Cyclist Evelyn Stevens, sprinter Blake Leeper, U.S. men's epee team receive U.S. Olympic Committee's April honors
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Several athletes made history in April, and those record-setting performances earned cycling's Evelyn Stevens (Acton, Mass.), para track & field's Blake Leeper (Nashville, Tenn.) and the U.S. men's epee fencing team Athlete and Team of the Month honors, the United States Olympic Committee announced today.
Stevens became the first American to win the La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, breaking a 15-year drought on April 18 in Huy, Belgium. Stevens passed Marianne Vos of the Netherlands on the second and final climb up on the Mur de Huy to win. Stevens finished the 123-kilometer race in 3:26:32, capping off an overall successful day for the American crew. If Stevens remains in the top-10 of the women's world cup rankings, her world cup win may automatically qualify her for nomination to the U.S. Olympic Team.
Leeper set the world on fire during the month of April. At three different events held between April 14-28, he established new American records in the 100-meter (11.31), 200-meter (21.98) and 400-meter (51.97). His 100 and 200 times ranked second in the world and his 400 was the top in the world. Leeper is a double leg, below-the-knee amputee.
The U.S. men's epee fencing team won the world championship on April 14, marking the first time a U.S. men's fencing team has ever won gold at the event. Seth Kelsey (Brush Prairie, Wash.), Soren Thompson (San Diego, Calif.), Ben Bratton (Queens, N.Y.) and Cody Mattern (Tigard, Ore.) defeated France, the six-time reigning world champions, in the final to capture the gold medal, 44-37.
Para swimmer Anna Johannes (Alexandria, Va.) placed second in the female vote, while freeskier Devin Logan (West Dover, Vt.) finished third. Equestrian Rich Fellers (Sherwood, Ore.) rode to second in the male competition, while cyclist Connor Fields (Las Vegas, Nev.) placed third. In the team vote, beach volleyball duo Phil Dalhausser (Orlando, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) took second place. The women's 4x100-meter relay team, which competed at USA vs. the World, rounded out the competition in third.
Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male and one team per discipline. A voting panel selects the winners from the pool of nominees with online fan voting via Twitter accounting for 10 percent of the total vote.
1. Evelyn Stevens, Cycling
2. Anna Johannes, Para Swimming
3. Devin Logan, Skiing
1. Blake Leeper, Para Track & Field
2. Rich Fellers, Equestrian
3. Connor Fields, Cycling
1.U.S. Men's Epee Team, Fencing
2. Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, Beach Volleyball
3.Women's 4x100m Relay Team, Track & Field