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Five PVA Officials Received 2014 PVA USATF Officials Outstanding Service Awards

At the September 14, 2014 PVA Officials meeting at Walter Johnson High School, five PVA Officials were recognized for outstanding service to PVA during 2014.  Those awarded included, from left to right, Allen Naylor, Orretta Johnson, Herbert Nicholls, Tawanda Howe and Adrian Dixon

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Three PVA Officials nominated for USATF National Awards. 

 Adrian Dixon, Sandra Lovelace and Morton Diamond (deceased) have been nominated.  They are in competition with nominees from all over the U.S. and the winners will be announced at the USATF Convention in December at Anaheim, CA. 

Adrian Dixon, 006066 Master’s level Official First certified December 27, 1985.  He first officiated in 1963 and his career has spanned 51 years. He still actively officiates meets and works with athletes.   

In his early career, he functioned mostly as a coach where he excelled because of his athletic experience, expertise and rapport with the athletes.  He coached at Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington DC where his teams won numerous Outdoor and Indoor Track and Field and Cross Country championships. One of his elite athletes was Sheila Ingram, who became a 1976 Olympian helping the USA team to  a silver metal in the women’s 4 x 400 meter relay, also with a 6th place finish in the individual 400 meters.  He was duly recognized by being chosen in 1988 to be one of the coaches for the USA National Junior Track and Field team at the World Championships held in Sudbury England in 1988.  He was also on the staff for the USA Track and Field team for the dual England/USA meet held in London, England in 1990. His recognition continued, being named the Washington Post Girls Track Coach of the year in 1998, inducted into the Washington DC Coaches Hall of Fame in 2005 and in 2006 named the National Federation of High School Associations Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year.  Adrian’s devotion to hundreds of athletes and the sport is certainly an excellent indication of his humanitarian efforts through leadership, developmental welfare and fellowship. 

Adrian has likewise excelled with his track and field officiating.  He has worked mainly as a starter over his fifty one year career.  As many have done, he first officiated while in a coaching position in order to get meets done.  As time went on and at the urging of his mentor, Mr. Arthur Miles, Adrian became more involved as an official. He joined TAC, the forerunner of USATF in 1983 and lent his support to the local USATF Associations.  Over the last 25 years he has been a starter at the PVA Association Youth meet, being heard starter several times.  His national USATF meets include the USATF Mobil One Elite meet held at Gorge Mason U, the USATF Junior Olympics as a starter in 2006, 2012, 2013 and 2014 and on the finish line in 2009. He also was a starter at the USATF National Youth Outdoor meet in 2011 and the USATF Youth National Indoor meet in 2013 and 2014. 

Adrian also served as the head starter for The East Coast Youth Invitational previously held in Maryland for 15 years.  College championship meets worked include the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships in 1994, 2000 and 2007 as a starter and the NCAA Division II Indoor and Outdoor Championships in 2010 and 2014, respectively, as the finish line coordinator.  He worked the North East Conference (6 years as a starter or at the finish line), the MEAC Indoor (6 years), CIAA Outdoor (head starter for 10 years) and George Mason University as the head starter for the indoor meets and either a starter or clerk for the outdoor meets. 

Adrian has been instrumental in working with high school officials in Washington DC as the NFHS rules interpreter.  In addition, he currently is the meet director for Washington DC HS indoor and outdoor championship track meets.  He has shown his leadership and developmental welfare of athletes, officials and coaches.   It is to be recognized that many of the athletes and adults Adrian has and is working with come from disadvantaged, economically stressed communities; and, the lessons he has offered, thru track and field, continues to make a significant difference on the wholesome and honest development of many individuals.  Therefore, you are strongly urged to consider Adrian Dixon for this prestigious award.

Ms. Sandra Lovelace first became a USATF Official with Potomac Valley in 2004.  She jumped right in and became very active, primarily hanging around the finish line  as a timer, finish line coordinator and starter.  She also became a proficient umpire (2004 National Youth) and clerk.  She worked 24 meets in 2004.

Sandra continued to gain valuable experience as a starter in 2005, working 25 meets as a starter, some solo, and some such as the U Maryland Invitational with experienced starters as she honed her skills.  She also worked 18 other meets as a Hytex official, clerking, timing and a horizontal jumps official. Sandra became very active in our PVA Officials Committee writing a corner on tid-bits of information and tips for officials.  In 2006 she revved up her officiating as a starter to 37 meets, many as a head starter at our Association meets. She also became a proficient lap counter at the collegiate level. 

During the ensuing years, Sandra became in high demand as a starter for a number of higher profile college and youth meets. She stayed in high demand and worked higher profile meets including the Historically Black College National Invitational, the NE College Championships, the Nike HS Nationals, the NCAA Division 1 East Championship and the East Coast Youth.   At the same time, she remembered the local meets and continued to serve as a starter when she was available.  She also became known for her preparation for the meets, and developed her own lap counting sheets; and she continued to support our Officials Committee with pertinent official’s information.  

As the years progressed, Sandra’s expertise and professionalism as a starter landed her invitations for more and more upper level meets.  She became known up and down the east coast.  She continued as a starter with the NCAA Division 1 East Regional, several College Conference Championships such as the MEAC, the CAA, Big South Conference and the NE Conference, and other prestige meets like the New Balance HS National, the Outdoor National Masters, the USATF Youth National Indoor Meet and in 2014, the NCAA Division 1 Indoor Meet.  Sandra, during this period, continued her skills as a head lap counter at the college level. 

Sandra exemplifies every meet director’s expectation for a starter.  She arrives at the track early and walked it to ascertain the markings for the start of every race.  As a team leader, she communicates with her starter, usually prepares assignment cards and reviews the rules and instructions prior to the start of the first race.  She communicates with the clerks, the umpires, the finish line officials and lap counters to make sure everyone is on board.  When Sandra is the starter, the meet runs well. 

It is with great pleasure to nominate Sandra Lovelace for the Charles Ruter Award for the 2014 Outstanding Running Event Official


He was a bright kid with a passion for sports, especially track and field. He ran for Long Beach High School (setting a NY state record in the 220-yard low hurdles), for Adelphi College where he broke the 21 year old record in the 440 yard Intermediate Hurdles,. and at the New York Pioneer Club. Adelphi inducted him into it Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.  He did his Army hitch, met and married Esther Greenberg in 1959, and made his way to Maryland to raise a family, officiate, coach and organize track meets. 

Mort was an outstanding track and field official having worked as both a head field official and as member of a team of PVA officials that officiated at several levels of T & F competition. He worked at many NCAA, both invitational and conference championships, including MEAC, NEC, CAC, IC4A, Nat. Junior Col., AE & ACC.  He worked at USATF International Indoor Grand Prix meets, the Nike Indoor National HS Meets; and innumerable meets held locally. Mort officiated and organized the officials for the Naval Academy indoor and outdoor meets for several years, including Army-Navy meets.

Mr. Diamond served as an official in many age group meets up to and including regional and the national Junior Olympics meets. He was a regular presence at many meets not just in the Potomac region but in the Metropolitan NY (NYC area) and New Jersey Associations, as well. He officiated at Princeton University between 1987 – 2012; its Athletic department honored him with by establishing an annual award in his name for its track athlete that most exceeds expectation. .The president of NY Shore Athletic Club in 2013 honored him as “one of the nation’s best officials and meet organizers; as well as a friend to all in the track world.” He also was recognized by his peers, fellow officials, for outstanding service to the PVA Officials, on at least a few occasions. In 2001 Diamond was honored at the USATF Annual Meeting with the President’s Award for his years of service and leadership.

As founder and president of the Maryland Track and Field Development Association, he and Bob Rothenberg ( long Time coach at Brown University) established the East Coast Invitational Track and Field Championships and for 25 years were co-meet directors.  The meet attracted top youth athletes from 22 states in America and from Caribbean countries, and Japan. Mort supervised approximately 175 volunteers and officials. The event was recognized as the most outstanding youth track meet in the entire country. All star ECI teams were formed to compete against international athletes from Germany, Japan and Jamaica.

He served on a number of committees within the National USATF including the national age group rules committee and the national field events committee. Mort served or held several positions at PVA from 1970 to 2000 including president, treasurer and assisted J. Arthur Miles with the Official’s Committee, helping organize Official’s Clinics. During this time, the name changed from AAU, Potomac Valley Chapter; to  the Athletics Congress, Potomac and Metropolitan Washington Region; and finally to its current name, U.S.A. Track and Field, Potomac Valley Association (PVA).

As Co-Founder and Deputy Director of TuTTie’s Place Mort was honored at the First Annual "Mort Diamond You Make a Difference" Awards Banquet to which he received the "Lifetime Achievement Award". TuTTie’s Place is a Baltimore, Md. Is a community-based group foster care model working with young men amid the tough environment in which they live, making a difference to many, many of our youth. As founder and president of the Bowie Interfaith Recreation Council, he organized a consortium of 23 houses of worship to compete in athletics for men, women and children. He organized officials and officiated at these meets.

Mort demonstrated his concern for fairness in officiating for several decades. Color was not the most important thing and  he clearly recognized the chasm between the haves and have-nots.
He believed that many have-nots deserved better. He was truly a friend  the down trodden, those needing help regardless of  color, religion, gender, or class. He clearly cared about the content of a person's character, not forgetting their roots, the love of track and field, and their ability to compete and follow the rules.





Any USATF Official who wants also to become a Paralympics official can go on-line to http://www.cvent.com/d/5cqq0h   The test will be auto graded and Catherine Sellers, Director, ParalympicTrack and Field High Performance, of the USOC will let me know that you  have passed the test, and request my verification that you are a current USATF Certified Official.  Being such, you will be recognized by USOC as a Paralympic Official.  Any questions, please contact me, Dr Bill Price at drbillprice@yahoo.com.