Brady Nelson Memorial: Since Brady was one of the first members of the DC Tri Club’s masters program, I nominate masters head coach James Chu. James has not only been a coach for several years, as head coach, he has taken the program to the next level with original video content, an engaging Facebook presence, and adding structure and recordkeeping to the workouts to ensure swimmers receive challenging workouts and are pushed to improve. James’s focus on the masters program means perhaps fewer people know his name, but his impact on the club is solid and we are grateful for his involvement and encouragement.
Most improved: Michaela Hackner. Michaela has been a club member for several years, slowly but steadily building up her race resume from olympic to half ironman to full ironman in 2016. This year, she kicked it up yet another notch: after months of diligent training, she qualified for the Boston Marathon for the first time. She also started working with a coach to improve her swim stroke, leading to a massive mindset shift: the swim is not awful after all! She quickly followed this by tackling SwimRun North Carolina–a challenging combination of nine runs and eight swims, finishing (with fellow DC Tri clubber Amanda Melillo) as the 7th female team overall, including a team of pros. Way to go!