February 2017 Athlete of the Month Ballot

Male

1. Tom Brady, football, United States
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 43 of 62 passes for 466 yards and two touchdowns as the Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in Super Bowl LI on 5 February 2017. Brady was named the game’s MVP after leading the Patriots back from a 28-3 deficit in the third quarter, the largest comeback in Super Bowl history. His 466 passing yards and 62 passing attempts were also Super Bowl records.

2. Edward Cheserek, track and field, Kenya
University of Oregon track and field athlete Edward Cheserek wrote his name into the collegiate record books with a record breaking 3:52.01 mile at the Boston University Last Chance Meet in Boston, Mass., on 26 February 2017. The previous mile record of 3:52.88 was set by Arizona’s Lawi Lalang in 2014.

3. Marcel Hirscher, skiing, Austria
Austria’s Marcel Hirscher won gold in the men’s slalom on the final day of the International Ski Federation (FIS) World Alpine Skiing Championship in Switzerland on 19 February 2017. Hirscher also won the men’s giant slalom and took silver in the Alpine combined competition.

4. Sven Kramer, speed skating, Netherlands
Dutch skater Sven Kramer won his second gold medal at the World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in PyeongChang, South Korea, with a win in the men’s 10,000 meter race on 11 February. Earlier in the tournament, Kramer also captured gold in the 5,000 meter race.

5. Hideki Matsuyama, golf, Japan
Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama won his second consecutive Phoenix Open title on 5 February 2017 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Matsuyama now has two wins and two runner-up finishes in seven starts in the 2016-17 PGA Tour season.

6. Deontay Wilder, boxing, United States
American boxer Deontay Wilder retained his WBC heavyweight title with a fifth round knockout of challenger Gerald Washington on 25 February 2017 at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. The win extended Wilder’s professional record to 38-0 with 37 TKOs.

Female

1. Genzebe Dibaba, running, Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba broke the 2,000 meter world record with an indoor time of 5:23.75 in the Miting Internacional de Catalunya in Sabadell, Spain on 7 February 2017. Her time took nearly seven seconds off the previous indoor world record set in 1998 and nearly two seconds off the world outdoor record, set in 1994.

2. Katie Ledecky, swimming, United States
Stanford University swimmer Katie Ledecky broke three pool records in a meet at the University of California on 11 February 2017. Ledecky won the 1,000 yard freestyle in 9:20.41, lapping all but one swimmer and winning by 26 seconds. Six minutes later, she broke the pool record in the 200 yard freestyle, prevailing over Olympic 100 meter freestyle champion Simone Manuel. She then broke the pool record in the 500 yard freestyle.

3. Keturah Orji, Track and Field, United States
University of Georgia junior Keturah Orji broke the collegiate and American indoor records in the women’s triple jump, soaring to 46 feet, 11.75 inches at the Southeastern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Orji also placed third in the long jump, jumping over 22 feet, during the event held 24 and 25 February 2017. She was named the U.S.A. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Women’s Athlete of the Week following her performance.

4. Kelsey Plum, basketball, United States
University of Washington senior guard Kelsey Plum scored a career best 57 points in a win against Utah State on 25 February 2017 and broke the NCAA women’s all-time scoring record with 3,397 career points. Plum is averaging an NCAA women’s best 30.9 points per game and she has not scored fewer than 21 points in a game the entire season. On 28 February, Plum was named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year.

5. Lena Schoneborn, pentathlon, Germany
Germany’s Lena Schoneborn won her ninth individual International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) World Cup victory at the women’s event in Los Angeles on 25 February 2017. Schoneborn, the current top-ranked women’s pentathlete in the world, totaled 1,346 points to beat her nearest competitor by 11 points.

6. Maryna Zuyeva, speed skating, Belarus
Maryna Zuyeva of Belarus was dominant in speed skating at the Winter Universiade in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in February. She broke a long-standing track record with a 7:20.11 finish in the 5,000 meter speed skate event on 3 February, eclipsing a record set 31 years ago by .88 seconds. She also took gold in the women’s 3,000 meter speed skate with a time of 4:18.26, almost 10 seconds faster than her nearest competitor.

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