Comet Relays dedicated to longtime officials

Staff Report

John Binder and Ed Dohanos will be honored Saturday at the 63rd Annual Comet Relays.

The huge track and field meet will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 21 at the Richard S. Cooley Track, Amherst Steele High School.

Binder spent 15 years officiating, first on the football field for 37 years and then an additional 15 years as an OHSAA and NCAA track and field and cross country official, retiring in 2015.

He is also a longtime member of the Ohio Track and Field and Cross-Country Association.

Not only did Binder work 15 Comet Relays, but he also officiated all district and regional meets held in Amherst.

In 2001, after receiving his OHSAA officiating card, he recalls asking coach Dick Elsasser about the Comet Relays and agreeing to work for a hat and lunch. He officiated the girls discus with Nick Schuka and in his last four years worked the pole vault with the late Tom Bird, whom Binder considers the best pole vault official to grace the sport.

Binder ran high school track in Barnesboro, Pa., and went on to run on the undefeated plebe cross country team at West Point Academy.

He was head coach of the Panama Central High School varsity track team in New York, leading his team to three county and three district championships in the short span of four years.

A 25-year admissions field representative for the United States Military Academy, he is a retired Army colonel and served in Korea. He retired from Kent State University as emeritus dean and emeritus student ombudsman.

Forty-six years ago, Dohanos started his track career by starting the Comet Relays. He’s been a starter the past 40 years for the Mehock Relays, the biggest high school meet east of the Mississippi River.

He graduated from Baldwin Wallace University, where he ran track with Olympian Harrison Dillard.

During his 46 years as a track official, Dohanos has worked the state track meet 14 consecutive years, as well as numerous regional and district meets.

He is an inductee to the Lorain County Track Hall of Fame as well as the Ohio High School Hall of Fame and eight other halls of fame.


All Steele track and field alumni will get free admission and free lunch from noon to 1 p.m. at the Comets fieldhouse, sponsored by Sliman’s. Register at the front desk by the ticket gate.

There will also be a free craft fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that will host many local vendors and crafters with raffle prizes and more.

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Staff Report