DAPHNE, Ala. – Ski Jumper Peter Prevc from Slovenia and Tennis Player Victoria Azarenka from Belarus have been voted the United States Sports Academy’s Male and Female Athletes of the Month for March.
Prevc claimed victory in the first individual competition at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Ski Jumping World Cup Finals in Planica, Slovenia, on 17 March 2016. He won the ski flying event on his home hill with efforts of 223 meters (731.6 feet) and 232.5 meters (761.2 feet), giving him a winning tally of 426.5 points.
Azarenka claimed her second BNP Paribas Open title after defeating world number one Serena Williams in Indian Wells, Calif., on 20 March 2016. The 13th seed, who first won the event in 2012, won in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.
The two athletes are now eligible for the Academy’s Male and Female Athlete of the Year Award to be voted on at year’s end.
The runner up in the men’s balloting was sprinter Trayvon Bromell and third place went to basketball player Buddy Hield, both of the United States.
Bromell, 20, a year out of college at Baylor University, won his first International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) international title in the 60 meters (196.8 feet) and a personal best 6.47 seconds at the Oregon Convention Center on 18 March 2016 at the IAAF World Indoor Track and Field championships.
Hield, a senior at the University of Oklahoma, scored 37 points on 26 March 2016 to lead the Sooners to the Final Four in an 80-68 win over the top-seeded University of Oregon Ducks in the West Region final of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball tournament.
The runner up in the women’s balloting was gymnast Sophie Scheder of Germany and third place went to Claudia Cesarini, a modern pentathlon athlete from Italy.
Scheder, 19, earned the first International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) World Cup victory of her career by claiming the women’s all-round title in front of a home crowd at the Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart, Germany, on 19 March 2016.
Cesarini won the women’s title in modern pentathlon at the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 12 March 2016.
This is the 32nd year of the Academy’s worldwide Athlete of the Year program, which is part of the institution’s annual Awards of Sport program. Each month, the public is invited to participate by nominating and voting for the Male and Female Athletes of the Month on the Academy’s website at www.ussa.edu. Monthly winners become eligible for the prestigious Athlete of the Year honor, which is selected at year end by an online public balloting. Monthly and annual winners are announced on the Academy’s website, social media, and in the monthly e-newsletter, The Sport Update.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and tennis great Serena Williams were the Academy’s Male and Female Athletes of the Year for 2015.
Based in Daphne, Ala., the United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, regionally 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. For more information about the Academy, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.