2015 Girls Track & Field Honorary Referees: Sandy Jenkins, Donna Campbell & Tom Gavin

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2015 Girls Track & Field Honorary Referees: Sandy Jenkins, Donna Campbell & Tom Gavin

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The following individuals will be honored for their contributions to the sport of high school track & field in Illinois as the 2015 IHSA Girls Track & Field Honorary Referees at the Spring Spectacular on Saturday, May 23, 2015:

Sandy Jenkins has dedicated much of her life to young people and the sport of track & field, becoming a pioneering coach in the city of Chicago along the way.

She led Calumet High School in Chicago to a second-place finish at the IHSA State Final meet in 1975 and a year later helped Calumet become the first school from Chicago to win a state title in the sport, a feat that received special recognition from then Mayor Richard J. Daley.

After making history as a coach, Sandy began her near 40-year commitment to working the Spring Spectacular as a Finish Line Judge in 1978. She served in that capacity for four years and then transitioned to the Curve and Lane Inspector, a position she has held every year since 1983.

Following her graduation from George Williams College, Sandy taught at both the elementary and high school levels. In addition to her time at Calumet, she also coached cross country and track at Hyde Park High School and Vocational High School, in addition to coaching collegiately at Chicago State University.

A past President of the Illinois Girls Track & Field Association, Sandy went on earn Master’s Degrees from both the University of Illinois and Roosevelt University. She has two daughters, La’Sandra and Oronde’, and retired from teaching in 2012. She has received multiple honors from IAHPERD and also been recognized by the Chicago Public League Football Association for meritorious service.

When Donna Campbell met her future husband Ron over 50 years ago, she didn’t know at the time how important track & field would become to her life. However, it became apparent pretty quickly when their first date included attending the Chicago Daily News Relays, where she recalls that Tom O’Hara set the world’s record in the indoor mile.

That date was Donna’s introduction to track & field, but marrying a high school track & field coach would lead to spending countless hours spectating at local, state, national, and international track meets, where her appreciation for the sport only continued to grow.

Nothing was more special than cheering for the Niles West cross country and track & field teams, where Ron coached and Donna’s three daughters competed in both sports. Donna volunteered at meets in a variety of capacities throughout the years, often working in the scoring tent or with awards.

Donna is a long-time volunteer at the IHSA Girls Track & Field State Finals, serving as a volunteer official in the horizontal jumps for nearly two decades. She also recently joined the team of volunteer officials at the Boys Spring Spectacular and says she has “come to realize how important all of the volunteer officials are in making the Illinois State Meets as outstanding as they are.”

Tom Gavin has been associated with track & field since his own high school running career, which has evolved to him coaching track at the elementary, junior high, middle school, high school, club and collegiate levels.

Tom’s devotion to track & field started when he founded the South Bend (IN) Track Club in 1970. He has devoted his career to helping young women and men achieve their goals on the track and in the classroom, training champion runners and teams at every level, from conference to state to national competitions along the way. That included leading one of his first girls “unified” teams to a state meet fourth-place finish in Indiana.

Tom retired in 2013 from full-time teaching at Lincoln-Way North High School, but remains active in coaching, serving as an assistant coach for the Phoenix girls’ cross-country team. Tom also is a member of the ITCCCA-North board, serving as the Cross Country All-State Awards Chairman.

When not coaching, Tom can often be found officiating throughout Indiana and Illinois. He has worked at the IHSA Boys State Finals for the past 21 years, and officiated pole vault at the girl’s state meet since the event was added in 2001. He has also officiated at State and Regional USATF meets, collegiate meets, and an NCAA Division III National Indoor Championship Meet.

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