Hammer is Second in USOC’s December Athletes of Month

Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) finished in second place in the United States Olympic Committee’s December Athletes of the Month. Hammer earned a pair of medals, including a gold medal in the women’s omnium, at the Union Cycliste Internationale Track World Cup held in Cali, Colombia, from Dec. 1-3, 2011. Hammer also teamed up with Lauren Tamayo (Asheville, N.C./Exergy TWENTY12), Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) and Jennie Reed (Seattle, Wash./OUCH Pro Cycling) to win the bronze medal in the women’s team pursuit.

After displaying superior athletic performances in December, speedskater Katherine Reutter (Champaign, Ill.) and biathlete Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) earned Athlete of the Month honors while USA Swimming women’s 400m medley relay team collected the Team of the Month award, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced today.

Continuing a strong start to the 2011-12 ISU Short Track World Cup season, Reutter added four medals to bring her season total to six. At World Cup 3 held Dec. 2-4 in Nagoya, Japan, Reutter won a bronze medal in the 1000m (1:32.945). The following weekend at World Cup 4 in Shanghai, China, she captured a gold medal in the 1000m (1:32.721), silver in the 1500m (2:22.764) and silver medal as a member of the 3000m relay (4:13.000).

Opening the 2011-12 IBU World Cup season on Dec. 2 in Ostersund, Sweden, Bailey posted a time of 24:44.9 and perfect shooting to place a career-best fifth in the 10 km sprint, just 22.4 seconds back from winner Carl Johan Bergman of Sweden. Bailey continued his strong start to the 2011-12 season with a 14th-place finish, 25:34.3 (0+1) in the 10 km sprint at World Cup 2 held Dec. 9 in Hochfilzen, Austria. The next day, Bailey led Team USA with a 17th-place finish, 34:06.4 (0+0+0+2) in the pursuit. In the event, Bailey sat fourth before the final shooting stage, but two misses caused him to fall back. Following World Cup 2, Bailey ranked seventh in overall IBU World Cup points.

The U.S. women’s 400m medley relay team set a new World Record and claimed victory over a team of European All-Stars at the Duel in the Pool, held Dec. 16-17 in Atlanta, Ga. The team started the meet off right as the quartet of Natalie Coughlin (Vallejo, Calif.), Rebecca Soni (Plainsboro, N.J.), Dana Vollmer (Grandbury, Texas) and Missy Franklin (Centennial, Colo.) broke the event’s previous World Record with a time of 3:45.56. Coughlin led off the relay with a 55.97 backstroke split that would have set an American record had the split time counted as an individual record. In the end, the U.S. women beat the European All-Stars relay team by 5.5 seconds and broke the World Record by nearly 2.5 seconds.

In Female Athlete of the Month voting, cyclist Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif.) captured second place while USA Sailing’s Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) earned third place. Diver David Boudia (Noblesville, Ind.) was the Male Athlete of the Month runner-up and speedskater Jonathan Kuck (Champaign, Ill.) finished in third. USA Sailing’s entry of Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) claimed second place in the team vote while bobsleigh duo Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) and Katie Eberling (Palos Hills, Ill.) rounded out the top-three results.

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 each month.

1. Katherine Reutter, Speedskating
2. Sarah Hammer, Cycling
3. Paige Railey, Sailing

1. Lowell Bailey, Biathlon
2. David Boudia, Diving
3. Jonathan Kuck, Speedskating

1. Women’s 400m Medley Relay, Swimming
2. Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi, Sailing
3. Elana Meyers and Katie Eberling, Bobsled

Photo Courtesy Dr. Brent Kay / OUCH Medical Center

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