Chautauqua County has produced many fine track and field athletes. Some excelled in jumping events, others in distance races, some in throws, but the fastest sprinter in county history is a 2023 inductee of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
Bob Barlette set the county mark for the 100-yard dash at 9.6 seconds and the 220-yard dash at 21.3 seconds. He established these marks in 1970 and they have withstood the test of time for more than 50 years.
Barlette was born in Dunkirk in 1951 and has resided there his entire life. He was a three sport letter winner at Dunkirk High School in football, basketball and track and field.
In his senior year at DHS, Barlette carried the pigskin 181 times for 1,198 yards to set a Marauder record. He was the top rusher in Western New York in 1969 earning a selection as First Team All-WNY. He was named to the Second Team All-New York State squad and was also honored as an Honorable Mention High School All-American.