Short track speedskater Katherine Reutter, long track speedskater Shani Davis and the long track speedskating Men’s World Championship Team Pursuit honored by U.S. Olympic Committee for outstanding performances in March
Amanda Robinson
719-866-2221
April 12, 2011 2:27 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2011
 
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) announced a speedskating sweep of its March Athletes and Team of the Month awards. Short track speedskater Katherine Reutter and long track speedskater Shani Davis are the March Athletes of the Month, while the long track speedskating Men’s World Championship Team Pursuit, was awarded Team of the Month honors.
 
On March 11, at the ISU Short Track World Championships in Sheffield, England, Reutter (Champaign, Ill.) became the first U.S. woman to win a world championship distance title (1500m) in 25 years. Olympic champion Bonnie Blair – also a native of Champaign – was the last U.S. female short track athlete to win an individual world championship title in 1986.
 
Posting a time of 2:33.978 to win gold in the 1500m, Reutter faced a challenge early in the final from a duo of strong Korean skaters, but found an opportunity in the last few laps of the race to pull ahead of Seung-Hi Park (2:34.218) and Ha-Ri Cho (2:34.336), who finished second and third, respectively.
 
Reutter’s gold-medal win also placed her atop the overall ladies world championship standings – where she joined Simon Cho (Laurel, Md.), the men’s leader. This is the first time in 35 years an American duo led the overall world championship standings.  Reutter also won bronze in the 1000m in Sheffield, England, on March 12, and finished second in overall world championship standings.
 
On March 6, in Heerenveen, Netherlands, Davis (Chicago, Ill.) claimed his fourth straight world cup 1500m overall crown at the ISU World Cup Final. With his 13th career world cup 1500m win, Davis becomes the first man to win four world cup 1500m titles, a reign that began in the 2007-08 season.
 
This also marks Davis’ eighth world cup title, including four 1000m crowns, which surpasses legendary U.S. sprinter Dan Jansen's career total of seven. With 45 individual world cup wins, Davis has moved within one win of Jansen's U.S. men's record for most individual world cup wins.
 
On March 11 in Inzell, Germany, Davis clinched the 1000m world championship title – marking his sixth individual world championship win. Davis also claimed a gold medal in the Team Pursuit at the World Championship as well as a silver medal in the 1500m.
 
 
On March 12, in Inzell, Germany, Team USA’s Team Pursuit squad – Davis, Trevor Marsicano (Ballston Spa, N.Y.), and Jonathan Kuck (Champaign, Ill.) – won their first ever world championship gold. Team USA skated 3:41.72 for the win.
 
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. Online fan voting via the Twitter poll accounts for 10 percent of the total vote.
 
Finishing a close second in this month's female category was cyclist Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif.) who became the first American woman to ever earn three medals in a single cycling world championship. Hammer won the gold medal in the Women’s Individual Pursuit at the UCI Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, on March 25, contributed to a silver medal in the team pursuit (with Dotsie Bausch and Jennie Reed) on March 27 and also earned a silver medal in the omnium later that day.
 
Allison Schmitt (Canton, Mich.) finished third in the voting as she claimed two individual titles and was a member of two relay title teams at the NCAA Women’s Championships held March 17-19 in Austin, Texas. She won the 200y free for the second straight year and the 500y free for the second consecutive season. Schmitt was the anchor for the NCAA-winning 400y and 800y free relay teams. She earned the maximum seven All-America honors at the NCAAs as her Georgia Bulldogs finished second at the NCAA Championships.
 
Schmitt was nominated for the Honda Sports Award presented annually to the nation’s top swimmer.  It was the second consecutive year she’s been nominated for such an award.
 
Making his way from third to second place from last month in the male category was short track speedskater Simon Cho (Laurel, Md.). On March 12, at the ISU Short Track World Championships in Sheffield, England, Cho made history as the youngest U.S. skater to ever win a world championship title. Cho’s gold medal also placed the 19-year-old atop the overall men’s world championship standings – where he joined Reutter, the ladies leader, entering the third day of the competition. This is the first time in 35 years an American duo has led the overall world championship standings.  The reigning 500m World Cup champion, Cho, easily advanced through the preliminary rounds, but fell during the heats following contact with Ukraine’s Oleksiy Koshelenko, and was advanced to the quarterfinals. Cho won his semifinal, then his final race, where he won gold with a time of 42.307, ahead of Canadian Oliver Jean in second, and China’s Wenhao Liang in third.
 
Cho finished the weekend ranked fourth in overall world championship standings.
 
In third was swimmer Nathan Adrian (Bremerton, Wash.). In March, Adrian guided the Cal Men’s swimming team to its first NCAA swimming championship in 31 years. NCAAs were held in Minneapolis, Minn., from March 24-26. He was the anchor of the 400y freestyle relay team that clinched the team title, he also won relay titles in the 200y and 400y medley relays. Adrian took home individual titles in the 50y and the 100y free, while claiming seven All-American honors. He was named the swimmer of the championships after the meet, received Counsilman-Hunsaker National Collegiate Swimmer-of-the-Week Honors for March 22-29 and was named one of six Pac-10 winter Scholar Athletes of the Year.
 
In the team category, finishing second behind Team Pursuit was the U.S. Women’s National Team in gymnastics. The U.S. Women’s Team, competing under the direction of National Team Coordinator Martha Karolyi, won the team title and swept the all-around for both the senior and junior levels at the 2011 City of Jesolo (Italy) Trophy on March 19. McKayla Maroney (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) won the senior all-around crown, with Kyla Ross (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) earning the junior all-around title. Team USA also won 20 individual event medals for the juniors and seniors combined. The U.S. team easily won the senior team title, scoring a total of 232.250. Italy was second at 212.800 and Russia finished third at 210.20.
 
Finishing third in the team category was the USA Women’s World Cross Country Team for track and field. Team USA’s women won the bronze for the second consecutive time at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. The competition was held in Punta Umbria, Spain, on March 20 and included 15 teams.
 
FEMALE
1.         Katherine Reutter, Short Track Speedskating
2.         Sarah Hammer, Cycling
3.         Allison Schmitt, Swimming
MALE
1.         Shani Davis, Long Track Speedskating
2.         Simon Cho, Short Track Speedskating
3.         Nathan Adrian, Swimming
TEAM
1.         Men’s World Championship Team Pursuit, Long Track Speedskating
2.         U.S. Women’s National Team, Gymnastics
3.         USA Women’s World Cross Country Team, Track & Field
 
For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at (719) 866-4529 or visit www.teamusa.org. Follow us on Twitter  and Facebook.
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