Maybe Richard Goldman is getting better with age. Saturday, when he captured his seventh Dickie Nowell Memorial Award at the 34th Heart O' Dixie Triathlon, he improved his time from the year before, finishing 2:09:16 in 2012 to 2:08:39 Saturday.

Each year, the Dickie Nowell Memorial Award is given to the first competitor from Neshoba County who finishes the Heart O' Dixie Triathlon. Goldman has now won the award in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013.

"This award means a lot to me," Goldman said. "It almost a race by itself for the local competitors."

Goldman has had a pretty good season of triathlons this summer, having won the Race For Grace Triathlon.

"I have been busy this summer with work and other things," Goldman said. "I really haven't been able to train like I would like to, just a couple of times a week. But I was happy to win the Race For Grace and to win the Nowell award."

John Williams has won the award eight times which is the most by anyone.

The award is presented by the Philadelphia Sertoma Club which sponsors the Heart O' Dixie.

It is given in memory of Nowell, a former resident of Neshoba County who passed away in 1989 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Nowell was not a member of the Sertoma Club but was a friends to many of its members at the time. He competed each year in the Heart O' Dixie until his health prevented him from doing so.

The Nowell award was first given in 1990.

Past Top Neshoba County finishers were as follows:

1980 - Lee Dukes, 2:30:55

1981 - NA

1982 - Guy Nowell, 2:37:39

1983 - NA

1984 - NA

1985 - Doug Sherriff, 2:25:41

1986 - Doug Sherriff, 2:20:33

1987 - John D. Williams 2:20:00

1988 - John D. Williams, 2:09:48

1989 - John D. Williams, 2:04:56

(Dickie Nowell Award starts)

1990 - Chad Clark, 2:34:49

1991 - John D. Williams, 2:09:57

199 - John D. Williams, 2:06:40

1993 - Steve Murray, 2:44:07

1994 - John D. Williams, 2:07:05

1995 - John D. Williams, 2:09:28

1996 - John D. Williams, 2:02:54

1997 - Jess May, 2:09:23

1998 - Ryan Nance, 2:43:18

1999 - Ryan Nance, 2:14:37

2000 - Anthony Steele, 2:23:03

2001 - Ryan Nance, 2:09:04

2002 - Shayne Martin, 2:20:14

2003 - Shayne Martin, 2:09:10

2004 - Temple Waddell, 2:30:00

2005 - Richard Goldman, 2:20:48

2006 - Richard Goldman, 2:18:50

2007 - Jason Murray, 2:19:54

2008 - Richard Goldman, 2:21:43

2009 - Richard Goldman, 2:10:44

2010 - Richard Goldman, 2:12:51

2011 - Derek Crenshaw, 2:13:37

2012 - Richard Goldman 2:09:06

2013 - Richard Goldman 2:08:39