The following individuals will be honored for their contributions to the sport of high school cross country in Illinois as the 2018 IHSA Cross Country Honorary Officials at the State Final Meet on Saturday, November 3, 2018:
Gina Dailey has been an employee of Peoria Public Schools since August 1999. She started in the Human Resource department before transferring to Peoria High School in January 2003 to serve as the school treasurer. While there, she began coaching as an assistant cheerleading coach at Roosevelt Magnet and Rolling Acres schools. Gina later became the head cheer coach at Peoria High School in 2005 and has built the program to the competitive team that it is today.
Gina, with the help of many cheerleading families, has managed concessions at the IHSA State Cross Country meet for the past 13 years. She coordinates all workers, purchases, and sales for this enormous event. Gina has initiated many changes over the years including bringing in community support from multiple businesses such as Alwans, Schnucks, and others. In addition to managing all concessions, Gina is also the treasurer for Peoria High School as host of the IHSA State meet. She puts many hours into handling the financial expenditures related to hosting this prestigious event, helping to make sure it remains a first-class experience for the runners, coaches and fans alike.
While living with his sister as a college student, John Betteridge’s neighbor happened to be none other than legendary York High School coach Joe Newton. The two formed a friendship that led John to return to help at local track meets. At one of the those meets, Newton approached John and said ““I need someone to start my meets. Can you do it?”. John took the starters pistol and has been going strong now as an IHSA official since 1985.
Fellow officials George Deacon, Jerry Parsons, and Brian McCue took John under their wing, and their mentoring has helped him become an elite official. He has been named the IHSA Girls Track & Field State Final Starter on four separate occasions, and has been working as the Head Runway Official for the past 17 years at the Boys Spring Spectacular meet.
John’s tenure as a cross country official hasn’t been quite as long as his time working track & field, but the Illinois Track and Cross Country Officials Association member is just as respected. In his decade-plus overseeing races, he has been selected as a State Final Starter, Assistant Meet Referee, Head Results Official and also been named Official of the Year.
John also officiates cross country and track & field at the collegiate, AAU, and USATF levels, and has been assigned to work a series of prestigious meets along the way.
John and his wife of nearly 40 years, Virginia, reside in Elmhurst. They have three children (Jennifer, Carolyn, Christopher) and six grandchildren. John works as the Director of Quality Assurance for Millennium Information Services, Inc. and remains an active runner, having run half marathons all over the country.