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Prices are right for track and field

National award presented to Smithsburg couple

National award presented to Smithsburg couple

December 26, 2007|By ANDREW MASON

A lot of pain and suffering goes into most great achievements in the sport of track and field.

Just ask Jan Price.

On Nov. 29, she and her husband, Bill, received the President's Award at the 29th annual USA Track & Field Convention in Honolulu.

The Smithsburg couple were honored by USATF President Bill Roe for their outstanding contributions to the sport during a special ceremony.

"I didn't even know we were going to be receiving it," Jan said. "But I was so sick, I could have cared less."

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"I drug her up on the stage, and then we called the emergency truck," Bill said.

Jan spent the next several days in the hospital.

"I got my plaque, then I had surgery," she said. "My small intestine had wrapped around and started blocking everything. I had a hernia that I didn't know about. If they wouldn't have gotten on the stick and opened me up, my time for being here was extremely limited. So I was fortunate.

"I didn't go to Hawaii for that, but if I'm going to do something, I may as well do it in style. ... I'm only joking."

The Prices' daughters - Trinette and Lealia - began participating in youth track and field events nearly 20 years ago.

"They got involved, then we got involved," Jan said.

They're now deeply involved.

Jan is vice president of the Potomac Valley Association - USATF's regional organization for Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. - and Bill is chairman of the association's officials.

Over the years, they have worked as meet directors, officials, referees and coaches for athletes of all ages and abilities in the Tri-State area and beyond. Jan also is involved with USATF's anti-doping and drug abuse programs.

For the past several years, the Prices have attended the national convention. When they went to the awards ceremony this year, they had no idea one of the awards was for them.

Other President's Award recipients this year included Olympic gold medalist Allen Johnson and silver medalist Lauryn Williams.

"It was a complete surprise," Bill said. "We feel really honored for getting it and being singled out. We don't go around looking for this stuff.

"We've just been trying to do the things that we think are right, and we enjoy it. We just really enjoy working with the kids and the athletes."

Jan now can finally enjoy the award, too.

"The President's Award, that's the top one," she said. "I'm kind of in a state of shock. I'm sitting here looking at it, and saying, 'Whoa, you can't get any better than that.'"

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