mandatory age restriction kicked in. Highlights included officiating the World T&F championships in Goteburg, Sweden and Berlin, the World Cup in France, the Youth Olympics in Singapore, and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Gary has served as a Race Walk Lecturer for the IAAF (now World Athletics) in the NACAC Area. His expertise in race walking has resulted in various publications and international presentations. His short video, “Teaching Race Walking” remains a very useful tool for teaching the event to youth athletes.
His WalkUSA team and its star, two time Olympian Maria Michta-Coffey continues to develop national class race walkers from its base on Long Island.
Gary has hosted race walk competitions on Long Island since the mid 1970's, including numerous national championships as well as developmental events. Gary has served as the Metropolitan Association Race Walk Chair as well as the Long Island Association Chair.
Gary helped plan with Tracy Sundlun the World Cup in Race Walking held in New York City in 1987 at which he was also the head coach of team USA. Gary was the Long Island Association’s second President and is now that association’s Treasurer and Race Walk Chair.
In 2013, Gary Received the prestigious Robert Gigengack Award from USA Track and Field. He has also received the National Officials’ Association’s Lori Maynard Award in Race Walking, USA Race Walking's Ron Zinn Award, and New York State's Outstanding Track Officials Award. He was inducted into the USATF National Officials Hall of Fame in 2013.
Gary is not just a race walk judge. He has been a New York State scholastic track official since 2000, working many many track meets in a wide range of events ranging from starter to clerk, all field events, umpire and referee, meet director and judge/timer. He officiates USATF meets whenever possible. Gary is also an international road course measurer and has certified more than 350 running courses since his retirement from teaching.
He works at over 100 track and field meets a year. His wife says Gary did not retire, he just switched careers.