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|Joe Warren named USOC Male Athlete of the Month for September|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
U.S. Olympic Committee Honors Kristin Armstrong, Joe Warren, and USA Baseball Olympic Qualifying Team for September Accomplishments
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The U.S. Olympic Committee announced wrestler Joe Warren and cyclist Kristin Armstrong as its September Athletes of the Month. The USOC Team of the Month was awarded to the USA National Baseball Team for the second month in a row.
Warren (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) won a gold medal at 60 kg/132 lbs. in men's Greco-Roman at the World Wrestling Championships in Guangzhou, China, Sept. 25. He became only the fifth U.S. wrestler in history to win a gold medal at the World Championships in men's Greco-Roman. Warren's effort, along with two other medalists, helped lead the USA to third in the team standings, matching its best-ever finish at the World Championships.
Warren was competing in just his second World meet. He won five straight matches on his way to the title. He opened with a 2-3, 3-1, 3-1 victory over past World champion Dilshod Aripov of Uzbekistan, then stopped past World medalist Ali Ashkani of Iran 2-1, 1-1. In the quarterfinals, he defeated Vyasheslav Djaste of Russia, 4-1, 2-0, then stopped two-time World medalist Euesebio Diaconu of Romania, 1-1, 2-1. In the championship finals, Warren defeated David Bedinadze of Georgia, 1-1, 4-1, 2-1.
Josh George (Champaign, Ill.) of Paralympic Track & Field took second in the men's vote. George was the most decorated of the U.S. athletes at the IPC World Championships for athletics held Sept. 2-10. George won four gold medals (the T53 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m) and a silver (T53-54 4x100m relay).
Baseball's Skip Schumaker (Huntington Beach Calif.) took third place after he led the 2006 USA Baseball Olympic Qualifying Team in its successful run through the COPABE Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Schumaker, a left fielder in the St. Louis Cardinals' Organization, batted lead-off for the team throughout the tournament. Starting in all nine games, Schumaker hit .405 with a team best 15 runs. He also had a .477 on-base percentage and went through the tournament without an error in the field.
In the women's voting, Armstrong (Boise State, Idaho) became the third American in history to win a World Championship in the elite Women's Time Trial at the UCI World Championships in Salzburg, Austria on Sept. 20. Armstrong joins Karen Kurreck (1994) and Mari Holden (2000) to become the third American World Champion in history. Earlier in the month, Armstrong also won the Euregio Tour, a five day stage race in the Netherlands.
Second place for the women went to softball's Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas). Osterman led the way as the Women's National Softball team clinched its sixth consecutive World Championship title. Osterman was simply amazing going 6-0. Her 70 strikeouts ranks second in World Championship records.
Taekwondo's Diana Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) took third place after she won the gold medal and qualified her Olympic featherweight division for the U.S. at next summer's Pan American games by winning the Pan Am qualification tournament in Cali, Colombia on Sept. 30.
In the team voting, with a dramatic 8-5 win over Cuba, the 2006 USA Baseball Olympic qualifying team captured the COPABE Olympic Qualifying Tournament and secured a spot for the United States in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. With Former Olympians Chad Allen (1996) and Mike Kinkade (2000) on the roster, the team went 8-1 in the tournament and beat Cuba in the final game before a sold out crowd in Havana. Cuba, who also finished 8-1, entered the game as the only unbeaten team in the tournament and had only a single run in its previous three games. Overall, Cuba had outscored their opponents 87-11, while allowing only two home runs. In the final game, the USA Baseball Olympic qualifying team hit three homeruns, including the go-ahead blast by Brandon Wood with the score tied 5-5 in the 8th inning. In its nine games, the team hit .309 with 19 home runs. The pitching staff was led by two-time USA baseball alumni Zach Segovia who went 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings.
Equestrian's U.S. Reining Team took home second place honors for the team award. The U.S. reining team won a second straight team gold at the 2006 World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Aachen, Germany on Sept. 1. In addition, the four members finished in second, third, fourth and fifth place in the individual competition which showcased the top 20 finishers.
The U.S. Greco-Roman Wrestling World Team took third place for the team vote. The U.S. placed third in Greco-Roman wrestling as a team at the 2006 World Wrestling Championships in Guangzhou, China, Sept. 25-27. That matched the highest placement of a U.S. Greco-Roman team ever (also in 2001 in Patras, Greece). The three medals won by the U.S. Greco-Roman team also match the most in a single World Championships in history. The U.S. had an individual champion, Joe Warren (60 kg), and a pair of bronze medalists in Lindsey Durlacher (55 kg) and Harry Lester (66 kg). Also earning placements were T.C. Dantzler (5th at 74 kg) and Dremiel Byers (9th at 120 kg). Other team members were Jacob Clark (84 kg) and Justin Ruiz (96 kg). The team was coached by Shawn Sheldon, Andy Seras and National Team Coach Steve Fraser.
Results (first place votes in parentheses)
1. Joe Warren, wrestling, 46 (12)
2. Josh George, paralympic track and field, 29 (5)
3. Skip Schumaker, baseball, 23 (4)
Also receiving first-place votes: Alejandro Albor (Paralympic Cycling), Dave Cousins (Archery), and Dave Zabriskie (Cycling).
1. Kristin Armstrong, cycling, 42 (9)
2. Cat Osterman, softball, 41 (9)
3. Diana Lopez, taekwondo, 22 (2)
Also receiving first-place votes: Laura Bennett (Triathlon), Michelle "Mickey" Kelly (Modern Pentathlon), and Patricia Miranda (Wrestling).
1. USA Baseball Olympic Qualifying Team 44 (12)
2. U.S. Reining Team 22 (2)
3. U.S. Greco-Roman Wrestling World Team 21 (4)
Also receiving first-place votes: Men's World Cup Compound Team (Archery),WTBA Men's World Championship Team (Bowling), U.S. Cycling Team (Cycling), Karissa Whitsell and Katie Compton (Paralympic Cycling), and USA Wheelchair Rugby Team (Rugby).