U.S. Olympic Committee announces Best of September finalists for Team USA Awards presented by Dow

USA

Colorado Springs, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced finalists for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of September, which recognize the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes from last month. Fans are invited to vote for their favorite athletes and teams at Awards.TeamUSA.org through midnight Monday, Oct. 8.

A total of eight sports – including basketball, equestrian, Para-equestrian, paratriathlon, shooting, triathlon, volleyball and wrestling – are represented among the 13 finalists across men’s, women’s and team categories. The finalists’ collective accomplishments tell the inspiring story of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes year-round.

In addition to Dow, the presenting sponsor, the Team USA Awards are supported by DICK’S Sporting Goods and USG.

SEPTEMBER FINALISTS

Male Athlete of the Month

Matt Anderson (West Seneca, New York), Indoor Volleyball

Named best opposite at the FIVB World Championship, finishing as the second-leading scorer and second-leading attacker and helping lead Team USA to its first world championship medal – a bronze – in 24 years.

Mark Barr (Davis, California), Paratriathlon

Capped his undefeated season with a gold medal in the men’s PTS2 at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships.

G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Wrestling

Earned the gold medal in the 97 kg. division of the Pytlasinski Memorial International after pinning 2016 Olympic champion and three-time world champion Artur Aleksanyan in the semifinal in 27 seconds.

Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia), Shooting

Won his fourth world championship title in skeet shooting at the ISSF World Championships, tying the world record in qualification by shooting a perfect 125-125 targets, and tying the finals world record by missing only one target.

McLain Ward (Brewster, New York), Equestrian

Aboard Clinta, anchored the U.S. Jumping Team at the FEI World Equestrian Games, helping Team USA win the gold medal in a jump-off to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Female Athlete of the Month

Caitlin Connor (Winnfield, Louisiana), Shooting

Won her first career international gold medal in skeet shooting at the ISSF World Championships, edging six-time Olympic medalist and U.S. teammate Kim Rhode in the final, 57-56.

Laura Graves (Geneva, Florida), Equestrian

Aboard Verdades, claimed the grand prix special individual silver medal and the team silver medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games, becoming the first U.S. dressage combination to lead the FEI Dressage World Rankings.

Rebecca Hart (Wellington, Florida), Para-equestrian

Earned the bronze medal in the individual test and silver in freestyle at the FEI World Equestrian Games, marking the first-ever WEG medals won by a Team USA para-equestrian individual rider.

Allysa Seely (Glendale, Arizona), Paratriathlon

Earned the gold medal in the women’s PTS2 division at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships, completing her season sweep of the ITU World Paratriathlon Series.

Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Maryland), Triathlon

Finished third at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, capturing the ITU World Triathlon Series overall silver medal.

Team of the Month

USA Women’s World Cup Team, Basketball

With just two practices with its complete, 12-member team, won its third straight world cup title – and 10th overall – at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, becoming the second women’s basketball team to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

U.S. Jumping Team, Equestrian

Won a historic gold medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games in a thrilling jump-off against Sweden –marking the first world title for the U.S. since 1986 – and secured a national team quota spot for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

U.S. Men’s World Championship Team, Indoor Volleyball

Earned a historic bronze medal at the FIVB World Championship, marking the first world championship medal for the U.S. in 24 years.

SELECTION PROCESS

Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male and one team per sport discipline. An internal nominating committee selects finalists to advance to the voting round. Votes received from NGB representatives and select members of the media account for 50 percent of the final tally, with the other half determined by online fan voting via Awards.TeamUSA.org.

Source:  United States Olympic Committee Communications Department Press Release

Photo: NetJets® U.S. Jumping Team from left to right: McLain Ward, Adrienne Sternlicht, Laura Kraut, and Devin Ryan (Shannon Brinkman Photo).

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