COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The USA Triathlon National Officials Program today announced the winners of the 2020 Official of the Year Award and the inaugural Regional Officials Coordinator of the Year Award, recognizing two individuals who have made significant contributions to the profession of officiating and the sport of triathlon.
Honorees were selected by Deb Wilson, USA Triathlon Commissioner of Officials, and were recognized in a virtual ceremony. The Official of the Year award was first presented in 2019, while the Regional Officials Coordinator of the Year is being presented for the first time.
2020 Official of the Year: David Conover (Great Falls, Va.)
Conover, a Category 1 USA Triathlon Official, started in the USA Triathlon National Officials Program in 1999. In 2019, he became one of a few selected officials to pilot a new Rules Ambassador Program. Conover has been an active triathlete for almost 30 years. During that time, he has competed in 150-plus races in more than 15 states. He was set to represent USA Triathlon’s age group Team USA in Edmonton, Canada, at the 2020 ITU Triathlon World Championships before the event was postponed to 2021. In addition to being an active official and athlete, he is also an avid volunteer in his local community — doing hospital pre-op, serving as a fourth grade science STEM mentor and as chair of a local fire code appeals board.
“David is an outstanding official, and very passionate about finding ways to educate our multisport community to have a better understanding of our competitive rules,” Wilson said. “The contribution he has made, and continues to make, to our Rules Ambassador Program has been extremely beneficial to our program and sport.”
"The sport of triathlon has had a very positive impact on my life, both as an athlete and an official,” Conover said. “The opportunity to serve and support other athletes as well as race directors, their staff and volunteers is uniquely rewarding. I am humbled to receive this award."
2020 Regional Officials Coordinator of the Year Award: Vicki Edwards (Mattituck, N.Y.)
Edwards, a Category 1 USA Triathlon Official, started in the USA Triathlon National Officials Program in 2011. In 2020, she was named Regional Officials Coordinator (ROC) for the Northeast Region. Edwards has been involved in the sport of triathlon for the past 14 years as an athlete, coach and official. She has competed and coached, both domestically and internationally, at every race distance. She was a member of USA Triathlon’s age group Team USA at the 2011 ITU Standard Distance World Championships in Beijing, China. She was also set to represent Team USA in Almere, Netherlands, at the 2020 ITU Multisport World Championships, which have been postponed to 2021.
“Vicki is incredibly deserving of this honor. She is extremely dedicated to our sport as an athlete, coach and official,” Wilson said. “She has all the skills we look for in our officials — she is always learning, growing and mentoring. Vicki has always excelled beyond expectations, and her desire for continuous learning and mastery of skills shows in her remarkable ability to see and accept every challenge as an opportunity for growth.”
“When I accepted the Northeast Regional Officials Coordinator position, I knew it would be a lot of work,” Edwards said. “Then came COVID-19 and the ever-changing scheduling. The uncertainty, the cancellations, the sadness, the lack of normalcy; it became a vicious cycle for athletes, race directors and officials. The officials team stepped up, expressed willingness and concerns, and was always ready to go, literally at a moment’s notice this season. I thank all of you for this honor and I appreciate your faith in me. Here's to a better 2021!”
For more information about the USA Triathlon National Officials Program, or to learn about becoming a USA Triathlon-certified official, visit usatriathlon.org/officials.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).