The 103rd running of the BYU Track and Field Invitational will go off this weekend, and for the first time in nearly two decades a familiar face will be missing on the track.
If there was a big track meet in Utah, Dale Robison was probably there, although you wouldn't know it. He was always behind the scenes. Robison, 77 later this month, retired from officiating track and cross country competitions following last fall's state high school cross country championships.
The kids come and go, but Robison was there year in and year out, a fixture on the track scene as a meet referee, head umpire or head of an event. He officiated more than 400 track meets, which ought to qualify him for a gold medal. This includes 30 state high school track and cross country championships, two U.S. Olympic Trials and countless NCAA and U.S. Championships.
"I just enjoyed being around track," says Robison, a former high school track athlete at Brigham Young High.
Robison, a second cousin of former BYU track coach Clarence Robison, began officiating meets in Los Angeles and it got in his blood. After retiring from American Airlines, he returned to Utah and continued to officiate track meets.
So what has he been doing in the short time since he retired? "Well," he says, "my grandson is starting up track in junior high, and I got asked to help, so I've been officiating their meets."