photos courtesy of Larry Slater
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced finalists for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of October, which recognize the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes from last month. Fans are invited to vote for their favorite athletes and teams at TeamUSA.org/Awards through midnight Tuesday, Nov. 6.
World champion wrestlers Adeline Gray and David Taylor are among the finalists for the Award program. Gray is nominated for the Female Athlete of the Month and Taylor is nominated for the Male Athlete of the Month.
Fans can vote online through Tuesday, November 6 at:
Please remember that you can vote multiple times. Wrestling fans are encouraged to vote often and share this opportunity with their family, friends and acquaintances.
Gray won the gold medal at 76 kg at the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary on October 24. It was her fourth career World gold medal, matching the record for the most by an American wrestler, tied with John Smith, Tricia Saunders and Jordan Burroughs.
Gray was victorious in one of the most challenging weight classes in the tournament, winning four matches against top stars on the way to victory at an Olympic weight class. Gray opened with a 10-0 technical fall over 2015 World bronze medalist Epp Mae of Estonia, avenging a loss from earlier in the year. In the second period, she pinned 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Elmira Syzdykova of Kazakhstan. In the semifinals, Gray defeated 2016 Olympic champion Erica Wiebe of Canada, 3-1. In the gold-medal finals, Gray scored an impressive 13-1 technical fall over 2017 World champion Yasemin Adar of Turkey.
Gray has now won six World medals in her amazing career. She was also a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team. Gray was one of four U.S. women wrestlers to win medals in Budapest, helping lead Team USA to a World trophy by placing third in the team standings.
Taylor won a gold medal at 86 kg in men’s freestyle at the 2018 World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary, October 21. Taylor was competing in his first Senior World Championships, and captured gold in an Olympic weight class.
He opened with a tremendous 11-6 win over 2016 Olympic champion and 2017 World champion Hassan Yazdani Charati of Iran. In the second round, he stopped European Junior champion Hajy Rajabau of Belarus in a 10-0 technical fall. His quarterfinal win was an 8-0 victory over Pan American champion Yurieski Torreblanca of Cuba. In the semifinals, he defeated 2017 European champion Dauren Kurugliev of Russia, 7-5. In the gold-medal finals, he scored a dominant 12-2 technical fall over No. 1 seed Fatih Erdin of Turkey.
Taylor was one of three U.S. men’s freestyle champions and seven U.S. World medalists, helping lead the USA to second place in the men’s freestyle team standings.
A total of 10 sports – including archery, beach volleyball, figure skating, rugby sevens, surfing, taekwondo, tennis, track and field, weightlifting and wrestling – are represented among the 13 finalists across men’s, women’s and team categories. The finalists’ collective accomplishments tell the inspiring story of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes year-round.
In addition to Dow, the presenting sponsor, the Team USA Awards are supported by DICK’S Sporting Goods and USG.
OTHER OCTOBER FINALISTS
Male Athlete of the Month
Nathan Chen (Salt Lake City, Utah), Figure Skating
Won his second straight Skate America title with 280.57 points, landing three quad jumps in his nearly perfect free skate to top the field by 41.06 points – the largest margin in Skate America history.
Trenton Cowles (Tarzana, California), Archery
Went undefeated to earn the gold medal at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, where he also captured the bronze medal in the mixed country team event.
Bjorn Fratangelo (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), Tennis
Captured his first pro singles title in more than two years at the ATP Challenger event in Fairfield, California.
Jerome Smith (St. Louis, Missouri), Weightlifting
Placed fourth in the 69 kg. weight class at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, marking the best finish by a U.S. men’s weightlifter in the event’s history.
Female Athlete of the Month
Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana, California), Surfing
Won her second World Surf League title in as many months at the Roxy Pro France, scoring 14.76 points to continue her strong comeback after missing the first half of the season due to a foot injury.
Ilona Maher (Burlington, Vermont), Rugby Sevens
Scored seven tries – including a hat trick – at the HSBC USA Women’s Sevens Series stop in Glendale, Colorado, making her the second highest try scorer of the tournament and leading Team USA to the silver medal.
Grace Stark (White Lake, Michigan), Track and Field
Won the gold medal in the women’s 100-meter hurdles at the Summer Youth Olympic Games, earning the distinction as Team USA’s flagbearer for the Closing Ceremony.
Anastasija Zolotic (Largo, Florida), Taekwondo
Secured the silver medal in the 49 kg. division at the Summer Youth Olympic Games, while competing with a broken hand that she sustained in her quarterfinal match.
Team of the Month
April Ross and Alix Klineman, Beach Volleyball
Won gold medals and garnered points toward 2020 Olympic qualification at the NORCECA Beach Tour Final and the FIVB World Tour four-star event with final wins over teams from Canada and Brazil.
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, Figure Skating
Earned back-to-back Grand Prix gold medals at Skate America and Skate Canada International, earning their fourth straight Grand Prix Final berth and continuing their medal streak at 11 consecutive Grand Prix Series events.
U.S. Women’s National Team, Rugby Sevens
Won the silver medal at the HSBC USA Women’s Sevens Series tournament in Glendale, Colorado, including a victory over the 2016 Olympic champion, Australia, and silver medalist, New Zealand.
Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male and one team per sport discipline. An internal nominating committee selects finalists 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 via Awards.TeamUSA.org.