Paul Juda and Trinity Thomas won the men’s and women’s all-around titles at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships and were crowned the United States Sports Academy’s Athletes of the Month for April for their impressive feats.
Juda, competing for the University of Michigan, won the men’s all-around title and tied Sam Mikulak’s modern-era school record of six All-America honors at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships in Oklahoma on 16 April 2022. In addition to the all-around title, Juda also scored 15.000 and won the vault title.
Thomas, a University of Florida senior, held off Olympic all-around champion Sunisa Lee to win the women’s NCAA all-around title on 17 April 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas. Thomas also won the uneven bars and floor exercise events.
The second place finisher on the men’s side was American swimmer Caeleb Dressel and third place went to Kenyan runner Evans Chebet.
Dressel broke the U.S. Open record with a time of 22.84 seconds in the 50 fly event in Greensboro, N.C., on 27 April 2022. Dressel’s time broke the previous U.S. Open record of 22.91 held by Bryan Lundquist since 2009.
Chebet cruised to victory in the men’s Boston Marathon with a time of 2:06:51 in Massachusetts on 18 April 2022. Chebet finished half a minute ahead of his Kenyan compatriot Lawrence Cherono.
The second place finisher on the women’s side was American discus thrower Valarie Allman and third place went to American swimmer Phoebe Bacon.
Allman broke her own North American record with a throw of 71.46 meters (234.44 feet) – the farthest women’s throw for almost 30 years – at the Triton Invitational in La Jolla, Calif., on 8 April 2022.
Bacon broke Missy Franklin’s 2013 U.S. Open record with a time of 2:05.08 in the women’s 200-meter backstroke in Greensboro, N.C., on 27 April 2022. The win secured a spot for Bacon at the upcoming 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest.
Each month, the public is invited to participate in the Academy’s worldwide Athlete of the Month program by nominating athletes and then voting online during the first week of every month. The online votes are used to guide the Academy selection committee in choosing the male and female monthly winners, who then become eligible for selection to the prestigious Athlete of the Year ballot. A worldwide public vote on the annual ballot is used to guide the committee in making the final selection.
The Athlete of the Year Award is part of the United States Sports Academy’s Awards of Sport program, which each year serves as “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete.” The Academy presents the awards to pay tribute to those who have made significant contributions to sport, in categories as diverse as the artist and the athlete in several different arenas of sport.
The awards honor exemplary achievement in coaching, all-around athletic performance, courage, humanitarian activity, fitness and media, among others. The Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) annually recognizes these men and women through its Sport Artist of the Year, Honorary Doctorates, Distinguished Service Awards, Outstanding Athletes, and Alumni of the Year awards. This is the 37th year of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, 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.
Founded in 1984, ASAMA is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,800 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. The museum is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. For more information, go to www.asama.org.
The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala. For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.