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NEWS & NOTES
USA TRIATHLON NAMES 2010 COACHES OF THE YEAR
USA Triathlon announced Nov. 17 that three of the top multisport coaches in the United States — Melissa Mantak, Keith Dickson and Beth Sanden — have been honored as the 2010 USA Triathlon Coaches of the Year.


Mantak (Denver, Colo.) was chosen as USA Triathlon’s National Coach of the Year; Dickson (Geneva, Ill.) was honored as the Developmental Coach of the Year; and Sanden (San Clemente, Calif.) was selected as the Volunteer Coach of the Year.


A USA Triathlon-certified Level III coach and a former standout athlete on the international level, Mantak guided two of the top U.S. elite triathletes — Matt Chrabot and Jillian Petersen — to outstanding 2010 campaigns.


“Receiving this award is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication as a triathlon coach,” said Mantak. “I am humbled by this honor and reminded of how great it felt to win an ITU World Cup as an athlete.”


Dickson has coached more than 100 youth and junior athletes as a part of the Multisport Madness Triathlon Team, including some of the top up-and-coming multisport athletes in the U.S.


A mentor for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Sanden coached a number of top paratriathletes and able-bodied athletes to outstanding performances in 2010. She also worked to set up handcycling clinics in San Clemente and Sunset Beach, Calif., and served as a volunteer swim coach at the Ocean Festival.


RUSS NAMED USAT’S 2011 TEAM USA COACH
USA Triathlon-certified elite coach Matt Russ of Roswell, Ga., has been named the official Team USA coach for age-groupers at the 2011 ITU World Championships in Beijing, China.


Russ, who has coached his Team Sport Factory athletes to more than 100 event victories, earned the Team USA coaching position by guiding 16 athletes — more than any other USAT-certified coach — to the starting line at the 2010 USA Triathlon Age Group and Sprint National Championships.


“I am excited, honored and humbled by this opportunity. This is without a doubt the high point in my coaching career thus far, and I would like to thank all the athletes that have entrusted me with their passion over the years,” Russ said.


COLLEGIATE RECRUITMENT PROGRAM UPDATE
December marked the two-year anniversary of the Collegiate Recruitment Program (CRP), whose goal is to find our next Olympic triathletes from NCAA collegiate running and swimming programs. In the past two years, the collegiate recruitment coordinator, Barb Lindquist, has created relationships with NCAA college coaches by email and phone, and by attending the college coach conventions. Thirteen athletes have been deemed ‘Bona Fide’ from the over 150 that have been referred to or directly contacted Lindquist. The bios of this talented group can be found on the collegiate recruitment page of the USAT website.


This past July, USAT hosted a camp for these athletes and their coaches at the OTC in Colorado Springs. Having the collegiate swimmers learn from the collegiate runners, and vice versa, was one of the many benefits of those two weeks. The camp culminated with an Elite Development Race (EDR), one of three draft-legal sprint races held in 2010.


The success of the EDRs allowed the Sport Performance Department to see these athletes early in their triathlon careers in a draft-legal race. It also fast-tracked athletes like Gwen Jorgensen (Wisconsin swimmer/runner), into the elite ranks. Jorgensen earned her elite card at her first-ever triathlon at the Clermont EDR, and in her last two races of the season, she placed fifth at the Huatulco World Cup and second at the PanAm Championships in Puerto Vallarta.


At the USAT National Championships, over 20 collegiate recruits competed, four placing top 10 overall. Kaleb VanOrt (Notre Dame runner) won the title by 3 minutes, and Jeff Helmer (Arizona State runner) placed third after finishing his collegiate running eligibility in June. Another six recruits placed top 10 in their age groups, including Reilly Keirnan (Princeton runner) who had the fastest female run split, only being outrun by eight men. Three recruits, Jorgensen, Sean Jefferson (Indiana runner) and Kaitlin Shiver (Florida runner) raced their first Elite National Championships.


Moving forward in 2011, USAT will maximize the exposure to the CRP via social media and popular running and swimming websites.


24 USA TRIATHLON WINTER 2011

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