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One of the state’s most respected track and field officials has won a national award.
Patty Rouse, who has been an official for 15 years, was given a USA Track & Field Chair Award during the USATF national convention Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla.
“When they were talking about me before they called my name, they were talking about the big meets I’ve been selected for and how hard I’ve worked,” Rouse said Monday afternoon. “I see that the hard work I put in at all the different levels in track and field is being noticed. They see my passion and drive for wanting the sport to be successful.”
Rouse won the award for her work in field events during USATF national meets this year.
She is the fifth Kentucky official to win one of the awards, which have been given out annually since 1999. The award recognizes service by an individual to the National Officials Committee and the National Officials Chair.
Other state winners are Kenny Morton (2003), Charles Ruter (2006), Gordon Bocock (2009) and Doug Allen (2011).
Rouse almost didn’t attend convention. She didn’t want to miss a day of school to make the trip, but she’s glad she did.
“I had second thoughts about going. But they told me I needed to be there. I wound up going and that was why they all wanted me to go,” Rouse said. “I was shocked because I know there are a lot of other people out there (who work just as hard as I do). Since I work so many high school meets, I didn’t think I would be up for a national award. But obviously they felt differently. It’s really nice, and I’m glad I got one.”
Rouse has officiated meets all over the southeast, and is an official starter for the Atlantic Coast Conference.
But she said her favorite memories have been watching area athletes go from running in middle school to competing in college.
“My favorite memories are seeing the kids growing up and watching them win state championships and getting to see them perform at the college level,” she said. “I love that the most.”
Josh Claywell can be reached at (270) 505-1752 or email@example.com.