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Jim Effinger

Like most of us, our Cross Country and Track and Field experience began in junior high or high school.  There is a picture of Jim finishing a track event in his high school yearbook.  The most important element of the picture however, is the cute girl holding the stopwatch at the finish line.  That girl is Rose, his High School Sweetheart.  After High School (Antioch) and college (Cornell College), competitive running ended and Jim and Rose married.  They continue to run together almost every day and compete in a couple of road races each year.  Jim would say, “we run together, but in reality, Rose is the better runner and I’m several strides behind.

Jim was worked between 30 and 40 meets a year for the past 38 years, most of those were also attended by Rose who scored the meets.  When Jim volunteered to work the IHSA State Track Meet, he was assigned to the Shot Put.  After nearly 30 years of working the State Meet, he is still officiating the throwing events, with Rose working by his side for the past 25 years.  Both have served as Honorary Referee for the State Meet.

Jim and Rose have two daughters, who also ran Cross Country and Track in High School.  Their daughter Erin, teaches and coaches at Roosevelt Middle School and has had success winning the IESA Girls Cross Country Team Championship.  Kory teaches in Barrington and has coached Track and Volleyball for Barrington High School.  Both Erin and Kory continue to run every day and compete in road races and marathons.  Jim and Rose have five grandchildren that are following in the family tradition of running by participating on their respective elementary and middle school teams.  Jim and Rose used to run 5K’s with the grandkids, but they admit, “we cannot even keep pace with the youngest grandchild.”

Jim claims, “there is a certain joy in being able to still participate in a sport that you love, but there is a real pleasure in being able to enjoy that sport with your wife, children, grandchildren and an organization of officials who are great role models to young athletes.  It is an honor to be associated with this organization and the sport of Cross Country and Track and Field.”