Behind the scenes

For Immediate Release
Date: January 22, 2016
Contact: Courtney Lee, (208) 339-6813
Behind the scenes
Simplot Games volunteers make it happen
By Courtney Lee
Times and distances are a vital part of Simplot Games. Athletes rely on times and distances for seeding, determining a winner, and celebrating when records are broken. But there is more than meets the eye to these times and distances. At Simplot Games, a team of volunteers comb over every result for certainty, making sure results are pinpoint accurate.
Enter the Computer Timing Team. They are responsible for running the timing and scoring computer, proofreading results, and posting the results throughout Holt Arena. Without this team, Simplot Games would not be the quality meet it is today.
Although the team is dedicated to volunteering at Simplot Games, they have their own careers. Meet part of the team that makes records happen:
Kevin Robbins began helping with Simplot Games in 1992, and has been on the Executive Committee since 1994. He has worked for the Simplot Company for over 36 years and is currently the lead of the Computer Systems support team.
“My team helps by ensuring our timing and scoring equipment is maintained and operated successfully for all events during the winter and spring months,” he said. “The Simplot Company and Idaho State University have a partnership in making sure both Simplot Games and the ISU track and field events are successful.”
Tricia Willie was first involved with Simplot Games by running in track in high school, and has now been volunteering for 15 years. She started out as a runner that posted results on the boards in the tunnels, and then became a part of the computer timing team, where she makes sure all the results get posted and filed. She currently works at ISU as an administrative assistant to the director of Food Services.
Willie says she stays involved in the Games because she loves track and field. Her favorite part of being involved at Simplot Games is the excitement of the athletes, crowd, and other volunteers.
Kim Ray is also a part of the Computer Timing Team. She is a Process Control Analyst in the Electrical and Instrumentation Engineering Department at the Simplot Don Plant. At Simplot Games she proofreads results from the timing system to check for errors, then manually enters and scores field events and compiles documents for results postings around Holt Arena and on the Simplot Games website.
Ray said her favorite part of volunteering is watching the athletes because she thinks athletics are an important part of a high school education. Ray believes athletics help teach life lessons, like how to win and how to lose, and the concept of teamwork.
Sean White has a variety of duties on the Computer Timing team. He helps set up computers and measures the times of the athletes as they cross the finish line.  All times at Simplot Games are collected via photograph, so White takes a time lapse photograph and then finds the exact moment that an athlete crosses the finish line.
He said he volunteers at Simplot Games because he like to be able to give to the community, and to be a part of something exciting and enriching that he knows helps to build young people who will be tomorrow’s future. When not volunteering, White is a Process Technician at Simplot. He is involved in process optimization and research for Simplot Agribusiness.
These are just four of the many dedicated volunteers who make the Games successful year after year. During this year’s Simplot Games, keep an eye out for the Computer Timing Team working hard to make sure your times are correct on the fast track.
More than 2,000 athletes will come from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Australia to participate in the 38th annual Simplot Games. Simplot Games remains the nation’s premier high school indoor track and field event. Sponsored by the J.R. Simplot Company since 1979, the Simplot Games are held at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho.
For more information on Simplot Games, please visit our website at You may also contact Lisa Woodland at (208) 235-5673 or Simplot Games Media Team at
Simplot Games
The Nation’s Premiere High School Track & Field Event
Pocatello, Idaho
(208) 235-5673
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