Houston Astros outfielder George Springer and American runner Shalane Flanagan have been named the United States Sports Academy’s Male and Female Athletes of the Month for November.
Springer was named the MVP of the World Series as the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games, capped by a 5-1 win on 1 November 2017. Springer finished the series with 11 hits, three doubles, five home runs and seven RBIs. He is just the third player to hit five home runs in a single World Series, tying Reggie Jackson in 1977 and Chase Utley in 2009. He also set World Series records with eight extra-base hits and 29 total bases.
Flanagan on 5 November 2017 became the first American woman in 40 years (1977) to win the New York City Marathon. Flanagan finished with a time of 2:26.53, a full minute ahead of three-time defending champion Mary Keitany of Kenya.
The second place finisher on the men’s side was South African swimmer Chad le Clos and third place went to American football player Julio Jones.
Le Clos was crowned the men’s overall winner at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Cup in Singapore on 19 November 2017. Le Clos won the 100 meter butterfly to capture the overall title for the season, becoming the first male swimmer to win the overall title four times.
Jones, an Atlanta Falcons wide receiver, became the only receiver in NFL history to record three 250-plus receiving yard games in a career after catching 12 passes for 253 yards and two scores against Tampa Bay on 26 November 2017. Jones also set NFL records for most receptions (563) and yards (8,649) through a player’s first 90 NFL games.
The second place finisher on the women’s side was Swedish swimmer Sarah Sjostrom and third place went to Chinese golfer Shanshan Feng.
Sjostrom won the 100 meter butterfly with a time of 55.07 seconds – the best time ever recorded at an International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Cup event – in Tokyo on 14 November 2017. Later in the month, Sjostrom captured the women’s overall title at the FINA World Cup event in Singapore on 19 November after winning the 50 meter fly and 200 meter freestyle events.
Feng became the first Chinese golfer – male or female – to reach No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings after shooting a 9-under-par 279 to win the Blue Bay LPGA title on 11 November 2017 in Hainan, China. She also won the Toto Japan Classic on 5 November.
Each month, the public is invited to participate in the Academy’s worldwide Athlete of the Month program by nominating athletes and then voting online during the first week of every month. The online votes are used to guide the Academy selection committee in choosing the male and female monthly winners, who then become eligible for selection to the prestigious Athlete of the Year ballot. A worldwide public vote on the annual ballot is used to guide the committee in making the final selection.
The Athlete of the Year Award is part of the United States Sports Academy’s Awards of Sport program, which each year serves as “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete.” The Academy presents the awards to pay tribute to those who have made significant contributions to sport, in categories as diverse as the artist and the athlete in several different arenas of sport.
The awards honor exemplary achievement in coaching, all-around athletic performance, courage, humanitarian activity, fitness and media, among others. The Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) annually recognizes these men and women through its Sport Artist of the Year, Honorary Doctorates, Medallion Series, Distinguished Service Awards, Outstanding Athletes, and Alumni of the Year awards. This is the 33rd year of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.
Founded in 1984, ASAMA is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,800 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. The museum is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. For more information, go to www.asama.org.
The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala. For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.
By Eric Mann
Eric Mann is the communications assistant at the United States Sports Academy.