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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) announced Paralympic cyclist Allison Jones and swimming star Ryan Lochte as its August Athletes of the Month, whileUSA Water Polo's Women's Senior National Team was awarded Team of the Month honors.
Jones (Colorado Springs, Colo.) won gold in both the time trial and road race events in her classifications at the 2010 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Baie-Comeau, Canada. Her victories also helped the U.S. team win the overall medal count at the event.
Through strong fan support on this month's online Twitter poll, Jones was able to garner enough points to break her from a second-place tie and into the top spot for August. She garnered third-place voting totals which was enough to increase her overall lead.
At the 2010 ConocoPhillips National Championships held August 3-7 in Irvine, Calif., Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) won a total of three events (200m back, 200m IM, 400m IM). His win against Olympian Michael Phelps in the 200m IM was his first head-to-head win against Phelps in the 200m IM in a major competition. Lochte also placed second in the 200m and 100m freestyle and won the men's Kiphuth High-Point Award.
At the 2010 Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships held August 18-22, also in Irvine, Lochte won a total of six events (200m back, 200/400m IM, 200m free, 400m free relay, 800m free relay). Additionally, he set championship records in all six events. He won the Men's Swimmer of the Meet Award for his performance in the 200m IM. Lochte has posted the fastest times in the world this year in the 200m back and 200/400m IM.
USA Water Polo's Women's Senior National Team won the 2010 FINA World Cup gold medal for the first time in 31 years with a 6-3 defeat of Australia. Team USA jumped out to a 6-0 lead and never looked back in defeating the Aussies in Christchurch, New Zealand. USA's Kami Craig was named the top center forward of the tourney and the win capped a perfect summer for Team USA that saw gold medals at the two major championships in the year, the FINA World League Super Final and now FINA World Cup. Team USA defeated Russia, New Zealand, China, Hungary and Australia en route to the gold medal. They have now won every major championship in the last two year since taking silver in Beijing. This includes two World League Super Finals, a World Cup, and a World Championship.
Each National Governing Body may nominate up to but no more than one female, one male and one team per discipline. The winners are then voted on from that pool of nominees.
Taking second place in this month's female category was USA Water Polo's goalkeeper Betsey Armstrong (Ann Arbor, Mich.). Armstrong led the USA Women's National Team to the gold medal at the FINA World Cup held in New Zealand. The gold medal was the first for Team USA since 1979. Armstrong anchored the team in goal with 58 saves including 11 in the championship match against Australia where she held the high-scoring Aussies to just three goals and also blocked a key penalty shot in the second half of the match. Currently nominated for Sportswoman of the Year by the Women's Sports Foundation, Armstrong posted three double-digit save games en route to winning the FINA World Cup.
Coming in third place was USA Softball's Lauren Chamberlain (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.). The third baseman made her debut in the USA Softball program in stellar fashion, hitting a home run in her first game wearing the Red, White and Blue. While helping the 2010-11 USA Softball Junior Women's National Team go undefeated (9-0) at the III Pan American Championship (18-Under) in Bogota, Colombia, Aug. 8-15, Chamberlain led the tournament in most offensive categories. She went 16 for 25 (.640) at the plate with 11 runs scored and 13 RBI. With her 11 extra base hits (seven doubles, two triples and two home runs), she accumulated a slugging percentage of 1.320, by far the highest in Bogota. She was a perfect 6 for 6 in stolen bases.
Chamberlain played in each of the nine games, starting eight at third base where she had seven put outs and nine assists. Chamberlain and her team qualified for the International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Women's World Championship, December 2011, in Cape Town, South Africa.
Coming in second place in the Male Athlete of the Month voting was 2008 Olympian Brady Ellison (Chula Vista, Calif.). The No. 1 ranked archer in the 2010 World Cup standings has turned 2010 into a career year by winning the Croatia World Cup in May, finishing third at the Turkey World Cup in June and claiming the Arizona Cup title in April. Ellison also won the Croatia World Cup in mixed team competition, and the Ogden World Cup team event in August. The USA Archery resident athlete was the first athlete to qualify for the 2010 World Cup Final in September by advancing at the Ogden World Cup qualifying event. These performances have jumped him to the No. 1 world ranking with 211.350 points.
Taking third was another paralympic cyclist, Oscar "Oz" Sanchez (San Diego, Calif.). Sanchez competed in both the time trial and road race events at the 2010 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships held in Baie-Comeau, Canada. Sanchez won gold in both the road race and time trial. He also picked up a silver medal in the handcycling team relay with teammates Matthew Updike and Muffy Davis.
Placing second in the team voting by just a slim margin was the 2010-11 USA Softball Junior Women's National Team. The team went undefeated (9-0) at the III Pan American Championship (18-Under) in Bogota, Colombia. The Americans topped Canada 3-1 in the championship game, earning the gold medal and a berth to the 2011 Junior Women's World Championship.
In Bogota, Team USA outscored opponents 77-7, while outhitting competitors 91-19. Six of the nine games were run rule victories. The team, comprised of mostly high school seniors, combined for a .672 slugging percentage with 23 doubles, seven triples and three home runs. The Red, White and Blue batters were walked 25 times while striking out only 21 times (opponents struck out 71 times). The five member pitching staff had a combined ERA of .73. The team was 38 for 43 in stolen bases.
With the team's inclusion this month, they extend USA Softball's three-month streak of having an athlete or team take home one of the top three honors. In June, Alissa Haber was voted the female athlete of the month while the women's national team was voted the team of the month. USA Softball repeated in July when Natasha Watley took home female of the month honors.
Coming in third place was the USA Bowling National Team that became the first team in the history of the World Men's Bowling Championships to win five gold medals in a single year. The team brought home gold medals in singles, trios, five-player team, all-events and Masters match play in a dominating performance that saw them win 11 total medals (five gold, two silver, four bronze) in Munich, Germany. In the coveted five-player team event, the United States won for the third consecutive time with a 1,073-1,057 victory over world bowling power Finland.
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