SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Cornie Wassink was a legend in the Iowa running community.
Wassink was an official for Iowa high school sports for over 50 years, but is most known for his time on the track, where he served as a co-founder of the Iowa Association of Track Officials, where he served as president, and was inducted into its hall of fame. He was also inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s officials hall of fame as well.
Cornie’s talents weren’t just confined to the high school level, however, having a long career as an NCAA and NAIA track and field official, as well as the USA Track and Field nationals when they were at Drake. He was a part of Northwestern College for 43 years, and left a lasting impact on many in the sport, including GPAC commissioner Corey Westra.
“His goal in life was to make those sports meaningful to the student-athletes that participated,” said Westra. “He dedicated a lot of time to make that happen. A lot of people don’t know, but he was very instrumental in the Iowa Association of Track Officials to make sure that there was a uniformed approach in how to do track and field, and cross country, so that meet by meet they looked the same, as much as you could make them the same. Someone said today ‘when Cornie showed up to a meet, you knew the meet was going to go well,’ because that’s just who he was.”
Westra also said that it’s because of Cornie’s passion that he too became a track official, and that the sport runs as well as it does now because of the contributions Wassink has made of the last 50 years.