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Pearce, Kosgei Named Academy October Athletes of the Month

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Photos via Wikimedia Commons and Flick/Keith Allison. USSA graphic.

By Eric Mann |

American baseball player Steve Pearce and Kenyan runner Brigid Kosgei have been named the United States Sports Academy’s Male and Female Athletes of the Month for October.

Boston’s Pearce was named World Series MVP after hitting two home runs as the Red Sox topped the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in the deciding game of the MLB championship series on 29 October 2018. Pearce also had two homers in Boston’s 9-6 win in Game 4. He finished the series with four home runs and eight RBIs as Boston won its fourth World Series title in the last 15 years.

Kosgei won the women’s Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:18:35 in Illinois on 7 October 2018. It was her best finish in a major marathon after having placed second in the 2018 London Marathon.

The second place finisher on the men’s side was American football player Todd Gurley and third place went to Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic.

Gurley, the Los Angeles Rams running back, earned NFL Offensive Player of the Month honors for October after rushing for 462 yards and seven touchdowns and catching 16 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns in the month.

Djokovic won his 32nd Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Masters 1000 title after beating Croatia’s Borna Coric in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 on 14 October 2018 at the Shanghai Masters. Djokovic did not lose any of his 47 service games throughout the tournament.

The second place finisher on the women’s side was American wrestler Adeline Gray and third place went to Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf.

Gray captured the gold medal in the 76 kg class at the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest on 24 October 2018. It was her fourth world title, tying the record for most gold medals ever by an American wrestler – male or female.

Ryf won the Ironman World Championship and set a course record of 8:26:16 in Kona, Hawaii, on 13 October 2018. Ryf shaved 20 minutes off the previous course record, despite being stung by a jellyfish just prior to the race.

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 34th 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.

Eric Mann is the director of communications and marketing at the United States Sports Academy. 

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