1. Jon Lester, baseball, United States
Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester had a 3-1 record with a 1.93 ERA and 26 strikeouts in October postseason play, which includes the playoffs and World Series. Lester was named the co-MVP of the National League Championship Series after going 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 21 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
2. Auston Matthews, hockey, United States
Auston Matthews made National Hockey League history by scoring four goals in his debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Ottawa Senators on 12 October 2016. Matthews’ four goals in his first game were more than any other NHL rookie in history.
3. Andrew Miller, baseball, United States
Andrew Miller was selected American League Championship Series (ALCS) MVP after helping the Cleveland Indians win their first pennant since 1997. Miller struck out 14 of the 26 Toronto batters he faced over four games – an ALCS record for a reliever. He gave up three hits in 7 2/3 shutout innings and earned a save in Game 3. In three appearances in the World Series in October, Miller gave up just three hits and one run with eight strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings of relief.
4. Andy Murray, tennis, Great Britain
Great Britain’s Andy Murray defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(1), 6-1 in the Shanghai Rolex Masters final on 31 October 2016. Murray’s win was his second Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour Masters 1000 title of the season and the 13th of his career. Murray also celebrated his 41st career tour-level title.
5. Julius Chepkwony Rotich, marathon, Kenya
Kenyan marathoner Julius Chepkwony Rotich repeated as the winner of the Venice Marathon with a time of 2:10:22 on 23 October 2016. He defeated his closest challenger by 3:29 and has finished in first place in three of his last four marathons.
6. Russell Westbrook, basketball, United States
Russell Westbrook registered the first 50-point triple-double since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 113-110 overtime victory over the Phoenix Suns on 28 October 2016. Westbrook scored 51 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and recorded 10 assists in the win. He followed this performance two days later with another triple-double, recording 33 points, 12 rebounds, and 16 assists against the Los Angeles Lakers.
1. Alia Atkinson, swimming, Jamaica
Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson broke the 50 meter breaststroke short course world record on the final day of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Cup leg in Tokyo on 26 October 2016. Atkinson clocked a time of 28.64 seconds to shave 16 hundredths of a second off the former record posted by United States’ Jessica Hardy in 2009.
2. Dominika Cibulkova, tennis, Slovakia
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia defeated world No. 1 Angelique Kerber to win the Women’s Tennis Association Finals title in a stunning upset in Singapore on 31 October 2016. Cibulkova packed a punch well above her diminutive 5’3” stature to defeat the German top seed and tournament favorite 6-3, 6-4 in the final.
3. Miu Hirano, table tennis, Japan
Japan’s Miu Hirano, 16, became the first person from her country to win the table tennis World Cup in the women’s single finals in Philadelphia, Pa., on 9 October 2016. She defeated No. 2 seed Cheng I-Ching in straight sets 11-9, 11-5, 11-4 and 11-8 to capture the victory. She is the youngest player ever to win the table tennis World Cup.
4. Florence Kiplagat, marathon, Kenya
Kenyan runner Florence Kiplagat won her second consecutive Chicago Marathon women’s race on 9 October 2016 with a time of 2:21:32, more than two minutes faster than her previous winning time. Kiplagat pulled away from the pack between the 18th and 19th mile, recording a 5:14 split that was eight seconds faster than the men’s pack for the same mile.
5. Minjee Lee, golf, Australia
Australian golfer Minjee Lee notched her second victory of the year at the Blue Bay LPGA in Hain, China, on 23 October 2016. The 20-year-old won the tournament with a 13-under 275.
6. Candace Parker, basketball, United States
Candace Parker was named the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) finals MVP as she helped the Los Angeles Sparks capture the WNBA title in Game 5 on 20 October 2016. She scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rounds in the title game against the Minnesota Lynx.