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Sloane Stephens Among Those Honored by USOC

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Sloane Stephens won the U.S. Open in a remarkably fast comeback from foot surgery. Photo: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has announced its nominees for the Best of September Team USA awards.

A total of 11 sports are represented among the 13 finalists in the men’s, women’s and team categories.

Tennis player Sloane Stephens leads the women’s nominees after she won her first-career Grand Slam title at the US Open.

She upset five seeded players and defeated Madison Keys in the first all-American final at Flushing Meadows in New York City since 2002.

Grace Norman has also been shortlisted after she defended her International Triathlon Union Para-triathlon World Championships title, while Dania Vizzi is named after she won the women’s skeet gold medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation Shotgun World Championships.

The last two nominees are water skier Regina Jaquess and Para-cyclist Shawn Morelli.

Jaquess defended her slalom and overall world titles and also claimed silver in women’s jumping at the Water Ski World Championships before adding three medals at the Malibu Open Water Ski Championships.

Morelli claimed two gold medals in the C4 time trial and road race at the International Cycling Union (UCI) Para-cycling Road World Championships.

The men’s list of nominations features Duke Ragan after he became the first American boxer to advance to an International Boxing Association World Championships gold medal bout in the men’s bantamweight division since 1999, eventually taking silver.

Jeff Fabry has also been named after he took the men’s W1 gold medal at the World Archery Para Championships, 14 years after winning his first world title.

Riding aboard three different mounts, Kent Farrington won a CSIO5 class title, while adding a pair of golds at CSI3 and CSI2 Grand Prix events to maintain his number one world ranking in show jumping.

Para-cyclist Will Groulx claimed three silver medals in the H2 time trial, road race and handcycle relay events at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, finishing the season ranked second in the H2 road rankings.

The fifth and final men’s nominee is water skier Adam Pickos.

He claimed his second consecutive and second career world tricks gold medal at the Water Ski World Championships, helping lead the US to the team title.

Jennifer Sichel, Jaclyn Smith, Zachary Burns, Danielle Hansen and Mike Varro are among the team nominees.

They claimed the US mixed four team’s fourth consecutive silver medal at the World Para-rowing Championships in Sarasota in Florida.

The US women’s pair of Megan Kalmoe and Tracy Eisser are also on the shortlist after they edged Denmark in the final 500 meters to take silver at the World Rowing Championships.

Curling’s Team Sinclair complete the nominees after they posted a perfect 6-0 record to win the Shorty Jenkins Classic and improve to number eight in the world rankings.

The Team USA Awards see each National Governing Body (NGB) nominate one female, one male and one team per discipline.

An internal nominating committee selects five nominees from both the male and female categories, and three from the team category 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.

Each of the five monthly men’s and women’s finalists, along with three team finalists, automatically qualify for consideration for the 2017 Team USA Awards.

By Max Winters

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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