Columbia couple officiates events at Missouri Senior State Games

Saturday, June 11, 2011 | 8:22 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — After stepping into the shot put ring for his fourth and final throw of the competition, Richard Lincoff placed his glasses just outside the ring.

Just after completing his throw, Lincoff was surprised to hear a call from referee Tim Gladura.

"Foul," Gladura shouted.

Once a thrower enters a ring, nothing other than the shot put is allowed to leave the ring. The foul isn't called until the throw is completed.

"I was focusing on what I was going to do in the ring," Lincoff said. "I didn't think of the rule. Generally, when I throw the discus or whatever, I set my glasses on the side before I enter."

Lincoff said he was upset with himself — not the officiating — because the right call was made.

Gladura, a Columbia resident, is a longtime official at the Missouri State Senior Games. He said the competition can be as intense as other events with younger throwers.

"In fact, I'll be honest with you," Gladura said. "They are a little more feisty than the younger ones. I understand, though. It is only done once a year, and you only get four throws."

Gladura and his wife, Beth, are both certified NCAA and USA Track & Field officials. They often work together and have been officials at Big 12 and Big 10 track meets. Saturday they wore matching certified official shirts for the Senior State Games.

Beth Gladura has never competed in shot put but got into it because of her husband, who has been throwing since he was in sixth grade. She considers herself more of the "team manager" because the couple's two sons are also throwers; their daughter is a runner.

Tim Gladura is not over 50 years of age, the requirement for the Missouri Senior State Games, but competes every year in the Show-Me State Games. He has qualified for the State Games of America this summer in San Diego in shot put, discus, hammer throw and javelin.

His two sons will also be competing in throwing events. The family plans on making a vacation out of it.

Last year the Gladuras officiated together at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships in Rolla and were responsible for javelin, which neither had officiated for before.

"They warm up by doing picking," Beth Gladura said. "They line up and throw while they walk across the field. There wasn't enough javelins, so we told them to get a partner. We turned around to check people in and turned back and the girls were throwing javelin at each other like a softball."

Between throwers' turns Saturday, Tim Gladura high-fived throwers as they left the ring and shouted rule reminders.

"Gentleman, let's watch our language," Tim Gladura said with a smile. "You have to be composed while you're leaving the ring."

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