Local track official raising the "Barr" in dedication - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Local track official raising the "Barr" in dedication

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MADISON (WKOW) -- For decades at Madison area track and field meets, he's been the guy with the gun. McFarland's Steve Barr is in his 54th season as an official for Wisconsin high school track and field meets.
"I'm kind of like that old farm dog, if there's a meet I show up, Barr said.
Officially his life in the lanes started in 1957. as a runner at Monona Grove High School.
"Where did the time go? Seems like yesterday that I was doing this."
After graduating, Barr spent some time as a coach, but in 1962 he picked up officiating and has done it ever since
"It's just a way to stay with it. You're out with young people all the time and that makes you feel real good."
Even on a vacation to Florida this year Barr found a way to work a meet, after striking up a conversation with a local high school athletic director.
"He said we're short some people. I said no kidding, which field event do you need help in? He just laughed and sent me over to the long-jump."
For a man who recently lost his wife ("Teddi" Barr in 2013) and one of his son's (Thomas Barr in 2014),it's his track and field family that has helped him push through.
"You see the people and they still remember you and that's nice."
And while his time on the track is nearing the finish line, this official is aiming for a victory lap before calling a career.
"I would like to get one more year. I've been told next year I may get a chance to do a national meet so that would be a good one to go out on."

Barr never missed a WIAA state track and field meet from 1963-1993, when the meet was held in Madison. He's worked several others since the meet moved to La Crosse.

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