Sabine Co. resident honored for his contribution to decades of track and field events

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 11:05 PM CDT
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HEMPHILL, Texas (KTRE) - Even if you consider yourself a fan of track and field, George Young is probably a name you are not familiar with despite his long list of accomplishments as an official.

Young has worked as an official for 29 years at track and field meets. He does everything from junior high meets in Sabine County to college meets in College Station. And soon he will add a U.S. Olympic qualifier to his list of accomplishments.

“U.S.A Track and Field have four meets every year that they select officials for and one of those is the senior outdoor meet,” Young said. Every four years that becomes the Olympic qualifier in Eugene, Oregon. I have applied for it before but this is the first time to be selected. The Olympic trials is the biggest one, and as an official all of us want to work it one time in our career and it is an honor.”

Young has spent the last 14 years volunteering with officials from Texas A&M and a few weeks ago he was honored by being inducted into the A&M Track Officials Hall of Fame.

“It is a who’s who of track and field officials from around the state of Texas and above and the fact that I am not a Texas A&M alumnus makes it an even greater recognition that they wanted to honor me with that recognition,” Young said.

Young spends his time with the high jump and admits it comes with challenges.

“The most challenging thing is the rules are not the same,” Young said. “Each level has different rules and so you have to remember the rules for that event because college will vary from high school and those will vary from U.S. Track and Field.. You have to remember the rule book you are working under so you do the best you can for those athletes.”

He doesn’t see it as a bad challenge but just part of the event. It is a job he would not change.

“We do not get the salary or pay that the football, basketball or baseball officials receive,” Young said. “Most of the officials I work with are former track athletes. They do it for the love of the sport. I love track and field because it is the purest form of athletics because it is individuals competing against individuals in the basic sports that we all come to love and watch.”

Young added that track and field is suffering from an official shortage just like other sports and he is hoping younger athletes that have put their running days behind them to join.

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