March 2017 Athlete of the Month Ballot

Male

1. Sidney Crosby, hockey, Canada
With his hat trick in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers on 19 March 2017, Sidney Crosby became the first player in the National Hockey League (NHL) to hit the 40-goal mark this season. It also put him back into sole possession of first place in the NHL’s goal scoring race. Crosby had 9 goals, 8 assists and 17 points in 16 games in March.

2. Marcel Hirscher, skiing, Austria
Austria’s Marcel Hirscher won a record sixth overall World Cup skiing championship in March on the strength of winning his third giant slalom race of the season in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, on 4 March 2017. That win also secured his fourth giant slalom World Cup title. He also won the slalom World Cup title this season.

3. Stefan Kraft, ski jumping, Austria
Austrian ski jumper Stefan Kraft set a world record, leaping 253.5 meters at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Ski Jumping World Cup in Vikersund, Norway, on 18 March 2017. Kraft won the inaugural Raw Air Tournament in Norway in March and clinched the overall World Cup ski jump title on 26 March with a win in Planica, Slovenia.

4. Marcus Stroman, baseball, United States
United States pitcher Marcus Stroman was named the World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournament MVP after posting a 2.35 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 14 1/3 innings in March and leading the U.S. to the championship. Stroman gave up just one hit in more than six scoreless innings as Team USA defeated Puerto Rico 8-0 in the WBC championship game on 23 March 2017.

5. Sindarius Thornwell, basketball, United States
The University of South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell averaged 23.6 points, 7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists and shot 40.6 percent from behind the three-point line as the Gamecocks advanced to their first NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four in school history in March. He scored at least 24 points in each of South Carolina’s first four tournament games.

6. Russell Westbrook, basketball, United States
Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook of the NBA averaged a triple-double in 15 games in March 2017, scoring 34.1 points, 11.1 assists and 10.5 rebounds per game in the month. He scored a career high and franchise record 58 points against the Portland Trail Blazers on 7 March, then recorded 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in a win against the Orlando Magic on 29 March.

Female

1. Gwen Berry, track and field, United States
American track and field athlete Gwen Berry broke the world record in the 20-pound weight throw with a throw of 25.6 meters (84 feet) to break Brittany Riley’s decade-old record in the event at the USA Track & Field Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on 4 March 2017.

2. Evgenia Medvedeva, figure skating, Russia
Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva, 17, broke her own world record and became the first woman in 16 years to win back-to-back singles world championships after winning gold at the Figure Skating World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, on 31 March 2017. She scored 233.41 points in the free skate, improving on her previous world record of 229.71 points set at the European Championships earlier this year. She is the first repeat world championship winner since Michelle Kwan in 2001.

3. Laura Muir, running, Great Britain
Great Britain’s Laura Muir broke a 32-year-old European Athletics Indoor Championships record in the 1,500 meters on 4 March 2017, finishing the race in 4:02.39. She also won the competition’s 3,000 meter race with a time of 8:35.67. The races were held just 21 hours apart.

4. Mikaela Shiffrin, skiing, United States
American alpine ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin secured her first overall World Cup title at the World Cup finals in Aspen, Colo., on 18 March 2017. Earlier in the month, Shiffrin won the giant slalom and slalom races at Squaw Valley in California, which secured her fourth career slalom World Cup title.

5. Elena Vesnina, tennis, Russia
Russia’s Elena Vesnina defeated fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7, 7-5, 6-4 to win the Indian Wells Masters tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., on 19 March 2017. In an impressive tournament run, Vesnina defeated second seed German’s Angelique Kerber and the United States’ Venus Williams to reach the finals.

6. Morgan William, basketball, United States
Mississippi State’s Morgan William hit a 14-foot pull-up jumper as time expired in overtime to beat the Connecticut Huskies 66-64 in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Final Four on 31 March 2017, ending Connecticut’s 111-game winning streak. William finished with 13 points as the Bulldogs handed Connecticut its first loss since 2014. She also scored 41 points in the Bulldogs’ previous tournament game, a win against Baylor.

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