Iowa Association of Track Officials
The IATO saw its official beginnings in 2000. However, the initial effort began in 1997 and 1998 when the late John Lowry of Marion and Cornie Wassink of Alton saw the need for Track & Field officials in the state of Iowa to come together under one banner. Their primary objective was to encourage all of the state’s Track & Field and Cross Country officials to utilize proper and consistent officiating mechanics. A secondary objective was to provide “user-friendly” material to those managing track & field meets and cross country meets so they could bring consistency to the procedures that were used to setup and administer the meets.
Relying on John’s extensive contacts in central and eastern Iowa and Cornie’s in western Iowa, they began contacting many of Iowa’s outstanding officials and asking for their input. Among the officials involved at this point were; Dave Suntken, Gerald Kuyper, Mike Stanley, Tim Sanderson and Fran Long. They also received strong encouragement and support from Mark Kostek, Director of the Drake Relays; Dave Anderson of the Iowa High School Athletic Association; Mike Dick of the Iowa Girl’s High School Athletic Union; and Marty Pillars, Supervisor of Officials for the Drake Relays. While everyone endorsed their concept, the challenge was how to best organize the officiating group. John then contacted, the Iowa Association of Track Coaches (IATC) 2nd VP, Dick Washburn of Muscatine. It became very apparent that the most practical approach would be to become affiliated with the IATC. The IATC was well established, had an extensive website, and hosted an annual clinic which included an awards banquet. In 1999 the preliminary work was completed and the IATO was officially launched in 2000. John Lowry was selected as the IATO’s first president.
On March 28, 2004, John passed away while sitting at his desk preparing materials for the IATO. In his memory and honor, the John Lowry Distinguished Service Award is presented to an official or administrator who has demonstrated outstanding service to officiating high school track & field and cross country in Iowa.
IATO Past Presidents
IATO Past Secretary/Treasurers
|Dave Suntken||Clear Lake||2000-2017|
|Bill Neal||Iowa City||2017-|