The National Scholastic Athletics Foundation Board of Directors
John Blackburn is a native of Philadelphia where he attended his first track meet, the Penn Relays. He became involved in track officiating while in graduate school at NC State where he needed a diversion from Chemical Engineering. John is the chair of the USATF Rules Committee and is certified by the IAAF as an International Technical Official. He served as an official at the Atlanta and Athens Olympic Games and the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, among other international competitions.
Chelo Canino - Chairman
Chelo Canino, a California resident, is a business and marketing professional with experience leading teams at Google, Adidas, Crayola, and Reebok. A former athlete, she won the Indoor Nationals pole vault title in 1999, was an NCAA Division I All-American at Princeton, and was a member of the Puerto Rican national team, competing professionally around the world. As an athlete and later as an employee, Chelo has been involved with the NSAF and its mission for over two decades, currently serving as the Chairman of the NSAF Board of Directors. She also currently serves on the USA women's development staff and was recently awarded the Community Action Award for her east coast development work in the sport. Chelo is currently the Director of Operations for a sports training company and an assistant coach at a small college. In her spare time, Chelo is an instrument-rated pilot who specializes in aerobatics and who enjoys scooter riding.
Robert Glen Jones M.D.
Dr. Jones has been a member of the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation’s Board of Directors member of since 1998 and has served as its Medical Director since his appointment. During his tenure as NSAF Medical Director Dr. Jones has developed a multidisciplinary medical team similar to those used by USATF to accompany national teams abroad. This medical team ,comprised of MD’s, Athletic trainers, Sports Massage Therapists and Chiropractors, is present at all national NSAF meets.
Dr. Jones is a Tennessee native and was a varsity letterman pole -vaulter at UNC Chapel Hill. He graduated Emory University School of medicine and completed his Orthopaedic training at Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr Jones has also served a Team physician for a number of high schools, colleges and professional sporting organizations including South East Raleigh HS, Leesville Road HS, Campbell University, Carolina Cobras Arena Football, The North Carolina Ballet and USA Baseball.
Dr. Jones made the decision to pursue medicine after a pole-vaulting accident abruptly ended his athletic career . Dr. Jones is an Orthopaedic Surgeon with Impact Orthopaedics, PA, a Sports Medicine Private Practice in Raleigh NC. He is an avid tri-athlete, marathoner and high school track and field enthusiast.
Paul Limmer’s 35 year HS coaching career spanned 5 decades. During that time Mepham High School won numerous titles ranging from local to National: Footlocker Champions, National Champions men and women, 3 Penn Relay Championships of America ( 2 Boys DMR, 1 girls 4 x 800), NYS Champions too numerous to mention, Sectional Champions galore. Mepham’s Girls DMR held the National Record for twenty years. During his tenure Mepham’s Girls XC squad compiled an enviable 153 wins with only 2 losses. When Limmer retired in 2000, he retired as the winningest combined Boys and Girls track coach in NYS history with over 700 wins. Mepham still holds the venerable Van Cortlandt Park five-man 5k average , 16:12 per man set in 1980, 29 years ago! He was National HS XC Coach of the Year in 1990 and NYS Coach of the Year numerous times. In 1993 he was the Honorary Referee of the Penn Relays. Perhaps his finest achievement is the legions of former athletes who currently coach all over the US.
Larry is a 2-time National Emmy Award winner for television sports journalism. He has been one of television’s foremost track and field and marathon analysts for over 30 years having lent his keen insight to ESPN's telecasts of the country's top track and field and marathon events.
In 2008, Running USA, the umbrella organization for all road races in the US, honored Larry with induction into its hall of fame. In 2011, the Penn Relays honored him with the Jesse Abramson Print Media Award for lifetime contributions to the sport. It was the first time this award was given to a television commentator. Also in 2011, he was inducted into the New York Athletic Club's hall of fame, "for contributions to the sport of track and field."
His broadcast credits include being the play by play and color analyst for six of the past seven Olympic Games for Westwood One radio, television commentator for NBC TV at the 1988 and 2004 Olympic Games, and for the 2001 and 2003 World Championships for ABC and ESPN. He has been a principal color commentator for the Boston, Chicago and New York marathons for several decades.
Rawson was a part of the 1991 Emmy Award-winning team for ESPN's "Outside the Lines: Steroids -- Whatever it Takes" program, which won in the Sports Journalism category. It chronicled East Germany's systematic cheating in Olympic and world competition over a 15-year period of time in the 1970's and 1980's.
He is a Boston College graduate with bachelor of science degree in business and a minor in English. He is a member of the school's athletic hall of fame, having run a 4.07 mile. He served for three years as an officer in the US Marine Corps, including as an artillery forward observer for a tour of duty in Vietnam.
Rawson has also enjoyed a successful career in finance with Paine Webber, Lehman Bros, Morgan Stanley. He helped found and build a successful securities firm specializing in analyzing and valuing high yield bonds and distressed securities, and was the Managing Partner of Greenwich Investment Partners, LLC, in which he co-managed high net worth investors’ funds in the equity markets.
His recent civic contributions include:
1993 to present: Member, Board of Directors, Students Run LA. SRLA prepares at-risk students in inner city Los Angeles to train and run the LA marathon. 30,000 students have completed the race in the last 20 years. 95% have graduated from high school on time, and 92% have gone on to college.
1997 to present: Have established scholarship programs at 3 NYC schools, LaSalle Academy high school, Thea Bowman middle school (Harlem) and All Hallows high school (Bronx). The scholarships are for students who are academically gifted and could not otherwise afford to attend the schools. 98% of all the students at these schools go on to attend a 4-year college.
Jim Spier has been involved with track and field since the late fifties, though never having competing himself. He has been a correspondent for Track and Field News since then, serving at one time as the Girls High School Track and Field Editor. In the seventies, he teamed with Mike Byrnes in putting on major track meets on Long Island, his original home. Both teamed with Tracy Sundlun to put on the Pathmark National Scholastic Classic (to become the National Scholastic Indoor Track and Field Championships and now the Nike Indoor Nationals). He formed the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation with Mike Byrnes in 1990 and has seen the organization grow to owning three major meets (Nike Indoor and Outdoor Nationals, Great American Cross Country Festival).
He was voted Meet Director of the Year in 2007 by the U.S. Track Meet Directors Association. Other honors and awards include being Honorary Referee at the 1992 Penn Relays Carnival and receiving the 1988 US Olympic Invitational Jesse Abramson Award for service to the sport.
He has served as public address announcer for the Millrose Games, USATF Junior Championships, USATF Indoor Championships, US Olympic Invitational, NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Championships and the 1992 IAAF World Junior Championships, among others.
He is the recently retired Executive Director of the NSAF, after having worked for more than 35 years as an independent computer consultant. He is a graduate of the U. of Missouri (1966) and currently lives in Bluffton, SC.
Dr. Elizabeth Ann Wheeler, PT, DPT, PRC
Dr. Liz Wheeler has been involved with the NSAF since 2007, serving in a variety of roles across the organization, including currently leading the NSAF Medical Team. Deeply rooted in the sport - Liz was a pole vaulter and discus thrower in high school who went on to study and serve as an athletics trainor to her track team in college while earning her undergraduate degree in Exercise and Sport Science. Always honing her skill - Liz went on to earn her Doctorate of Physical Therapy before starting her own business in the field.
As an entrepreneur and owner/CEO of Launch Physical Therapy and Fitness Coaching based in Rockville, Maryland, Liz has been a pioneer in her field as the first female Doctor of Physical Therapy for an MLB Team, the Washington Nationals. She’s traveled both domestically and internationally as a medical provider for the NFL combine, Hollywood stars, musical entertainers, professional athletes, the NSAF, and the like.
Cedric Walker- In Memoriam
Cedric Walker was a member of the NSAF Board until his death in March, 2013. His contributions to the Board and the NSAF in general were immeasurable. Walker was the Head Coach of the Flower City Track Club in Rochester, NY, a club he founded in 1985. His club athletes represented the United States on our Olympic, World Outdoor, World Indoor, World Cup, Pan-Am Games, Pan-Am Juniors and World Juniors teams and he developed 121 All-Americans (NCAA, NJCAA & HS).
Walker was a member of the USATF Women’s Sprint Committee. His national assignments included, Management Assistant, 2004 Olympic Games, Assistant Coach, USATF Team, World University Games (1993), Head Manager, USATF World Jr. Team, Annecey, France (1998), Assistant Coach, USATF Jr. World Team, Kingston, Jamaica (2002), Assistant Coach, USATF World Team, Paris, France (2003), Assistant Coach USATF Indoor World Championship Team, Hungary (2004), Head Relays Coach 2004 National Junior Team, Groseto, Italy, Assistant Manager, World Team, Helsinki (2005), Assistant Manager, World Team, Moscow (2006) and Head Manager, Pan American Juniors (2012).
He also served as Assistant Coach Western Region, Empire State Games, Indoor/Outdoor Coach, Benjamin Franklin HS, Rochester, NY. From 1994-2000 he was the Track & Field Chairman, USATF Niagara Association, President of the Niagara Association- ’96-2000, and a member of the Board of directors of US Women’s Track Coaches Association ’96-‘98. In 2002 Coach Walker was elected to the Board of the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation.