Dozens Honored at Second Annual Awards Banquet

NEW YORK  - On Saturday (March 19), USATF New York held it second annual Awards Banquet to honor the outstanding performances of the athletes in 2015 and the significant contributions made by its officials and administrators.  The banquet was held at the Genovesi Center on the campus of Saint Francis College in Brooklyn.   The master of ceremonies was current association Long Distance Running Chair Jeff Benjamin.
Forty four (44) Athlete of the Year awards were presented to athletes ranging in age from 7 to 69 for 2015 performances in Race Walk, Long Distance Running, Track & Field, and Youth Athletics (Track & Field and Cross Country).
Preceding the awards ceremony emcee Jeff Benjamin led a question and answer session with professional athletes Kyle Merber and Nicole Tully.  The questions provided the audience, many youth athletes, with some insights as to when the two athletes started running, who their key role models have been, and what it takes to get to the top of the sport.  At several points during the session the audience responded by applause for the message being conveyed.
The awards celebration kicked off with USATF New York Vice President John Padula presenting the President’s Award to Adam Sanford who currently serves as the association Officials Committee chair.  The President’s Award is given to individuals and organizations who have provided significant support to USATF New York in its efforts to provide USATF members with outstanding events, services, and benefits.  Sanford  has been a constant figure in New York Track & Field for over 20 years, he has gone above and beyond in assisting meet organizers and local organizations in producing world class events year in and year out.  “His passion and dedication for the athletes and the well being of the officials is unmeasurable,” stated Lauren Primerano USATF New York president.  “USATF New York is very fortunate to have Adam as part of our team.”
Recognizing the the dedication of the officials who work countless hours; often in tough weather conditions, three long-time officials were presented with awards or recognition.  The awards were named in honor of icons of the officiating community - Warren Ring, Louis Vazquez, Jr. and Jake Korn. 
Receiving the Warren Ring  Lifetime Achievement Award was Andrea Williams.  As a Master Level Official she has had the opportunity to bring her expertise and knowledge to many organizations over the years. She has offered her level of expertise and the embodiment of professionalism to the track & field arena.  She consistently performs at a level that exceeds all expectations. She has phenomenal interpersonal skills
The Louis Vazquez, Jr.  Humanitarian Award was presented to Alwyn Hutton. Hutton began officiating 30 years ago following graduation from college.  He also coaches and views his coaching akin to a farmer attending to his crop.  A farmer uses knowledge that has been passed down by his predecessors.  Guidance, perseverance, patience, and tediousness are the cornerstone of what he tries to instill in every athlete that he works with.  In 1996 he formed the New Horizon Track Club where he strives to engage community youth in positive experiences that will result in social, academic and physical growth. 
The Jake Korn Service Award recipient was Phil Zodda.  For 26 years Zodda served as the head coach for the NYC team that competed in the Empire State Games.  He has been the director of the Foot Locker Northeast meet for 29 years.  He is a dedicated USATF certified official who works meets of all sizes and types. He has been a high school coach for 32 years, first with South Shore High School where he coached for 23 year and in recent years at Brooklyn Technical HS.
Athlete of Year recognition was awarded to athletes in Race Walking, Track & Field, Long Distance Running, and Youth Athletics.
Miranda Melville  (Open Women)
Bruce Logan (Open Men)
Kristi Licursi (Junior)
Esther Atkins (Open Women)
Meb Keflezighi (Open Men)
Sylvie Kimche (Masters Women)
Mike McManus (Masters Men)
Nicole Tully (Open Women)
Kyle Merber (Open Men)
Judy Stobbe (Masters Women)
John Trautmann (Masters Men)
Brianna Lindo (Girls)
Tamrat Gavenas (Boys)
Sahar Victoria (8 & under Girls)
Amos Pres (8 & under Boys) 
Alissa Graham (9-10 Girls)
Dontae Lindo (9-10 Boys)
Grace Lillis (11-12 Girls)
Itamar Pres (11-12 Boys)
Lily Cohen (13-14 Girls)
Behailu Bekele-Arcuri (13-14 Boys)
Sade Davis (15-16 Girls)
Bart Rust  (15-16 Boys)
Terri Baptiste (17-18 Girls)
Keshaun Javois (17-18 Boys)
Katelyn Tuohy (High School Girls)
Conor Lundy (High School Boys)
Jessica Manzueta (Girls Field Events)
Amon–Ra Watkins (Boys Field Events)
Paula Salmon (Girls Track  Events)
Jonah Gorevic (Boys Track Events)
Alana Moore (8 & under Girls)
Christian Walker  (8 & under Boys) 
Sage Sumpter (9-10 Girls) 
Wesley Noble  (9-10 Boys)
Brianna Brown (11-12 Girls)
Michael Rodriguez-King (11-12 Boys)
My’khiyah Williams (13-14 Girls)
Tahje Flemmings  (13-14 Boys)
Kaylah Quarshie (15-16 Girls)
Michael Feldman (15-16 Boys)
Zola Golden  (17-18 Girls)
Ronaldo Griffiths  (17-18 Boys)
Alexandra Harris (High School Girls)
Rai Benjamin (High School Boys)