by Graeme Shirley
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - (January 9, 2004) - Tyree Washington and Miesha McKelvy were named Male and Female Track and Field Athletes of the Year at San Diego USATF's 20th annual Awards Dinner. The ceremony was attended by 140 athletes, coaches, and fans.
Washington received his award from his coach, Wes Williams, assistant coach at Cal State San Marcos and Association Women's Track & Field Chairman. Williams described Washington's first round exit from the Olympic Trials in 2000, an 18-month layoff, his move to San Diego, and a 2003 season which saw him win 22 of 23 races, including the U.S. and World Indoor Championships, and the U.S. Outdoor Championship. Track & Field News named him the top 400 meter sprinter in the world for 2003.
McKelvy received her award from her coach, Rahn Sheffield, head coach at San Diego State and Association Men's Track & Field Chairman. McKelvy's season included a 0.01 loss to Gail Devers at the U.S. Championships, a bronze medal at the World Championships, a season best 12.51, and a ranking of fourth in the world in the 100 meter hurdles.
Washington and McKelvy were among five San Diego open athletes who ranked in the top ten in the world in their events. The other three, National Champions Kenta Bell (triple jump), Carl Brown (discus throw), and Jamie Nieto (high jump), shared the Arnie Robinson Award, given for the top field event performances in 2003.
The winners of the Dirt Dogs Series, Nazario Romero and Ursula Kremer, received the Bill Gookin and Donna Gookin awards. Mebrahtom Keflezighi, with high rankings in the U.S. at 5 km (second), 10 km (second), and the marathon (first), shared the Bill Gookin Award with Romero.
The Association's top Juniors and Masters competitors also received awards. The youths included four California State High School Champions (Brandon Bornes, Jared Bray, Derrell Hutsona, and Claire Rethmeier) and two Junior Olympic National Champions (Brett Campfield and Tyson Gray).
Masters winners included three who were recognized as National Masters Field Athletes of the Year (Terry Cannon, Bud Held, and Nadine O'Connor) and four others (Kettrell Berry, George Mathews, Jim Selby, and Harold Tolson) who won 10 National Championships among them.
President's Awards went to Curt Clausen, Susan Loveall, and Tony Salerno. Clausen was a double winner, as he also took the Race Walk Award for his six national championships. His President's Award recognized his direction of the 20K Pan Am Cup Races, and his part in bringing the 50K Olympic Trials to Chula Vista. Loveall, outgoing Senior Olympics Executive Director, was recognized for rebuilding the San Diego program and for her contributions to Association and Regional Masters Track & Field Championships. Salerno, Head Track & Field Coach at UCSD, received his award for his assistance in providing practice and meet facilities, particularly for vaulters and throwers.
The final presentation of the evening was the Bob Gilmore Award for lifetime achievement to Ken Bernard. Bernard, who recently resigned his Association Presidency, was recognized for thirty years of leadership through the AAU, The Athletics Congress, and USATF.
For more information visit the Annual Awards site.