After a bit of a break we are bringing back the Athlete of the Month program. In the new and improved version we will honor four athletes each month in the the following categories; Open, Masters, Youth, and High School .
Selected as the December Athletes of the Month for their outstanding performances are: Craig Forys (Open), Fiona Bayly (Masters), Leilani Gibson (Youth), and Jared Lovelace (High School).
Craig Forys, 25 of Howell, NJ has been selected as the USATF New York Open Athlete of the Month for December 2014. Forys was the top New York finisher at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships held on December 12 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. He finished 4th in a very strong field running 29:14 over the 10 km course and finishing just 6 seconds behind the winner Ryan Hill of Portland, Ore. Forys effort lead the New York Athletic Club to an 8th place team finish out of a total of 72 teams. Based on his performance at the Club Championships, Forys was selected to represent Team USA at the annual Great Edinburgh XCountry International Challenge in Scotland. That event was held on January 10 and Forys' 7th place finish (5th man for Team USA) helped lead the U.S. squad to a dominating victory over Great Britain and Team Europe.
Fiona Bayly, 47, of New York has been selected as the USATF New York Masters Athlete of the Month for December 2014. Bayly placed 3rd in the women's 45-49 division at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships held on December 12 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. She ran 22:38 over the 6 km course to lead her Urban Athletics NYC team to a 10th place (out of 32 teams) finish in the Women's 40+ division. Out of 255 women masters athletes she placed 12th in the age graded scoring with a score of 86.47%.
Leilani Gibson, 8, of Brooklyn, N.Y. has been selected as the USATF New York Youth Athlete of the Month for December 2014. Gibson ran to a 9th place finish in the 8&under girls division at the USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships on December 12 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Gibson's time over the 2 km course was 8:31. She was one of only six New Yorkers to earn All-American honors for finishing in the top 25. Before heading to South Carolina, Leilani opened her indoor track season winning the 800m and 1500m at the New Jersey Youth Development meet. Her times were and 3:00.87 and 5:58.50. On December 27 she won the 1 mile at the Armory Youth Holiday Classic presented by NYRR in a time of 6:31.28.
Jared Lovelace, 17, of Forest Hills, N.Y. has been selected as the USATF New York High School Athlete of the Month for December 2014. Lovelace, a senior at Archbishop Molloy High School, bounded 50'0.5" in the Triple Jump at the Bishop Loughlin Games on December 20. This was a personal best jump by nearly 2 feet; surpassing his 48'1.75" from last March. On Saturday he improved on the mark from December with a jump of 50'1.75" at the Molloy Sanner Games which tied him for the US#1 mark.