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The awards recognize the accomplishments of triathletes from around the country. See the complete announcement from USA Triathlon below:
USA Triathlon is pleased to announce the inaugural winners of the USA Triathlon Multisport Awards. Honors were presented in six different categories designed to recognize those individuals who best fueled the multisport lifestyle during the 2011 season.
“In reviewing the nominations for each of the awards, the judges were humbled by the stories of courage, strength, determination, discipline, recovery and inspiration,” said John Jones, chairman of the USA Triathlon Age Group Committee Multisport Awards Subcommittee. “Each of these award recipients, and the nominees receiving honorable mention, have in their own way shown a unique and exceptional passion and dedication to the multisport lifestyle.”
USA Triathlon’s Age Group Committee Multisport Awards Subcommittee reviewed all nominations and selected the winners and honorable mentions for each award. Full details on the criteria for each award and nomination instructions are available at usatriathlon.org.
The 2011 USA Triathlon Multisport Award winners and honorable mention selections are as follows:
JEFF JEWELL SPIRIT AWARD
This award honors Jeff Jewell, a massage therapist for Team USA from 2001-2009, active triathlete and devoted USA Triathlon annual member. He lost his battle with brain cancer on Nov. 15, 2010. He was one of life’s biggest cheerleaders and was an inspiration to everyone he met. The recipient of this award is someone who truly embodies the spirit of Jeff Jewell.
* Winner: Jennifer Kilinski, Tallahassee, Fla.: An inspiration to Florida’s triathletes, Jennifer Kilinski loves to compete, inspire and encourage others who have faced adversity.
* Honorable Mention: Eve Bartlett, Dunedin, Fla.
* Honorable Mention: Stephen Williamson, Albuquerque, N.M.
INSPIRATIONAL COMEBACK AWARD
This award recognizes athletes who have made a comeback to the sport after a traumatic or troublesome personal situation.
* Winner: Maureen McGowan, Brooklyn, N.Y.: Maureen McGowan is a cancer survivor who emerged from treatment, signed up for a triathlon and has continued to encourage other patients and lead by example.
* Winner: Jordan Rapp, Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Jordan Rapp’s training accident, recovery and return to race-winning form is an inspiration to triathletes around the world.
* Winner: Katherine Rivera, Miami Shores, Fla.: Katherine Rivera came back from severe injuries sustained in a scooter accident while on vacation in Greece to place sixth in her age group at Ironman 70.3 Miami.
* Winner: Melissa Stockwell, Chicago, Ill.: Melissa Stockwell lost her left leg above the knee in 2004, while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq. Melissa is now a two-time paratriathlon world champion in the TRI-2 category. She has started a non-profit in Chicagoland with the mission of getting athletes with physical disabilities and visual impairment involved in triathlon.
* Winner: Sean VanGerena, Orlando, Fla.: Sean VanGerena had begun triathlon training before a devastating car accident. Since recovering, Sean has participated in triathlons of all distances and has launched his own non-profit organization dedicated to rehabilitation and training.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD
This award recognizes an individual or organization whose volunteer leadership in the multisport movement has been transformative and who has mobilized and unified athletes, programs and organizations that improve the events, youth or others affiliated with the sport.
* Winner: Chuck Graziano, Ramsey, N.J.: Chuck Graziano has served in several key roles for USA Triathlon including the National Board of Directors, the Hall of Fame Committee and the Age Group Committee.
* Winner: Beth Sanden, San Clemente, Calif.: Beth Sanden is a multisport coach, leader and advocate for physically challenged athletes.
* Honorable Mention Kevin Collins, Charlotte, N.C.
* Honorable Mention: Keri Schindler and Dan Tun, Chicago, Ill.
SPIRIT OF MULTISPORT AWARD
This award recognizes those individuals who illustrate the principles of the positive spirit of the sport as displayed through acts of sportsmanship and leadership in multisport, with no deference to athletic ability.
* Winner: Janit Romayko, East Hartford, Conn.: Janit Romayko is an experienced, enthusiastic, compassionate female triathlete who has been active in the sport since the 1980s.
* Honorable Mention: Joella Baker, Harmony, Pa.
* Honorable Mention: Elyse Jarard, Cincinnati, Ohio
* Honorable Mention: Jonathan W. Miller, Winston-Salem, N.C.
* Honorable Mention: Chris Mosier, New York, N.Y.
MILITARY SPORT AWARD
This award recognizes the multisport successes achieved by the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.
* Winner: Michael Danish, Miami Fla., U.S. Coast Guard: Michael Danish is a sub 10-hour Ironman triathlete who has represented the Coast Guard in a number of international sports venues.
* Winner: Jolene Wilkinson, Boise, Idaho, U.S. Air Force Reserve/Guard: Jolene Wilkinson is a two-time junior national champion, two-time age group world champion and competed as a professional from 2001-2010.
* Honorable Mention: Cpt. Christopher Cordova, West Point, N.Y., U.S. Army
* Honorable Mention: Lt. J.g. Derek Oskutis, Chula Vista, Calif., U.S. Navy
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
This award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to USA Triathlon and the multisport lifestyle. These contributions, whether they have been in performance, leadership, volunteerism or mentorship, must demonstrate impact on the multisport lifestyle and support an extended commitment to the sport.
* Winner: Fox Ferrel, Marietta, Ga.: Richard “Fox” Ferrel has been actively involved in multisport for more than 25 years. In that time, he has participated in more than 200 triathlons and duathlons.
* Winner: Tom Miller, Scottsdale, Ariz.: One of the most decorated U.S. multisport athletes, 94-year-old Tom Miller is a six-time duathlon world champion and a three-time national champion.