COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—USA Triathlon announced Wednesday 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. Chrabot finished the ITU World Championship Series as the top-ranked American and 12th overall. He posted the top WCS finish for a U.S. athlete in 2010 with a fourth-place showing in Kitzbühel, Austria, and closed his season by earning his second career PATCO Pan American Championship title in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Petersen, who was third at this year’s Pan American Championship, finished 2010 as the No. 4 American and 32nd overall in the WCS series rankings.
“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. Among Dickson’s athletes are five of the six members of the U.S. team for the 2010 ITU Junior World Championship, as well as a pair of Youth Olympic Games medalists – Kevin McDowell (silver) and Kelly Whitley (bronze). Additionally, McDowell took bronze at the ITU Junior World Championship, and Whitley and Lukas Verzbicas finished fourth. Ben Kanute was the winner at the 2010 USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Championship, while Multisport Madness earned the 2010 Development Team National Championship and Youth Club National Championship titles
“It is an honor to accept this on behalf of the MMTT system, whose remarkable performances in 2010 were a result of my partner Romas Bertulis and a ton of athletes and their support giving it their all,” said Dickson.
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. Additionally, Sanden works as a volunteer coach for CAF and served as a coach for the 2010 USA Triathlon Junior Triathlon Festival in San Diego. Also a competitive athlete, Sanden completed 11 triathlons this year, as well as the Boston and New York marathons.
“Helping others while doing what I love, then to be the beneficiary of so much gratitude that I’m being honored for it, is an amazing feeling,” said Sanden. “It’s not the duration of my life that counts, but the donation.”
There are currently more than 1,800 USA Triathlon-certified coaches in the U.S. To learn more about becoming a certified coach, visit usatriathlon.org.